While in college, I used to beg for family and friends to send me letters. My parents would say, “To get a letter, you should send a letter”. It’s apparently the same for email.

“The more [email] you send, the more you get”, according to Jeremy Burton, vice president of Veritas’ Software marketing unit, who recently decreed that casual Fridays would also be email free. If any of the 240 staff members need to communicate with another, they have to do it by telephone or in person. So then, will the opposite work? 

If we reduce what we send, will our inboxes not be bulging at the seams?  It appears to be so.  After a few months, Mr. Burton’s marketing team has gotten used to the notion – and other businesses are following suit.

For those of you who read my previous installment, here are some common sense recommendations to help tame email. 

  • Don’t open email from someone you don’t know, especially those that arrive with attachments.  And be careful about opening attachments from folks you DO know.
  • When you find it truly necessary to forward emails to others, make sure you use BCC: (blind carbon copy) and not CC:, and delete the header copy from the original sender which gets forwarded as well.  If you use CC: the email addresses become visible and can be copied by unscrupulous folks who sell email addresses to list companies.  That is one of the top methods that spammers get email addresses.
  • Keep your contact list current.  If you use distribution lists, make certain they too, are up to date, and that those on the list are being sent what is appropriate – whether it’s marketing information or jokes.  Otherwise, it’s junk email!
  • Forwarding and copying others is a practice to be used sparingly.  And when you do, make sure you include any editing and let them know what you expect them to do with the information.
  • Be concise and accurate.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Many of you are already using anti-virus and anti-spyware software, so now try utilizing anti-spam software.  There are some inexpensive and even free applications at www.download.com, many of which work with Microsoft Outlook and some with Outlook Express.  Find the Search box at the top of their homepage and type in anti-spam.  It should give you more than 70 to choose from.  If you are logging into your Internet service provider and checking your email at their site, most of the bigger services, like AOL, BellSouth or Earthlink, already offer SPAM blockers as an option you can configure while in you visit.

Hopefully, you’ll take some time to implement these processes and make them a part of your world of email.  It’s bound to be better for your business, your career, and your personal sanity.  Who knows, maybe the next big thing will be ‘toxic manager’ free Fridays!