Ask the Online ExpertsRod Aries and Robert FarrisE-mail, web tools, internet What are some basic E-mail rules to follow? From: Steve, 1st Trust Mortgage Here are some basic E-mail rules to follow to keep yourself out of trouble: 1. The quickest way to make a lot of enemies (and probably get dropped by your Internet Service Provider) is to send inappropriate and unsolicited mass E-mail. This is often referred to as “spamming” and could harm your reputation and that of your company. In fact, there have been some legal cases where a company was liable for the E-mail “spam” actions of one of their employees. This is good way of getting both yourself and your employer in trouble. When it comes to spam E-mail, don't do it. 2. When a person receives unsolicited E-mail, one of the worst things to do is to respond to be removed from their E-mail list. When you respond to spam, you are telling the “spammers” that your E-mail address is a live one and they will then resell your E-mail to other spam companies. So instead of getting less spam E-mail, you will start getting more spam E-mail. The moral of the story is, “Don't respond back to spam E-mail. Just ignore it, like unsolicited, junk snail mail.” 3. DON'T USE ALL CAPS. Using all caps when you compose your messages makes your E-mail more difficult to read and also seems like you are shouting at the reader. This is the lazy way of writing. You don't want your clients thinking you are lazy...do you? 4. When responding to E-mail, keep your sentences short and to the point. Remember, you are not writing a novel and most people are too busy to read a long-winded response. The message should be short enough to give the reader a clear description of your ideas. 5. If you respond to an E-mail when you are upset, don't immediately press “send” to vent your writing anger. Just like in the real world, sit back and count to 10 (maybe 10 minutes), and rethink what you wrote. Remember, once you send the E-mail, there is no way of getting it back. You don't want to lose a large commission because your client misread what you were saying. 6. Don't “redirect” a message to someone else unless they know it is being redirected. Let me explain. When you “reply” to an E-mail message, the message is ONLY sent back to the person who sent you the E-mail. When you respond to a “redirect,” the message is sent back to BOTH the person who redirected the message to you and the person who originally wrote the message. This can get a person in trouble if they are responding back with some unflattering message. You don't want your boss reading some comments that he or she was not supposed to read. Moral of the story again, “Be very careful with redirected E-mail!” What are some good E-mail marketing strategies? From: John, Star Point Loans E-mail is likely to be the first and most useful form of direct contact you will have with mortgage clients and prospects over the Internet. E-mail contact is a powerful and inexpensive way to deliver messages...if you know how to use it correctly. It can be your primary way to create relationships and close more deals on the Internet.Â Here are some easy tips and tricks you can implement to effectively market yourself every time you send or receive an E-mail message: 1. First of all, check your E-mail often (at least every 30 minutes or less). In fact, most E-mail programs have an option where it will automatically check your E-mail without you having to click “check mail.” When an E-mail is received, you can also program your computer to make an annoying sound to alert you (“You've got mail”). 2. You also need to respond immediately, whenever possible, to messages, even if it is a short, “Thank you for contacting me.” When someone sends you a message, they are usually still online. If you respond immediately, it shows your customers or prospects that you are a professional loan agent who responds back quickly (i.e. someone who will be able to close their upcoming loan quickly). This will also distinguish you from other “less-Internet-capable” agents who only respond to their E-mails maybe once a day. It like responding back to a phone lead at 5:00 p.m when the prospect called at 8:00 a.m. Not a good way to stay in the mortgage business. 3. Make it easy for clients to contact you by “hyperlinking” any references to your Web site or E-mail address in the body of your message. You can do this by adding “http://” and “mail to:” (without the quotes) to your Web site or E-mail address. All the client has to do is click the Internet site or mailbox and it will take them to your Web site. The old saying still stands: “You confuse, you lose.” Make it easy for your customers to do business with you. 4. Always use a complete “signature” at the end of each E-mail message. This signature should include your normal business contact information along with a short blurb about yourself. This blurb should be something like, “Been helping people finance their homes since 1975” or “Have helped more than 150 families buy their first home.” Remember, you need to distinguish yourself from your competition, and the Internet has a lot of competition. Rod Aries and Robert Farris are co-founders of MortgagePromote.com. They may be contacted at (800) 625-8787 or E-mail [email protected].Â Submit your Internet questions to: [email protected].