In a world obsessed with email, I ask the question: how do you send out your quotes, by email or by paper?

There are pros and cons to both, so to keep this post organised, lets look at this systematically.

Email – pros:

Lots of pros when it comes to email. Firstly it really does cut down on a lot of paper! We are getting asked more and more by our customers to send us their quotes by email. Most of them, no matter what age, have smartphones and tablets and get their emails to those devices. The business world is trying to reduce the amount of paper it uses to cut down costs and do their bit for the forests and carbon foot print. Of course then you can simply print a quote out when your customers gives you the go ahead and you need their signature. So it prevents you having a draw full of dead quotes.

Speed. Email is by far quicker than hand delivering a price or sending it through the post. If a customer is wanting to know the price ASAP then a quote by email does the trick. As any busy salesman will tell you, speed is imperative in keeping up to date with quotations. The quicker they get done the better, email helps that process a lot!

Email – things to remember:

Terms and conditions! For God’s sake remember to email these along with the quote. We all (should) send them with paper quotations, and with such an empowered consumer, we need them more than ever to make sure we’re not caught out by crafty customers trying to get something for nothing. But we all must remember to send them with email quotations too. These can easily turn into a sale and that protection is needed.

The other important thing to remember is that its sometimes difficult to figure out if your customers are actually opening your emails and viewing the quotes. You can sometimes request for a receipt to be sent when the email is open, but not many take this option up. How do you know if people are reading everything you send them?

Paper – pros:

It’s always nice to receive something nicely presented. There is a certain novelty of getting something through the post box all nicely presented, in a branded envelope or folder with all your details on there. It may seem small, but it does make clients feel important, in they key to securing business is making sure the client knows they are important.

You can hand deliver a quote, in fact I do that myself a lot. The client always looks surprised to see you back at your door hand delivering the price. It shows a higher level of dedication than most other companies and can sometimes be the difference between you and the rest they get prices from.

Paper – cons:

The cons are fairly obvious. Written quotes use paper, which of course is inefficient and a drain on the world’s natural resources. It requires recycling and it costs businesses more. This is why email quotes have taken off so well as they are free and use less resources and money.

Written quotes do take more time to put together. They need drawing up, printing and delivering. We’re all trying to make things more efficient in everything we do, so the idea of sending quotations in writing does seem a little ancient.

My View

For me, emails are the way forward. You can still look a quotation done by email look great, and include T&C’s, just as in written quotes. They’re so much quicker, costs the business less and makes your business appear more modern than others, which isn’t a bad thing. More and more people are receiving emails on their mobile devices and viewing their content at all times of the day. Sending emails allows your content and quotes to be viewed and considered at any time, anywhere.

What do you think? Are you sending more quotes by email now? Are you making it the main way to send your prices? Or do you think paper is still the best way? All comments welcome in the section below.