How to Handle Your Email Correspondence Like a Pro

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I do not know what email provider you are using, but there are some great options out there. You might try Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Mail (formerly known as Hotmail) Hushmail or Neomailbox, just to name a few of the most known or less known providers.

We will not talk on their benefits in this article, but how to really manage your email like a professional.

Whether you are a virtual assistant, professional freelancer or corporate worker, you are probably spending one or two hours a day sorting, deleting and responding emails.

What you need to know is how to better handle your incoming and outgoing correspondence in order to free up your time, and take care of other important things. I am not saying email is less important, but time is out most precious asset and we have to get the most out of it.

The first thing to know about email is that it got mobile with the recent sale and expansion of smartphones and tablets. Services like the ones I previously mentioned are already offering the option to check your email, calendar and contacts from your mobile phone. And since most of us are working remotely and do not depend on cable, this option is a must.

When you pick your email provider, make sure it has this advantage. Within a few years perhaps all email providers will make this option default as their offering.

The second thing you need to know is to check your email from Outlook or another email client. This is a software enabling you organize your email in folders, setup filter rules and makes it easier to handle your incoming email.

Gmail and Yahoo for example have specific POP3 account settings you have to include within Outlook or your chosen email software, in order to send and receive emails. You might also want to check if both your email client and your provider is offering the IMAP option, which enables you leave emails on the server in case you want to have access to your correspondence further, and not mix things up.

The third thing to know is how to create a signature that goes at the bottom of all your emails. Once you have it written, you check with your email client as well as with your email provider and set it up by following their particular instructions. Each time you send an email from your browser or within the email client, it’ll automatically attach your signature at the end of your write up, offering a professional look and feel to your message.

The last thing you should know is how to use catching subject lines. Whether you’re talking with clients or colleagues, or with your boss, your subject line can make or break your correspondence. Your send outs’ subject lines should be highly targeted to the body content. Meaning, if you talk about a specific raport that you had to send to your colleague, then writing “email” or leaving the email blank is not a good idea. You should include the title of your raport instead.

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