From Addy + SPAM
Isn't it amazing how sometimes the smallest things make the biggest differences?
I'm going to tell you about two of those things: Your "from" email address, and checking your SPAM box.
First, about email: Click the image at left to see a full-size pop-up of a portion of my inbox. Now, imagine it was yours. Let me ask you, how many of the "from" addresses would you immediately recognize as being from a certain company? My answer? Only one, and it happens to be one of my agents, Giovanna, who changed her "from" address to read her name + phone # + company name. As far as I'm concerned, all the others could be SPAM because they haven't identified themselves in a meaningful way to me.
The importance of this point should not be lost on you, especially if most of your business is conducted via email, and ESPECIALLY if you're a salesperson or you need to command the attention of people who may not immediately recognize who you are. Just because you know who you are doesn't mean anyone else does. So instead of having your "from" name say "firstname.lastname@example.org", have it say "Joe Black - 703-555-1212 - Equity Consultant" (or whatever your info is). And take comfort in knowing the fact that NOBODY else out there is doing this, so it gives you a huge competitive advantage, AND take comfort knowing that people will be able to easily call you when they need to, because your phone number is prominently featured. Just ask yourself - have you ever tried calling someone who emailed you, but you can't find their phone number anywhere on their email? I know it happens to me all the time.
If you want to know "how" to change your "from" address, just Google some related terms; there are plenty of sites with tutorials. For example, here are the results of a Google search I just did on the topic.
OK on to topic #2: SPAM. So, now that we've learned how to keep your email from looking like Spam to others, let's talk about what you should do with your Spam. I'm not going to get into an in-depth discussion on Spam filters (although I'll say that for Windows applications, Cloudmark is the best I've ever seen, and for Macs, Spamsieve is the best), but rather I want to talk to you about what you should do with your Spam folder.
No Spam filter is perfect, and over time you'll accumulate some Spam in a Spam folder. My point is this: it is absolutely imperative that you go through that Spam folder on a regular basis, whether once a week or once a month. And it's a total pain to do, but you will almost certainly find one or two legitimate emails within the junk, and it only takes 1 missed email to ruin a business deal. So here's my strategy (I go through mine weekly): First sort by "To" address, and concentrate on Spams that have been sent to you; i.e., ignore any that were sent to other email addresses but showed up in your Spam box. Once you've ensured there's no real email using the "To" sorting method, re-sort by "From". Since many Spams tend to be from the same "person", you can often skim through your Spam folder quickly and ignore multiple emails from the same source. Once you've verified there's no real email in there (or pulled out any that is), delete the emails so next time you go through them you don't duplicate efforts.
Until someone comes up w/ a better Spam fighting solution, I cannot stress how important it is that you do this. The only possible exception I've ever found is Cloudmark, because of the way it fights Spam, there are rarely any false-positive Spams in your Spam folder. Good luck.