You’re pursuing a dream. You’re working hard all the time. Maybe you’re waiting for that next client. Maybe you’re waiting for a book deal. You have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. But here’s a question for you:
How often are you checking your spam folder? The average person doesn’t. But you’re not average, you’re awesome.
Over the last month, I’ve had some stuff that was in my spam folder that was legitimate e-mail. Not only was it legitimate, it was stuff I needed to follow up on if I wanted to make some money. Looking at the e-mail, I could see why they thought it was spam. If they didn’t know I was expecting that e-mail, it would have looked a bit fishy. But if you think about many of the e-mails you might receive while pursuing your dream, they may look fishy too without the whole picture. “I’d love to have you sign a contract.” “Hey, I’d like to talk to you about an opportunity.” The fact that new clients will have never e-mailed you in the first place increasing the chance it’ll be marked as spam.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are things in there that are truly spam. But they’re easily recognizable and I can quickly pass over them. But the one thing I’m glad is that Gmail gives me a spam folder. Even if the e-mail has the exact text of “disposed nigerian prince”, I still have the opportunity to read it. I run a website that sends out confirmation e-mails to people, and there are some services out there that will mark us as spam and they just drop the e-mail completely. For people using those sites, it’s a bit of a hassle because they don’t get the confirmation e-mail they’re expecting, they have to contact us, etc. But I have to wonder how many e-mails that they did want got deleted without them even knowing?
So now, I’m in the habit of checking my spam folder at least once a day. Gmail does automatically clear out the spam folder after 30 days, but I figured if I had a potential customer/partner/etc, I would want to respond to them within 24 hours. In Gmail, I’ve dragged the “Spam” label so that I can always see if I have unread messages in there without having to click “More”. Most days it takes 15 seconds of my time.
Have you had any opportunities almost missed because of mislabelled e-mail?