Archive for August, 2003

What you need to know about E-mail

Monday, August 11th, 2003

E-mail, or ‘Electronic Mail’ is the fastest growing form of communication. According to IDC Research, in 2002 more than 31 billion e-mail messages were sent every day. This is predicted to top 60 billion messages a day by 2006. These figures do not include ‘Text Messaging’ which has become very popular in the younger crowd. According to a new study from the wireless research firm, Telephia, SMS (Short Messaging Service) usage by adults aged 18 to 24 has risen from 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001 to 45 percent in Q4, 2002. This is basically e-mail for the cell phone.
On the average, most of us receive 32 e-mails a day with 30% or more of them considered to be Spam messages. Spam is unsolicited e-mail received from those wishing to sell their products or services. There are currently over 144 million e-mail boxes and that figure grows by about 34% annually. It is possible to send and receive messages instantly to anyone and anywhere around the world at no expense. But this new form of communication still has its cost.
I have already mentioned one such cost; spam. In surveys conducted in 2001, 34% of e-mail users said they considered Spam to be annoying compared to 80% of responders in 2003. These solicitations range from product advertising to financial services to pornography. All this unwanted e-mail requires time to download, sort through, and delete. There are filtering programs that intercept these unwanted messages and automatically deletes or hides them from you so that you can focus on the pertinent messages, but these filtering programs are band-aids, not solutions.
Another major concern with e-mails is Virus Invasion. Viruses are malicious programs written to invade privacy and cause computer havoc. The most commonly used method of spreading viruses is through e-mail as attachments. When I am done with this article, I will send it to Carla at VIADA via e-mail in the form of an attachment. She will open the message, click on the attachment, and save it to her computer. Because she knows my e-mail address, she can open this attachment without any concern. If she did not recognize the address from which the attachment came from, she would be wise to delete the message and its attachment right away. Worse yet, it is possible that a virus could have affected my computer and that virus could, unknowingly to me, attach itself to all my outgoing messages. To prevent this we have installed Anti Virus Protection software on all our computers. This scans all incoming and outgoing messages and removes all unwanted viruses. The unfortunate thing is that because new viruses are created every day, the Anti Virus software comes with a subscription cost, usually between $15 and $60 a year. But, for anyone who has spent countless hours cleaning out his or her computer of these unwanted files, it is worth every penny.
E-mail addresses need to be typed just right or the message does not get sent. Furthermore, if the address you are sending to has changed, it does not get automatically forwarded to the new address. According to an article from Yahoo!, 30% of all e-mail addresses are changed annually. This change happens because of job changes, ISP switching and consumer efforts to avoid spam. If you change your e-mail address, you must notify everyone that sends you e-mail of your new address. The problem here is that if you do not notify a customer of your address change, they will not be able to contact you the next time they see a car on your lot that peaks their interest. JTZ Enterprise site owners avoid this by getting along with their domain a matching e-mail address like you@yourdomain.com. For less than the cost of a dial up ISP, we can now provide you with a mailbox. This will route all messages through our server, filtering out Spam and viruses automatically. Also, if you change ISP’s or go from dial up to DSL, you will not have the hassle of switching your e-mail address.
According to new survey findings, 62 percent of all employed Americans have Internet access and 98 percent use email in work. For this reason, you can not afford to say, “E-mail is not for me.” Would you say that about the fax machine or F&I software? Not if you want to keep pace with your customer and maximize sales and profits. Arm yourself with knowledge and protect your dealership with reliable Anti Virus software. Partnering with a reliable ISP and/or Webmaster is also a wise step.
If you would like free consult-ation on ways to improve or create your business website and maximize e-mail safety call us today at 540-846-3821.