Here’s tip for you artists out there. Look into Outlook.com. I use it extensively. You may already have tools for doing similar things, but, if you don’t, it’s something you may want to check out.
What is Outlook.com
It’s is a website run by Microsoft that gives access to a number of tools and services that I find indispensable for my online art business. Most of what is has to offer can be found elsewhere, for instance, Google offers similar services, but I find that Outlook.com just seems to do things more smoothly. Oh yeah…it’s free (up to 15 Gigabytes).
What does Outlook.com offer
Here’s a quick list of what it includes:
- An Email Account
- A place to store contacts
- A calendar
- Cloud file storage (OneDrive)
- Word processing (Word)
- Spreadsheets (Excel)
- Slideshow presentations (Powerpoint)
- Office Online
Now, I don’t use all of these service but a do use some of them. I use the email to act as the source of my email marketing campaign; and, for writing commission contracts and license agreements, I use the online Word feature; but, for me, the most useful feature is OneDrive. I use OneDrive for transferring high resolution images that are too big for email to licensees, publishers, and anyone else who needs a digital version of a work. I also use it to share wallpapers to my newsletter recipients.
Why I Prefer Outlook.com
There are a couple of reasons why I think Outlook.com is better than the competing services:
Using an Outlook.com Email Account for Marketing
I’ve mention before how having an email campaign can really help your sales. In order to have such a campaign, you need to have a source address.
When I first started my email campaign, I used my trusty old Yahoo address. The problem was that none of my emails appeared to generate any sales or traffic to my site. It turns out that any emails sent from an email campaign management service with a Yahoo address automatically are destroyed without notification by mail servers. Apparently, there are some other email providers that have this same problem.
Outlook.com does not have this problem through. Once I started using it as my email campaign source, I started getting results.
OneDrive Shares Files Unconditionally
I used to try and share files using Google Drive. The problem was that Google Drive required recipients to have a Google account of their own. Many of my clients are not that computer saavy and did not want to have to register for yet another online account just to receive the illustration I had made for them. Thankfully, OneDrive allows me to generate a link to share a file and anyone with that link can get it.
I hear that Google has since changed their policy, but, for me, the damage is already done. I’m used to sharing files the OneDrive way.
If you are not using Outlook.com, I suggest checking it out. It can be really useful stuff, and it won’t cost you anything to get started. Google offers similar services and I’m sure there are a few others, but for some reason, I just find that I like Outlook.com best.
Yes, I know this whole article sounds a bit like a paid ad, but it isn’t. It’s just a service I really like and wanted to share.
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