Are There Hidden Treasures in Your Inbox?

You see it all the time; an email announcing a new course or class that will make a difference in your business.  Many of us send them to the trash bin before we even open them, but what if we’re trashing opportunities to do what we do better?  What if those things we think we already know how to do could be done better, faster and with greater results?

I’m not saying we should open every piece of email that offers an ‘amazing’ new program, we all get our share of spammy marketing crap.  But if you’ve been smart about the email lists you’ve signed up for (and you should be) there should be fewer spam-like offers hitting your inbox and more information from people you felt knew their stuff.  And if you felt they knew their stuff enough to sign up for their list; even if it was because you wanted their free e-book or information; then it just might be to your benefit to at least take a look at what they might be saying to you.

I know, you think I’ve gone off the deep end, so let me share something with you.

My email inbox is just like yours, I’ve signed up for things in the past that have put me on a variety of email lists.  And yes, just like you I’ve found myself hitting the delete button before reading a majority of them.  I’d judge them by the subject line, and nine times out of ten I’d think to myself “I already know how to do that” and hit delete.  Then, just by chance, I happened to open an email from Google about a Power Searching course.

Now I’ve been using search engines for a long time.  I know about Boolean logic techniques and consider myself pretty good at finding what I’m looking for online. Just as I was preparing to hit the ‘delete’ button I noticed the word certificate, and I paused.  Hmmm, it sure would be nice to be able to state that I was a “certified” searcher, and what would it hurt?  I knew search engine stuff right?  So I signed up for the course.

I’d almost forgotten about it until I received the email yesterday that the first class was available.  I took the Pre-class Assessment and felt pretty confident before clicking onto the Introduction class, thinking it was going to be full of stuff I already knew.  And most of it was. Except there was this one thing, one little item that blew me away.

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that by adding one step to something I’ve been doing for years my search results became 50% better and less time consuming.  As a virtual professional that one small item could save me hundreds of hours of research.  And this was just in the first class.  Now I’m super excited to see what else I can learn that will make me a real power searcher.  Even without a certificate at the end, this course is already worth the time and effort it requires.

It also gave me reason to pause before hitting the delete button in my inbox. And guess what?  There’s some really awesome stuff hitting my inbox.  It’s not all filled with people trying to sell me stuff, in fact a lot of it is people sharing some really useful or thought provoking information with me.  Sure, there are still some “if you like this buy my stuff” messages scattered in there, but I’m finding that in many cases it’s worth seeing them to uncover some truly helpful information.  Not only that, but by taking some time to really read what’s in my inbox I’m finding myself able to weed out the crapola, unsubscribing from those mailings that never do anything but sell me their LIMITED TIME OFFER! with no redeeming information included.  It’s amazing how much getting helpful tips or thought provoking information makes a sales pitch easier to swallow. (Don’t forget this when you’re pulling your own newsletter or email messages together to send to your lists.)

By taking my finger off the delete button, I’ve found some true business boosting gems today.  So how many diamonds, rubies or emeralds of information did you put in your trash bin today?


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.


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