Email is a great way to connect with your community and stay in touch with them. In fact, many people will tell you that your email list is the lifeblood of your online business.
But just like every other business tool, you have to know how to use email properly or it can easily consume your days.
Many business owners have difficulty managing their inboxes. As a result, they stayed buried under an avalanche of ever growing messages. If that describes you, then consider trying some of these email hacks.
Tip #1 - Don’t check your email constantly
If you have your email account synced to your smartphone, you may be tempted to drop whatever you’re doing and check your mail the minute you get a notification. This is a really bad habit to get into for a couple of reasons.
- You disrupt your focus every time you shift your attention from your current task to checking your phone.
- When you check your email too often, it’s also tempting to just see who the message is from and decide to respond later. If you get busy, or distracted, you might forget.
The best way to deal with this is to either turn notifications off, or turn your phone off completely when you’re focusing on a task, and then set a designated time to check and respond to messages.
A good rule of thumb is to have one or two times during the day that you stop and check your email. Many business owners find that checking your email in the morning and again before you stop working is the best way to go.
Tip #2 - Create templates
Templates are a huge time-saver when it comes to email.
For example, you may get similar questions from customers and clients regarding your products and services. If you have a template for each frequently asked question, then it becomes easy to just plug that into a new message and send it off.
If you’re doing marketing by email templates can also come in handy. Sales templates, newsletter templates, and autoresponder templates all save you time if the formatting is done and all you have to do is plug your text into them.
Tip #3 – Stop procrastinating and make quick decisions
Procrastination is the enemy of all productivity, be especially when it comes to dealing with email. There are really on four basic options when it comes to dealing with email. These are:
Once you make a decision, ask yourself if you’ll need the information again later. For example when you get an electronic receipt for a business purchase, it’s usually best to file it. The same goes for log-in information for memberships or affiliate programs.
Emails that you don’t have to follow up on, or aren’t important can be deleted saving you time, energy, and storage space.
Tip #4 – It’s still okay to pick up the phone.
Sometimes, the easiest way to communicate with someone is still by picking up the phone and talking directly to them. You have the advantage of actually hearing their tone and inflection, and you can ask and answer questions instantly instead of waiting for a response.
This is important when dealing with situations that might be tricky like negotiating a price with one of your clients or when you’re working on a time-sensitive project.
Getting a handle on your email productivity can be challenging, but if you take the time to put systems in place, it becomes much more manageable. Use these tips to take control of your inbox and end your email overwhelm.
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