This technical note deals with organising emails in general and in particular using a dedicated email handling programme called "Thunderbird" which does not use a web browser or rely on third party agents.
What is a managed email account?
Emails from potential customers are your hotline to income so they need special attention. Ideally this email 'hotline' should be kept separate from other correspondence; it should be checked daily and it should be properly organised, especially if you need to store older emails for your records.
Emails may 'bounce' or they can be tagged as 'spam'. When you are relying on your emails to generate business you want to be sure you receive customer enquiries and that they receive your replies.
If you wish to use a webmail contact form on your site or a section where customers can post reviews it is particularly important that this interlinks properly with your email. This is because your customers' email providers (Gmail, Hotmail, AOL) periodically alter their spam protection. This means, without proper email management, you might not receive their emails.
Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and all the rest are useful for general email communications but neither you nor I can control how they are functioning. You need to be sure that your primary email link to your customers (and to your earnings) is secure and at all times fully operational.
I can manage your email system for you if I also manage your domain. Amongst other things this means I receive an alarm if a customer's web message does not reach you.
Email protocols whether, POP, IMAP or SMTP, are - by today's Internet standards - pretty basic programmes. It should be remembered they were designed as simple text communication protocols.
Since their invention many data-rich programmes have been designed such as large image files, audio files and PDF.
The simple email protocol often struggles to handle such large extra files as attachments.
Email is a communication system not a storage system. If you wish to store attachments (such as PDF files) unlink them from you email and store them properly and safely elsewhere. I can show you how to do this.
Most emails these days use the IMAP system, which means the emails are stored remotely, not on your PC or phone. Unless you specifically delete them they will always be available to you on whichever device you are using at any time.
By saving attachments separately on your PC or other devices you can keep hundreds and hundreds of email text messages without using up your storage allocation of 150 MB.
Email is a communication protocol not a storage system so you should keep it clean and uncluttered. 150 MB is more than enough if you follow the advice below and save attachments separately. Text messages use up very little storage space so storing the attachments separately will save you money. See the PRICES page for email options. For long term archiving of old emails there are several ways to do this. For example: forward them to, say, a Gmail account, store the attachments on your PC or copy all emails to a 'POP' folder on your PC. Need more info? Just ask.
Read more on this below
Organising your customer enquiry emails properly
If you simply let all your old emails stack up pretty soon you will use up your storage allocation. It is the equivalent of shoving all your post into one big box and forgetting about it. Here's a better way.
In business it is important that you keep an accurate (and up-to-date) record of important communications. For many people, filing paper documents neatly is easy whereas organising all the electronic messages is often overlooked.
A dedicated email programme can help you do this.
For an email service that I manage for you, I recommend that you download a dedicated free email programme called THUNDERBIRD.
One of the advantages of Thunderbird is that it can help you organise your email comunications.
You can download the latest version HERE. I will be happy to advise you about how to set it up on your PC.
If you choose to link your email to your domain and website I can help you configure everything so nothing gets lost.
You have an allocation of 150 MB of storage space on the server, which is more than enough for email text communications.
Your emails are all stored on a central server so you can access them at any time from any device anywhere.
Very often you will receive an email with an attachment and, of course, you should be wary of opening these attachments as they may contain malicious programmes. It is these attachments that take up storage space but you don't have to store them with your emails. I have detailed below how to keep an important attachment and save it elsewhere on your PC.
By saving attachments on your PC or other devices you can keep hundreds and hundreds of email text messages without using up your storage allocation of 150 MB but still have them linked and referenced so that you know which attachment belongs with a particular email.
If you use THUNDERBIRD it is possible to detach the attachment while retaining the link to the email. This means the attachment is saved on your PC so does not consume your email allowance but at the same time the attachment is permanently cross-linked to the relevant email for record purposes. You can access the attachment either via the original email or by navigating to the relevant folder on your PC.
How to archive email attachments safely.
STEP 1: Create a new folder (or several) on your PC in order to store all your incoming attatchments tidily. For example: invoices, bills, pdfs.
STEP 2: Open Thunderbird and click on the relevent email with the attachment you wish to keep. A note of the attachment appears at the foot of the email pane. Right click and a small dialogue box will appear.
STEP 3: Click "DETACH" and a pop up window will give you the option to navigate to one of the folders you created in STEP 1. Click the SAVE button in this pop up window.
The attachment will now be saved on your PC in the folder you chose but will still show and be accessible from the email. In this fashion you will know which attachment belongs to which email but it will no longer use up your storage allocation.
Need more help?
Just phone! Do not hesitate to ask for further advice on mangaing your emails and keeping important business communications safe.
Archiving emails to Gmail
As described above, use your managed email account to make sure you receive all your important emails from clients and potential clients, making sure you keep this inbox tidy and relevant.
To prevent this email getting clogged with old stuff, open a free GMAIL account and add it to your THUNDERBIRD programme. Then you simply copy and paste all the emails you have already dealt with into your new GMAIL archive account.
Alternatively, I can set this up for you.