4 Ways To Miss Important Mail Using Outlook

Example Scenario:  You send an e-mail to a client, vendor, or business partner. You don’t hear back. You keep checking Outlook and still don’t hear back. You assume they didn’t reply. Finally, you send another e-mail telling them to call you. You hear nothing. You act accordingly. Perhaps two weeks later you finally get a response to your first e-mail. You think the sender is a jerk. Maybe two more weeks go by and you get a response to the second e-mail. You add the sender to the spam filter, because it’s been a month and a half already.

Expanded Scenario: When you first open Outlook you don’t have it set to automatically check mail. So if someone has responded, you aren’t seeing it. You write an e-mail. But you don’t have Outlook set to send on completion or send when closing the program, so the e-mail doesn’t go out that day. You also don’t have it set to check mail on close, so you still aren’t seeing any recent responses to previous messsages. You close the program and check back in a week. Note: if you only check once a week, there’s your biggest problem – professionals these days respond to e-mail within 24hrs, normally. You say you don’t get much e-mail? Aside from marketing failure, let’s continue to show why. You check your e-mail in a week, but again, it’s not set to pull mail on opening, so you’re still not seeing any waiting replies. You send an e-mail to someone else. Perhaps something prompts you this time to click send/receive. Outlook sends the message, and finally sends all the other messages that you wrote but that never went out. Upon sending, Outlook also checks mail. But those old messages you wrote have only just now been sent and haven’t actually been read yet. Responses will take longer. What does come in are very old replies. But you close the program without looking at the inbox. A week later you open Outlook again. Lo, there are responses from several weeks ago, except you may think they were sent just this week. After all, you check Outlook every week, don’t you? And they weren’t there 2 weeks or 3 weeks ago. Meanwhile people have been replying to the really old messages you wrote that they finally received weeks late. But you’re not seeing their replies in your inbox. You’re convinced your inbox is pulling mail, because you can see new mail. But it’s not pulling mail on opening the program – it’s only doing it when you click the button or when you send, depending on your settings. So you’re not going to see the replies today that were sent several days ago to messages you sent a week ago, that you actually wrote two or three weeks ago.

Recap: The four ways to miss important mail using Outlook are pretty simple, and they’re very common among long time users of Outlook or Outlook Express:

  1. Don’t have Outlook set up to check immediately upon opening Outlook
  2. Don’t have Outlook set up to send immediately upon finishing an e-mail
  3. Don’t have Outlook set up to send and check on closing Outlook
  4. Alternately: don’t hit “Send/Receive” on those 3 situations

If the above situation describes you, either a) set up your Outlook properly. You’re burning relationships and probably blaming other people for something happening on your end. b) alternately, get out of Outlook and start using Gmail or another web-based e-mail client. That’s how we see it. Once more, straight talk from Market Moose.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership in marketing, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.
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