Become an E-Mail Pro in 2013
One thing I need to get better at is my e-mail management. I think I’m addicted to e-mail! And I want to quit this addiction in 2013! I want to be more organized, waste less time on e-mail. You too? Great, then keep reading, I’ve got some ideas…
Set E-Mail Time Slots
The first thing I need to get better at is to check e-mails only during set times during the day – and not have Gmail always open in a separate browser window. Some experts say it’s not a good thing to check e-mails in the morning, because that’s when you’re most productive. I get it, but I don’t think I could work until noon without having checked my inbox. So I’ll keep my habit of checking them from my iphone while still cuddling under the warm blanket, and then once the kids are off to school I’ll quickly reply to those people who expect an answer. But then I’ll definitely turn it off until noon !
Save mine & the recipients time
By respecting a few guidelines I can not only save time writing e-mails, but the e-mail recipient will also save time reading & answering my correspondence. Here’s what I came up with (or have learned from others, such as Chris Brogan for example in his book ‘The Impact Equation‘):
- Keep E-Mails short & to the point (under 300 characters): You and me and everyone else is facing the same situation. So do them a favor as well by keeping your e-mails short, to the point but still courteous.
- Use bold font for the parts where you expect an answer: I’ve been using this one for a while and have seen very good results with it.
- Use bullet lists or numbered lists to give a structure to your e-mail and enumerate the points for which you expect an answer: Use this one in addition to the bold font, or in a longer e-mail summarize the points at the end
- Introduce your request above the fold, then elaborate & give more background info below: Especially if your writing to people with a request, even more so if it’s your first e-mail to them, don’t bore them with too much details & background information. Formulate your request first, then mention that they find more information below.
- Use Call to Actions in the subject line: In E-Mail Marketing the subject line is THE most important line in your e-mail. People will or will not open your e-mail, depending on your subject line. But even if your e-mail only goes to one person, make good use of the subject line. Use a call to action, tell them what kind of action is expected from them, or give the recipient a deadline
Apps to Gain Time
If you’re a Gmail user, you might want to look into a few of their apps or labs below:
- Inbox Pause: With Inbox Pause, you can put new messages on hold, making it so they won’t appear in your Inbox until you are ready for them.
- Active Inbox:With ActiveInbox, you can empty your inbox, manage email tasks entirely within Gmail, and integrate Gmail with your other management tools.
- Canned Responses: With Canned Responses you can create e-mail templates for messages you send out regularly. For example I set up a canned response for people asking me if there will be a recording for my upcoming webinar.
- Boomerang: With Boomerang you can schedule e-mails to go out at a later date and also set up e-mail reminders when waiting for a response.
Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to become an E-Mail Pro in 2013? Are you using any other apps or strategies that have helped you keep your inbox organized? Please share them in the comments below.