Technology has increased the capacity for what we can do in proposals, but with the plethora of new tech coming out, it’s hard to keep up and sometimes great products fail to garner national attention. In this post, I’m featuring one application that isn’t widely known, but could save you time in business development (BD) and proposals.
Send Personally, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, allows you to compose one email with several recipients in the “To” field and Outlook will send an individual version of that message to everyone in the “To” field. For instance, you could write an email about an upcoming deadline to John, Sally, and David. When you click “Send Personally,” Outlook will send three identical emails: one each to John, Sally, and David.
If you want to add a personal touch, you can set the email to include a greeting with the name associated with the email address, so that John’s email will greet John and Sally’s email will greet Sally. There are a few other ways to customize your greeting, based on the name of your distribution list or a user name associated with the email address. Since I downloaded Send Personally, I’ve identified several tasks it will help me complete more efficiently. Here are a few ideas for how you might use it to save time in BD and proposal management.
- In BD, you could use this tool to prospect with potential clients. For instance, you could craft a message about your company’s IT capabilities tailored for an Army audience, list several potential Army customers in the “To” field, select a custom greeting, and hit “Send Personally.” Each potential customer would receive your email with the customized greeting without knowing it was sent to others as well.
- You could also use Send Personally when vetting potential partners for an opportunity. If you have data calls that each company needs to complete, you can compose a message explaining how to complete the forms and what the deadline is and “Send Personally” to each company without revealing your other potential partners.
- As a proposal manager, you might use Send Personally when notifying a writer of a late submission. Generally, your writers know one another so there’s no need for anonymity that prevents you from a mass email, but using “Send Personally” could help you apply a little pressure. When contributors see that they are part of a group that missed a deadline, there’s a sense of relief that “I’m not the only one.” That relief lessens the urgency to submit their materials. By crafting a polite but firm reminder of the missed deadline and clicking “Send Personally,” each person will the feel pressure of your personal attention without your taking the time to craft individual emails.
How could you use Send Personally to support your BD and proposal efforts?
Julia Quigley has worked on a variety of Federal Health IT task orders and large federal proposals. With a Master’s in Rhetoric and Composition, she has created proposal writing strategies and conducted training to help technical subject matter experts (SMEs) understand how to respond clearly and compellingly to solicitation requirements. Prior to joining Lohfeld Consulting Group, Julia managed proposals for small and mid-sized federal contractors and taught introductory writing and persuasive writing classes at Texas State University. She applies the lessons she taught as well as lessons learned to all her writing and training projects.