Email

Angie’s List’s Deceiving Subject Lines Aren’t Worth It

As a homeowner, I find Angie’s List to be a valuable resource when I’m looking for a contractor and don’t have a solid referral. It was well worth paying for when it was a paid service, and it’s certainly worth signing up for now that it’s free. However, when I think of Angie’s List the first thing I think of isn’t the quality of the service or even Angie herself (who I very much enjoyed learning about on the How I Built This podcast). Nope,… Continue reading

9/12/17

One Technique for Preventing Unnecessary Phone Calls

Last year I wrote about How a Single Meeting Can Derail an Entire Day. As we’ve grown, the semi-legitimate meeting requests have increased significantly. Pure Adapt probably uses hundreds of different products and services to keep our business running, from financial (accounting software, banking, etc) to technical (servers, backup, etc) to shipping (supplies and carriers), and that’s not including all of the suppliers that Detailed Image works with. We’re large enough at this point that most of these companies have assigned a sales rep to… Continue reading

4/25/17

My #1 Productivity & Life Balance Improvement From 2016

It’s rare that I make a productivity change that I would call life changing, but there’s one quick and simple change that I made last year that I think meets that criteria. When I stop to think about it, I marvel at its effectiveness. About a year ago I wrote about how I set up Gmail label notifications on Android as a means to disconnect. Essentially, anytime there’s an urgent work issue that needs my attention I receive a notification on my phone. Most of… Continue reading

1/17/17

Write. Shorter. Emails.

Above is a word count chart of the emails I send and receive, generated by Gmail Meter. You’ll notice that over 60% of my sent emails are less than 10 words. This is intentional. I used to think that every email had to be entirely thorough, as in-depth as possible, so as to minimize any confusion and ensure that I got my point across. Somewhere along the line I realized: Emails like that take a lot of time to write (I was wasting my time)… Continue reading

6/15/16

Task Zero Days

Most people are familiar with the term “inbox zero” as it applies to email management. The idea is that any time you process email, you should empty out your inbox. Every email either gets answered, archived, or deleted. If something needs follow-up action, you set up some sort of trigger to remind you, typically with software like Boomerang or a to-do list manager (I use RTM). About once per week I spend anywhere from a half day to a full day applying this concept to… Continue reading

3/9/16

Using Gmail Label Notifications on Android to Disconnect

Last year I wrote about Freedom via Gmail on Android: On nights and weekends when I consider myself “off of work”, I used to occasionally check emails on my computer, which typically involves going into my office, booting up my computer, turning on my monitors, etc. Now I just open up an app on my phone to check to see if anything is important. If there is, I snag my Chromebook or my laptop and take care of it. If there’s not, which is usually… Continue reading

1/27/16

Inc. 5000 Spam

When we were named to the Inc. 5000, my partners and I wondered what, if anything, would come of it. While did it primarily for ourselves, we also wanted to make the most of a rare opportunity to promote our business outside of the car care world. Somewhat predictably, two things happened: 1) we got a small amount of local press, and 2) we started receiving a massive amount of solicitations via email and phone. It makes sense. The Inc. 5000 list is a great… Continue reading

11/5/15

A List of Email Client User Agents (Plus Our Most Popular Client)

A few years ago when we built our custom newsletter system for Detailed Image I wrote about all of the extensive features it included. One feature we overlooked though was user agent tracking for opens, which can be used to determine which client the subscriber is using to open and read the email. Lacking this information became a problem when we went responsive with all of our newsletters last year and had to determine how to prioritize our client testing. We wanted it to be… Continue reading

3/31/15

Freedom via Gmail on Android

Depending upon who you talk to, our ability to check email on our phones anytime and anywhere is either a blessing or a curse. I think most people see someone they know – a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker – glued to their phone at all hours of the day, constantly receiving push notifications for every email that comes through, and then jumps to the broad conclusion that always being connected to the inbox is pure hell. To that I say: they are… Continue reading

10/20/14

DI Emails Have Gone Responsive

Responsive design aint just for web browsers. With users reading email on more and more devices, it has become increasingly important to send responsive email newsletters. The problem is that it’s a total pain in the ass. However difficult responsive web design is – and it is plenty difficult – email is many magnitudes harder. Think IE8 is hard? Try designing for Outlook. Each webmail client has it’s own list of things that it strips out and/or doesn’t support, and each looks slightly different in… Continue reading

6/10/14