I’m not sure when I became glued to my inbox, but I’m certain it wasn’t until after I left college. In fact, I very vaguely even recall using email in college. For the most part, communication took place on Blackboard, and really, the only emails I ever received were spammy, promotional stuff from my university.
Today, I live in my inbox, as just about every professional does. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, employees spend an average of 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails. As a student, your inbox may not demand too much of your time now, but trust me, it will in the future, so I recommend beginning to utilize it more today. Never mind the fact, that you should be writing outreach emails daily while you’re in school, if you want a job straight out of school, but anyway, that’s an entirely different topic.
With you students in mind, I created this list of must-have email resources, which include everything from tools to courses. Utilize them, and there’s no stopping you. Here they are:
1. Writing Effective Business Emails: First and foremost, I recommend taking a course, possibly this one, which will teach you how to write fantastic, professional emails. The $19 class on Udemy, is 90 minutes long and seems like a great steal to me. An alternative solution is this blog post.
2. Voila Norbert: You’re going to need to find someone’s email address that isn’t easily found, trust me on this one. Voila Norbert solves this problem. It is the best tool for finding anyone’s email address hands down. All you do is type in the person’s full name and their domain name without inputting “http” or “www.” and out pops the email address in less than 30 seconds.
3. Crystal Knows: According to The State of St. Louis Workforce survey, when employers were asked about the shortcomings of recent job applicants, they cited a lack of communication skills as was one the biggest. One way to communicate effectively is knowing how the person you’re speaking with communicates, such as knowing which words they use, etc. Crystal Knows this by searching the web and aggregating data on the people you’re emailing with. She makes recommendations on which words you should use and even generates email templates based on the person you’re communicating with.
4. WiseStamp: To appear professional, you must have an email signature. I personally use WiseStamp, which is the prettiest email signature solution. Not only is it the best looking option but it is also easy to switch signatures between email accounts.
5. Ugly Email: In the professional world, you’ll soon learn many emails are being tracked for clicks and opens. I like to use Ugly Email, a free gmail extension that tells me when an email is being tracked before I ever open it, to circumvent the problem of opening an email and then not responding or opening the email 75 million times.
6. Yesware: So now that you know emails are being tracked, I’m sure you’re wondering how they are being tracked. Through various tools, such as Yesware, of course. Yesware reports email opens, link clicks and file attachment downloads. This is valuable because it lets you know if you should follow up with someone or not and when, if you should. If you’re applying to jobs, use its template’s feature to streamline your application process by creating an email template that also appear customized to the receiver.
7. Rapportive: Rapportive is a popular gmail extension that brings LinkedIn to your inbox. It shows you everything about your contacts right inside of gmail. This is great for young professionals, who should actively be using LinkedIn, by making it extremely easy to request new connections you e-meet via email.
8. Unroll.me: Unroll.me cleans up your inbox by allowing you to easily choose which emails wind up in your “rollup,” which is sent to your inbox on the basis you choose. It’s one email of all your subscriptions. It’s that easy.
9. Mail Mentor: I just discovered this product today, and I’m obsessed with it. Type your email message into Mail Mentor, and it tells you the message’s: current reading level, time it takes to read it and recommended improvements.
10. Daily Bits Of: Do you want to learn something new, but can’t find the time to do so? Daily Bits Of is the email tool for you. They provide email courses, which are delivered to your inbox. The courses are broken up into one small lesson each day and span from a few days to one month.
11. Conspire: Forget LinkedIn. Conspire is changing the way people connect online by tapping into your Google account. It is a free tool that connects with your Google account to find the best pathway to an introduction to a new contact. You can search by company or person.
Bonus: #12 Find That Email – Find the email address of decision makers, in millions of companies worldwide
Did I miss an email resource you use? Please tell us about it in the comments so we can add it to our list and other students can utilize too!