Archive for the ‘Horror Stories’ Category

Never Sip and Send

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008


Last week, the New York Times ran a side splitting story about people who send emails or texts while under the influence of alcohol (Drunk, and Dangerous, at the Keyboard).

Funny, but true, we can wreck our lives over email if we’ve been drinking!  In the study behind The Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Etiquette (an excellent program to bring into your company), we found that grammar and syntax errors jump almost 50% when users send emails after having a single cocktail or a few beers.  Their use of profanity jumps too. 

The lesson:  Never assume you can master email while tipsy.  Much like driving, alcohol will give you a false sense of security. 

Share one of your email tips or stories with us and win!

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

When I created this blog (and the company behind it), the whole idea was to create a knowledge community around how we use email in our business life. Email is a huge part of how we communicate, and it dominates our digital life. To master it, is to become much more effective.

Have you got an email horror story to share? Have you figured out a special tip or technique that helps you be successful in your email life? Have you found a solution to a common email related problem?

If so, write a post for this blog, and if I use it — I’ll send you an advance copy of “The Dirty Dozen Rules Of Email Management”. This DVD is not available anywhere yet, but you get one with a thoughtful post.

Thanks in advance!
Tim Sanders, CEO of Deeper Media Inc.

Don’t get bit by a spider

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Never post your email address online. Ever.

If you have a blog, post to bulletin boards or write articles for online distribution you might be doing this right now. When you do, you open yourself up to mega spam.

Why? Many spammers or list houses use webcrawling programs, spiders, to collect email addresses posted online. Once caught by a spider’s web, your email address gets sold dozens or even hundreds of times to a variety of companies that want to sell you something.

On my site I use a contact form. If you want to contact me, you fill it out and I receive it in my inbox. Spiders don’t fill out forms. Also, you can post your email address with an insertion that only a human would understand. If your email address is, you should post it online as Tell the reader to take out _nospam to reveal your actual address.

You can also use the free service at Address Munger. It scrambles the coding so humans see your email address posted on a site, but the spiders don’t.

Unless you like to get the latest news on mortgage rates or sexual performance, follow this simple advice as you live online. Yes, it is important to be contacted easily via email — but it is just as important to reduce the spam clutter in your life. I’ve seen too many friends have to change their email address to escape the spam that even the best filters cannot catch.

E-Quakes are common, are you ready?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

A recent study indicates that over half of all companies have had email downtime in the last year.

For information workers, having email go down can grind business to a fault. In some cases, data is lost, in others emails wait days to be sent or received.

What can you do about it? First of all, delete what you don’t need, archive often and watch the size of files sent over that platform (use YouSendIt for files larger than 5 megs). That’s the finding of the study.

Most important: Back up everything, have an alternative email account (I use Yahoo Mail) and have a contingency plan for your next email outage.

What if you were e-hacked?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Here’s a twist on bad things happening over email:  getting hacked and having all your personal information leaked onto the information superhighway. 

Check out this story for more:  TV Man Hacked Anchorbabe Email

Observe The 2 Minute Rule

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I’ve just had a bad customer experience that could have been avoided with a phone call.

I hired a company to help with develop a product. They gave me a specific delivery date, then missed it by weeks, causing me to lose money. When I emailed my sales rep to tell him how disappointed I was, I received back a very short email from him that basically said, “This is why it happened. Thanks for understanding.”

I emailed back with more specifics on why I was upset and he replied with another short and sweet email (hoping I would go away). I’ll never do business with that company again. His emails made the problem worse. What should he have done? He should have picked up the phone immediately, called me, and smoothed it out in realtime.

Here’s a good rule for running a business, I call it the 2 Minute Rule.

If one of your customers sends you an email that indicates that they are not happy with your service or product, within two minutes, pick up the phone and call them to talk about it. If you can, do it even faster.

This will produce surprise and delight.

Imagine emailing a sales rep at one of your vendors a nastygram and then having your phone ring a few seconds later with an answer. Chances are, you’ll have a conversation that leads to a positive resolution. Chances are, the business relationship would continue or maybe improve through the experience. Try it. If you run a company, you should require your sales reps and customer service managers to live by the rule.

As I mentioned before in a previous post, research indicates that tone of voice is five times more effective at conveying your intentions than words on paper (or in an email). When you pick up the phone, you increase your effectiveness at resolving customer service issues.

Learn a lesson from Leo

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Leo is a friend of mine out of Toluca Lake, California. He is in the mortgage business and told me a story about forwarding an email to the wrong person. He had gotten a suspension from a bank on a loan he had submitted for a client. Instead of giving his client a call he forwarded the email, only he sent it to a different client. One he had not even taken a loan application for yet. The perspective client thinking that he could not get a loan through Leo went to another mortgage broker to get his loan. Which brings me to these two points that I teach in my training programs.

• Email Rule #4 Think before you forward
• Email Rule#1 Don’t send bad news over email

Leo forwarding folly with his client not only cost him a loan, but a good referral source too. Business is ALL about relationships and service. Email is for saying yes, no or maybe. If you have bad news that you have to share, pick up the phone. People can hear your intentions over the phone. Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t care enough to call in a difficult situation?
Page Moseley, certified Email Etiquette trainerGet more information here

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