Connecting with partners and clients through Slack

Slack has just undergone a rebrand of one of their cooler features. Slack Connect is the new craze; you’ll probably see it in your Slack dashboard if you’re an admin. 

I. Context:

  • Slack Connect is an all-encompassing term to describe ways you can communicate with another Workspace/organization.
    • Slack had these features before; however, they’ve given them a brand new coat of paint.

There are two main ways to connect with external organizations:

  1. Adding them as single-channel guest 
  • Great if the member might be a student, contractor or does not have a paid Slack plan.
    • Only workspace admins or owners can invite or manage guest accounts
  • Requires the guest to log in to the host Workspace
  • Only the host organization has access to the communication and files when the guest account expires
  1. Setting up a Shared Channel
  • Requires both organizations to be on a paid plan
    • Requires the admin on both organizations to approve the channel
      • I’ve had an easier time with the first approach (Adding each member as a guest). It allows large organizations to avoid lengthy internal procedures and get collaborating with their team in literally seconds.
  • People from other companies can collaborate in the chat right away from their Slack Workspace, where they spend most of their time. 
  • Each company keeps a record of the communication and files after the channel is disconnected.

II: Let’s build rapport

No matter which of the two options mentioned above you select, Slack will provide one key over email. Rapport is easy to build via a messaging platform. 

  • Jokes, Superbowl commentary, and the general “how was your weekend” convo is way more natural over a chat platform than others. At least for me.

If you have a key partner or lead, connecting via Slack will allow you to message counterparts outside of the group workspace directly. Just like a text message, so take advantage, comment on their profile picture, complain about your boss (or maybe not) or say Hello! and ask about their weekend. 

III: Keep the conversation going

A shared channel allows you to move deals and partnerships forward. Save time on the following:

  • Organizing your next meeting
  • Going over details in mutual documentation in real-time
  • Asking that easy question, you don’t want to send an email about

Slack has created a one-spot repository with a search feature, documentation sharing, and both teams’ ability to involve key people in the conversation. All in all a better way to communicate.

How to Get Stuff Done

I’m 3 weeks into writing a poem per day for one month. It started when I randomly wrote a few rhymes on a post-it note, which then turned into this little personal project. 

I’m not aiming for profound pages of sculptured genius. Sometimes just a few simple words about something I see or things that only make sense to me. I’ll pick up my phone and write something down; On the train, in the supermarket, in the early hours of the morning…

But why should you care what I do with my free time? Well, you don’t need to. The thing is, I’m just sharing something I love to do, showing how things can evolve if you stick with them, and I think that everyone should have their ‘poem a day’. Their own personal projects, that come with some addition benefits:

I believe they give you a new outlook, make life more interesting, take conversations beyond small talk and can increase your general productivity with everything else.

A few days ago someone suggested the poem thing in this article (but I’d like to point out that I thought of it first 🙂 ). They also mention a load of other interesting things to do when you have nothing to do. Or even extra things to add to your list.

But don’t leave it for tomorrow! For a long time my motto has been ’To Begin, Begin’. You don’t need to wait for the right time to do something. It doesn’t have to be on January 1st, or when you feel inspired, or after you’ve done another thing. Get the pen to the post-it now and the rest will follow. 

Perhaps I’ll develop the 30 into a book of 100 poems and self-publish it on Amazon (for my family to buy and think I’m clever for writing a book), or maybe it’ll just be something I can look back on as proof that I can achieve things.

I’ll leave you with one of my 20 (and counting) poems and challenge you to start something new, if you haven’t already. Please let me know how you get on.

I think next month I’ll try the daily plank…

What if we run out of ideas?

Everything you see was once an idea,
From the tallest of buildings to the tiniest screw.
But at the top of my list of the things I most fear,
Is if we run out and nothing is new.

The quota has maxed; weʼd thought everything up,
Theyʼd re-write songs thatʼd been written before.
Weʼd picked the last gem from the genius cup,
It’s all been done, there’s no room for more.

But I shanʼt lose sleep, weʼre safe now I think,
And Iʼve had an idea, it’s a pretty good one.
Iʼll write a poem as if ideas were extinct,
Or maybe I wonʼt, I think it’s been done.

Google Contacts API is retiring

Hello,

This is a quick reminder to developers utilizing the Google Contacts API (v3). It has been deprecated and will officially retire on June 15. The People API will be its replacement.

black laptop computer

In fact, the People API has been around for a while, created to merge user data from various Google products, including G contacts & users, Google+ (RIP), and Gmail. 


The API is built on HTTP and JSON (so that any standard HTTP client can send requests) instead of the older GData protocol. It was created to improve the user experience and the ability to share data between platforms.

Where does Spam come from?

I was surprised to discover recently that the word ‘Spam’ comes from the famous BBC television comedy series – Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The sketch is referring to a can of meat. Popular in the 70s. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it, but I’m interested to know the mystery ingredients contained within this packaging:

Spam (the email kind) is very annoying, but nowadays our email provider will automatically detect it and keep it away from our inbox. Although it is fun to occasionally take a peek into this strange folder to see what’s being thrown at us.

I was also interested to discover that over 20% of the world’s Spam comes from Russia. Followed by the U.S with under 10%. The statistics show the most common sources of unsolicited commercial emails in the first quarter of 2020

Not surprisingly Spam has dropped significantly in the last 6 years mainly due to the GDPR laws which started in Spring 2018….

It did begin to sneak up again since, as did sales of the canned meat version. So a Spam free world isn’t likely anytime soon. Can anyone confirm if it’s worth a taste?

Bolster onboarding into business email through simple email migration tools

The user journey begins at the beginning. Rocket science, I know. If your company’s vision is to provide an excellent customer journey into the cloud from the get-go, start at the beginning –> by onboarding their email.

Here is a breakdown of the business email space and how adding easy to use migration tools can help web hosters, email providers, resellers and email adjacent businesses onboard more customers:

  • Very small businesses (1-10 seats): These typically make up ~75% of the total number of customers in the business email space. There are millions of potential customers, and offering an end-user driven migration tool will significantly improve onboarding. VSBs do not have an IT admin and are almost always migrating from consumer email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com, etc.
  • SMB and mid-market (11-1000 seats): This segment makes up ~20% of the total number of available customers and is more varied. SMBs don’t typically have an IT admin either, so they really benefit from a self-service migration tool. Mid-market companies often move from Exchange or similar on-premise solutions. 
    • Our platform provides support for business email providers such as G Suite, Office 365 & Exchange, and can easily support other legacy email solutions.
  • Large (1000+ seats): This is a small number of companies, but it represents significant potential revenue. The biggest hurdle for adoption is change management and the complexities inherent in migrating tens of thousands of users. We’ve found that using a self-service tool like ours, companies and organizations with very large user bases find it much easier to migrate. Below are links to the self-service interfaces we’ve built for some of our biggest clients:

Europe likes its national email providers.

Email Providers in Poland

One of the noticeable trends in my research as an email geek is that European ISPs and email providers such as Orange, Sky, TIM (Italia), KPN, #1und1 possess a firm foothold on the email usage of their respective countries:

By nature, my curiosity took me immediately to Poland, where I have many friends and spent one Christmas holiday. Lots of Zurek, Bigos, Zubrowka, and of course, Pierogies. 

The trend mentioned above continues in the eastern bloc, according to Research Gemius/PBI (the standard of internet audience measurement in Poland); aside from Gmail, all the other leading email services are Polish ( wp.pl, onet.pl, interia.pl, o2.pl ), and they account for 17+ million users in a market of an estimated 27 million users.

Email usage in Poland

In Latin America, where I was born and raised, except for a couple of countries, the foothold is held by Microsoft brands (Outlook, Hotmail), Gmail, and Yahoo. More to come. 

Who checks work email on vacation? Half the world does –> and I thought I was the only one 🤔

Nearly half the people polled on an Ipsos survey say they either agree or somewhat agree (47%) that they never check work messages/emails while on vacation.

For me, this is impossible; I need to know what’s happening (curiosity killed the cat). Am I the only one?

I’m not too fond of long vacations — I can get mental clarity and be back on the saddle with a week’s break at the most. I am also definitely not 🇩🇪German ; almost 70% don’t check work email on vacation.

I’m more 🇷🇸 Serbian (30%) or 🇯🇵 Japanese (32%). So the next time I take a “break” it will be with my like-minded people from Belgrade or Tokyo 🙂

French Email Providers, compared to Europe

French Email Providers

In France, 30% of users rely on domestic French email providers. #ViveLaFrance

According to Litmus, Orange and SFR are among the five most popular email clients in France, with market shares of 26.6% and 9.3%, respectively.

This percentage resembles the number of users in #Italy that use Italian email providers such as TIM (Telecom Italia), Virgilio, and Libero. https://blog.shuttlecloud.com/italian-email-providers/

Germany prefers national email providers such as WEB.DE, GMX, Freenet.de, and Strato almost double as their French and Italian counterparts. https://blog.shuttlecloud.com/email-providers-in-germany/

In Spain, we depend on Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo for our consumer email needs. The days were someone had a Telefonica email are long gone. 

Gmail, 15+ years and running better than ever

Sixteen years ago, Google surprised many with Gmail’s launch, its own web-based email client. Now it’s the #1 client in the world.

According to Litmus, it now reigns supreme among email clients worldwide. Based on data collected from 1.09 billion emails opened, Gmail is #1, with 38% of the market share. Apple’s strong foothold on the desktop and mobile phone industry also provided it with a 38% market share when we combine both experiences together.

Gmail #1 Email Client in the World

With 1.5 billion users, Gmail has grown into one of Google’s most successful products and the most popular email client in the world.

Let’s see what the next years contribute to this dominance especially in the business email space https://blog.shuttlecloud.com/cloud-business-email-market-to-double-by-2024/

Dutch Email Providers

Per a national email survey from Spotler Gmail and Hotmail (Outlook.com) are neck and neck as the most used email providers in the Netherlands.

While national providers like KPN and Ziggo are most popular among the older Dutch population.

Answer to which e-mail providers do you use in the Netherlands?

60% of people surveyed said they used Gmail, and another 60% said they used Hotmail.

Let’s remember that most people have more than one email account.

Some exciting conclusions, especially for web marketers, are the following:

  1. More than half of the Netherlands reads their emails on a smartphone
  2. 88% of Dutch people subscribe to at least one email newsletter in the past year
  3. 73% have bought something at least once in the past year due to a mailing list.

#2 and #3 are a result of email communication being considered a more diverse communication channel than social media. Primarily the subscription to email newsletters for discounts, brand interest, and a surprise when it’s your birthday.