Tag - email

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5 Subtle Email Writing Tips for Smoother Interactions
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Make Your Phone ‘Kerching’ When You Make A Sale

5 Subtle Email Writing Tips for Smoother Interactions

EmailEmail is now established itself as one of the preferred communication tools of business. Over 190 billion emails are sent worldwide per day, and that figure is growing year on year.
Despite many of us sending emails every day, very few people have received any training on how to get the right message across in an email.
In theory it’s simple. Just write what you’d like to say to someone in the email body and put a few words into the subject box to describe the message. Easy right?
Well, if we weren’t such sensitive, social beings it would be that simple. However, normally during a conversation we rely on subtle body language cues and voice tone etc. which aren’t there in an email.
Have you ever received an email from your boss which just read “please come to my office, 1pm.”? Your mind starts racing and you start to panic, thoughts of being in trouble for something fill your head, but it turns out to just be a chat about some pretty typical work topic. Chances are, your boss never realised that their email subject might have that effect. In their head it made perfect sense. However little did they know the anxiety it caused you.

Here are five tips on how to improve your email interactions and make people look forward to your emails landing in their inbox.

1. Use positive subjects

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, an email from your boss with the subject “please come to my office, 1pm.” will likely trigger anxiety in the recipient. Imagine receiving an email from your husband or wife with the subject “Jimmy had an accident”, you open it with your heart in your mouth only to realise your little boy had wet himself at school.
By keeping your subjects positive, people with begin to associate your name in their inbox with positive words. Subject such as “Looking forward to our meeting” or “great day to discuss that report” instantly instill warm feelings in the recipient. Pretty soon, people will look forward to receiving your next email.

2. Start personal

When receiving and email, it’s never fun to read lines and lines of work based requests with an impersonal tone. We get no warm feelings from work.
Start your emails off with something personal, this is a sure fire way to get their attention and make your communications much more enjoyable.
How about “Hope you had a good weekend. Did you do anything fun?” or “I heard you got promoted. Congrats! going out for a few drinks to celebrate?”.

3. Remove the ego

This is such an easy tip to implement, there’s no excuse for using it in every email.
Sometimes we can forget that it’s not all about us. We might not even notice the extent that we use the word ‘I’, but the recipients of our emails can.
Take the following paragraph as an example:

“Hi Dave,
I’d like to arrange a meeting today. I liked the presentation you did and if it’s okay I’d like to take it further”

See the difference it makes when you remove some of the I’s:

“Hi Dave,
Would like to arrange a meeting today. Liked the presentation you did and if it’s okay I’d like to take it further”

4. Sarcasm doesn’t work

This is one of the more widely known tips for effective email communication, yet it is still often overlooked. It’s so easy to assume that our joke is so obvious that we can get away with it occasionally. I’ve been guilty myself of numerous occasions. Sarcasm can come across as rudeness, so however tempted you may be to slip in some comical sarcasm, just don’t. If you absolutely must, then for the love of god use a smiley, you utter moron :)

5. Offer your support

Not in an emotional sense. Not unless they have brought up the fact that their beloved kitty has passed away under the wheels of a 4×4.
Simply put “If there’s anything else I can do, please feel free to contact me.” This immediately instills in their mind that you are not at all put out by their request.
The best bit is that they never, ever take you up on this. Only if they would have anyway. It’s simply a sentence that paints you in a positive, more helpful light.

Make Your Phone ‘Kerching’ When You Make A Sale

cash-registerBeing the egotistical git I am, I wanted my phone to make a ‘kerching’ sound each time I made an affiliate sale. Nothing beats dozing off on a lazy Sunday evening and hearing your cash register ring out. Here’s how I made it happen…

First, you need to receive an email each time you make a sale. If your affiliate network will do this, then the first bit is already done. If not, copy the script below into a php file called something likeĀ  ‘xml-to-email.php’ and upload it to your web server. Full instructions are in comments at the top of the file. You will most likely have to change the regex variable to work with your affiliate network’s own feed format.

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<?php
 
/* #########################################################
 
Email When You Make a Sale
Developed by Hayden Kibble July 2009
Hayden@HaydenKibble.com
www.HaydenKibble.com
 
Install instructions:
1. Put your affiliate network login and your email details into the variables below
2. You will probably have to edit '$regex_saletime' to match the sale time/date for your paticular aff networks xml feed
2. Upload this file to your web server.
3. Create a file called 'sales.txt' in the same directory as this script and make sure it has read/write permissions
4. Visit the page and it should show a blank page. An email will probably be sent as it picks up all your recent sales
5. Set a cron job up on your web server to run this script every 10 mins or so
6. If you have problems with any of the above, Google is your friend!
 
######################################################### */
 
$base_url = "https://www.affilliate-network.com/myfeed.xml";
$feed_user = "USERNAME-HERE";
$feed_pass = "PASSWORD-HERE";
$regex_saletime = "/<date>(.*)<\/date>/U";
 
$email_from = "from@address.com";
$email_to = "to@address.com";
$email_subject = "You Made a Sale!";
 
// ##### Do Not Edit Below This Line! #####
 
$ch = curl_init();
 
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $base_url);
 
// Set your login and password for authentication
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERPWD, $feed_user . ':' . $feed_pass);
 
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPAUTH, CURLAUTH_ANY);
 
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, false);
 
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
 
// get the data and close the session
$data = curl_exec($ch) or die("Error Getting Feed.");
curl_close($ch);
 
$dates = array();
 
preg_match_all($regex_saletime,$data,$dates);
 
// Read previous sales times from database
$fileData = array();
$myFile = "sales.txt";
$fh = fopen($myFile, 'r');
$fileData = fread($fh, filesize($myFile));
fclose($fh);
 
// Split the file into lines
$fileLines = explode("\n",$fileData);
 
$newsale = false;
 
$fh = fopen($myFile, 'a') or die("can't open file");
 
// See if this sale has already been logged. If not, log it and set 'new sale' variable
foreach($dates[1] as $date){
if (!in_array($date,$fileLines)){
$newsale = true;
$sale_time = $date;
fwrite($fh, $date . "\n");
}
}
fclose($fh);
 
if ($newsale){
mail($email_to,$email_subject,"You have made a sale.\nSale Time: ".$sale_time,"From: " . $email_from);
}
 
?>

To test, empty theĀ  sales.txt file you created and run (access) the script. It will see your recent sales have not been logged and fire off the email. Make sure the email does not go to your junk folder.

If you want your computer to play a ‘kerching’ upon making a sale, you can simply set up a rule in Microsoft Outlook to play the sound upon receiving an email with ‘Payment Received’ in the subject. You get the idea.

For those of you who want the full-on portable cash register, continue on to create a gmail account with a difficult to guess name just for these emails. If you share this address anywhere it will get spammed. We do not want this as you will start hearing an awful lot of incorrect kerching’s!

You now need to set your phone up to use your gmail account. Make it check for new emails every 10 mins or so (depending on how often you set your cron job to run the script) and set this kerching wav as your notification sound.

You are now set! When the php script runs intermittently on the cron job, it parses the feed for new sales. When it finds a new sale it sends an email to your phone, which plays a ‘kerching’ sound on receipt!

Copyright © 2013. Created by Hayden Kibble.