According to Statista, it is estimated that we will send a whopping 333 billion emails in 2022. This considered email management has become a necessary skill for effective time management. There is a need to slice down the amount of time spent replying, sorting, deleting and searching through emails. Below are my 7 top tips for effective email management:
Handle Your Emails At Set Times Each Day
Responding to emails can quickly become your full-time job, as you receive higher email traffic daily with the growth of your business. It is, therefore, essential to schedule time slots for responding to your emails, just like all the other activities in your business operations.
Remember emails are designed to facilitate communication. They are not meant to interrupt your entire business schedule.
It is important to stick to the time slot allocated. Respond to what you can within that period and continue on the following day if time runs out. If you find that you are not dealing with your emails in that time allocated, you need to consider whether your workload is realistic and whether you could use other strategies or resources.
To limit the time you spend in your inbox by:-
- sending short and brief responses,
- taking the required action on the email promptly and
- Set it aside irrelevant emails as fast as you can.
If you have concerns about not immediately responding to emails, then set up an out of office explaining when you will be reviewing emails and set an expectation on when you will be responding.
Prioritize Your Mail
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of outputs come from 20% of inputs. Applied to emails, this means that only 20% of the emails you receive will be relevant to the running and growth of your business. Therefore, you should prioritize which emails are the most crucial and respond to them more urgently than the remaining 80%.
It’s good to note that you don’t have to read or respond to all your emails.
Read the relevant ones and defer the remaining emails to archives or folders to be accessed for information whenever you need them. Only respond to emails if you find it necessary, and the benefits outweigh the cost.
Categorise Your Emails
It is important to categorize your emails into different folders or labels if you want to work effectively. You can simply sort and name your folders according to the relevance, priority or content. For instance, you can create separate folders for your feedback emails, account emails, and urgent investor emails. Segregating your emails means you will spend less time taking action on them or searching through your mail.
Filters are integrated tools in your email account that will assist you in automatically sorting out and archiving your incoming emails into different categories. You can set your filter to look for particular words or email addresses and dictate the action taken on them. An organized email is the most efficient way to spend less time in your inbox.
Apply the 2-Minute Rule:
My next top tip for effective email management is the 2-minuter rule.
This rule for email management requires that if responding to an email takes less than 2 minutes, do so immediately and archive it. Do not postpone it to a later date. Taking this action will help you clear batches of emails in a shorter time.
If an email takes longer to respond to, you might need to archive them to a folder with a ‘Reply By’ date. That way, you are making sure that you do not overlook any important emails while managing the time you spend on your email.
Use Email Templates
Are you tired of typing a new response for every client inquiry?
Email templates come in handy for faster response to similar emails. For instance, all your responses to FAQ inquiries from your clients probably have the same format. Therefore, you can develop templates for responding to such emails. Then, integrate them into your email account, which allows you to spend less time typing each response from scratch.
Gmail, for instance, allows you to turn frequent messages into templates in advanced settings. You can then either insert the templates as you compose the messages or simply use them to create automatic replies with the filters feature.
Unsubscribe from Irrelevant Mail
We sign up for different subscriptions that become irrelevant to us over time. If it’s a subscription for content that you can quickly look up on the internet, then unsubscribe from it. Similarly, if you constantly find yourself deleting emails from a given subscription, it might be time to unsubscribe.
Hire A Virtual Business Manager
Time is money, and as your mailing list grows, it might get harder to keep track of everything without compromising your time. Hiring a virtual business manager to take responsibility for your emails will enable you to focus on your business. A virtual business manager can
- optimise your account,
- set automatic responses,
- create filters for different emails,
- sort your emails into different categories and
- prioritize your emails so that you only need to read and respond to what’s relevant.
To find out more, book a no-obligation consultation today.