Ok, so we’re close to Halloween, and the gremlins have gotten into my email. I have one particular account which seems to be getting blocked by a few ISP’s, resulting in emails not making it to clients. I’ve had two clients call me, in the past two days, wondering why they hadn’t heard from me- when, in fact, I’d been replying regularly. So, in the interest of putting in systems to over-respond to the problem (as opposed to over-reacting), I implemented the following:
1) I asked the clients to call me directly if they hadn’t heard from me within two days of sending me an email to which they needed a reply. This would help alert me to any problems sooner.
2) I set up a backup GMail address to use for correspondence in these two cases. I am tracking down the problem with my ISP- that’s the 3rd thing I did- but, in the meantime, I set up a Gmail account and learned how to IMAP it to my desktop email client. (For those who don’t know, IMAP is a mail server option which lets you sync between two email accounts, so that changes in one reflect in changes in the other.) Now, I don’t expect to need this too much, but it’s nice to have the option when weird email gremlins arise.
If you don’t have a backup email address, I’d suggest getting one set up today. Then, if you ever need to learn to IMAP it, you can use the instructions provided by Gmail or Yahoomail (whichever you prefer.) I found the Gmail ones very simple and easy to follow- with great screenshots.
The other thing this kind of IMAP process can be good for is syncing email between multiple computers. If you have a domain name for your business, set up a gmail account for your business too. Then you can have the domain’s email forwarded to Gmail (ask your webhosting provider to set up the forwarders if you don’t know how). You can then set up IMAP access on your PC, laptop, or anywhere else you check email- and any replies will by synched back to your account automatically. This should work great if you have one primary business with one primary business domain. This process will keep you from having to use web-based email if you don’t want to.
Now I’m going to track down the problem and solve it for good; but, in the mean time, it’s nice to know that my clients will be able to reach me!