Jan 132010
 

One of the quickest and most versatile forms of communication today is the Email.  Most people have at least one email address, if not two or more.  However, email can be counter-productive if you don’t manage it properly.

Here are some practical suggestions for increasing YOUR email productivity:

Strive to keep your Inbox “clean” Do not use your Inbox to store your old emails.  Instead, use your Inbox only for emails that you still need to process or follow up on.   Alternatively, use a separate folder to store emails that you need to respond to.  However, remember to set up regular times to go through and respond to these emails.

Turn off the auto-check feature Most email programs check for new mail automatically at regular intervals.  This serves no useful purpose unless you are waiting for an important email.  It can be very distracting.  Instead of letting the computer decided when to check email for you, turn the auto-check off and do it consciously at pre-determined times during the day.

Keep your email organized Create folders and sub-folders to store messages in a way that makes sense for you.  You can set-up message rules that deliver them directly to these folders.  Organising your email is a balance between making it easy to file new emails as they arrive.  Also, you will be able to find what you are looking for faster.

Use templates for repetitive emails Use templates if you frequently send emails that are the same.  Just type the part of the message that remains the same and leave space for variable such as the person’s name.  Then, when you need to send the email, just open the saved file, paste it into the email addressed to the recipient and add the person’s name.

Use technology to your advantage Spam is annoying and a waste of time.  It can be dangerous as some spam contains viruses or links to malicious websites.  Do no open them!  Use filters to keep most of the garbage out of your Inbox.

Use effective subject lines Some people get dozens of emails per day.  Hence, they have to pick and choose which email they want to read.  You need to use a effective subject line to catch the eye of the recipient or your important message could get lost in the shuffle.  On the other hand, if the subject resembles spam, it will probably be deleted! (if it makes it to the recipient’s Inbox in the first place!)

Email is not always the best method to communicate.

Sometimes it is much more effective to pick up the phone and call someone directly 🙂

Jan 132010
 

Most businesses do not realize that billboards are highly effective marketing tools.  They are conveying your marketing messages for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  Most small business owners think that advertising on billboards are expensive.  In actual fact, it is less expensive than print ads and reaches a wider demographic.  To get most out of your billboard advertising, always keep in the mind the location and the type of billboard.

DESIGN

To make your point, use both words and pictures to capture attention of auto traffic.  Because of this, your billboard needs to get the message across in a simple yet effective way.  It not only intrigues customers but also lets them know how to get to you.

Use bright happy colour combinations that are not too distracting to evoke positive emotional reactions.  Blue and white, or yellow with black trim are good examples.  Also, use colours that can be seen at various times of the day since the billboard is up 24 hours a day.

THE MESSAGE

A catchy phrase may be enough.  Use a good tag line that does not get diluted by too many words or other elements in the picture.  Less is more and works best with an intriguing picture and simple sentence followed by the company logo or contact.  Your message should be within five lines.  Capture your company’s essence in a phrase, if possible.  Keep the font large and readable from a distance.  Make sure that your billboard does not split the design hence compartmentalizing different plausible interpretations.

TYPES OF BILLBOARDS

There are large billboards that show the next movie blockbuster to smaller ones on bus benches, building illuminations and cinema advertising.  Buses and taxis are interesting methods too.  Keep in mind there are various types to meet the marketing budgets of most companies.