The great offers in my inbox


The use of email as a form of communication has become an important part of our lives. With a few clicks, messages are sent instantly all over the world. Yet, this powerful business and social driver is now flooded with unwanted marketing literature.

To find intended messages, you have to navigate through hundreds of emails from people trying to sell you products and services that you don’t need, or even worse, scam artists trying to get you to “invest” with them to get rich quick. Something must be wrong if you have not received a weekly email about your unclaimed inheritance from one of your extended family members you never knew existed who wrote your name in his will and then died in a car crash in another part of the world!

The “smart” features of email service providers are still unable to completely isolate or filter out these unwanted messages and it is now up to users to allocate hours daily to clean up this clutter. Apart from the time wasted, there is a potential risk of viruses or malware that can attack computers and other digital devices if you open links or attachment in these emails.

I am not against the use of email for connecting with existing or potential customers; in fact, it can be an effective marketing tool when used reasonably. So, as a sender, do your best to refine your customers’ information and address the intended recipients by their names where possible. Failure to refine emails will undermine your credibility; for example, when customers send you a complaint or an inquiry, they will not appreciate a reply with irrelevant news and advertisement. Furthermore, customers should be able to subscribe and, more importantly, to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Staying in touch with your customers via email is a good idea as long as it is relevant and seasonal. These messages reflect on your business, therefore, you need to think carefully about the way you want your business to be perceived. Luckily, the etiquette of email and business writing in general can be learned in books and courses. You may also put together a monthly or a quarterly newsletter or press release and use social media to connect with a wider audience where frequent posting is encouraged.

Now that you have became a superuser of email, why don’t you consider leaving the virtual world for a while and try to reach out and interact with people; this will entail picking up the phone and speaking to customers. Perhaps you will find potential customers by traveling to a trade show or by attending an event in your local chamber of commerce.

Craft your brochure and make an effort to find buyers interested in your product and services. Connect with people who can benefit from your solutions while being genuine, enthusiastic and optimistic about what you are offering. Then, your follow up emails to these people will be highly appreciated.

The author can be reached via email: and Twitter account @otaibi3w