Every professional in the business world, regardless of level of authority, has been sending emails for the past 15 years, if not the past 20. In all of those years not much has changed about how emailing works. Sure our preferences for receiving certain types of emails have changed, and we’re constantly trying to apply the best writing practices in the hopes of improving our writing competencies for emailing, but the basic structure of the email platforms like Gmail, Hotmail, and Outlook function much the as they did so many years ago. You would think that with 191.4 billion emails sent each day (Radicati Group), and with workers spending an average of 13 hours a week in their inbox (McKinsey & Company), emailing would have evolved more.
Well I’m here to tell you that it is evolving. There exist browser extensions built for emailing (specifically for Gmail) that can boost your emailing capabilities. In this post, I’m going to show you 4 of my favourite ones that will help you supercharge your emailing.
Browser: Chrome, Firefox
Have you ever received an email but didn’t know who it was from? Maybe you’ve been given an email address and want to know more about the person before contacting them, or perhaps you’ve been emailing someone and are about to meet them in real life but don’t know what they look like?
Rapportive solves all of these problems by giving you a quick overview of your email contact in the right-hand side of Gmail. It shows you what they look like, where they’re from, what they do, and any recent Tweets or LinkedIn updates they’ve published.
Browser: Chrome, Safari
So now you know a lot about your new email contact. It’s time to craft the perfect message. If you’re like me, you’re sending dozens of emails a day. Over time, you start to become lackadaisical about checking for spelling or grammatical errors. That’s where Ginger comes in handy. As you’re typing, it suggests spelling and grammatical corrections in your email. It’s much more intuitive, powerful, and user friendly than the spellchecker in Microsoft Word.
3. Undo Send
Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer
Now that you’re done with your grammar check you hit send, only to realize that you left out a paragraph or forgot to attach a file. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have an undo button, like you do in Word? This is exactly what Undo Send enables. Every time you send an email a small undo button appears in your Gmail for a few seconds. You might not have to use it often, but it’s a supreme relief when you do, as it saves you from embarrassing yourself.
* This one isn’t an extension like the other three. It’s part of Gmail Labs, which you can find if you go to settings (little gear in Gmail) > Labs > Enable Undo Send.
4. Streak CRM
You corrected the mistakes in your email and sent it without a hitch. You’re confident that you’ve written a strong email (because you’ve obviously read my 4 part series on strengthening your email writing), but it’s been a week since you sent it and still no reply. You think to yourself “What’s taking them so long? Did they even read it?”
This is why I use Streak CRM. It tells you if your email has been opened, as well as when, where, and how many times. It has other powerful features too, that allow you to treat your inbox like a Customer Relationship platform. For example, you can place your email threads into ‘boxes’ that coincide with your sales funnel, or you can create ‘snippets’ that allow you to quickly send stock replies.
To install these extensions, visit the website I’ve linked for each extension and then follow the instructions. Once you’ve followed the instructions your extensions will automatically show up in Gmail.
For more useful Gmail extensions I suggest reading this fantastic list by DIYGenius.
Supercharging your email is an important way to complement your effective email writing skills. Remember that you can learn effective business writing best practices in the writing workshops offered by The Soft Skills Group, Inc. Check out www.tssg.ca.
Diana is President of The Soft Skills Group Inc. She is a senior training & development professional with 20 years of experience in delivery, design & consulting with Fortune 500 companies, Universities & Colleges in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.