Like your calendar, email is one of those work related things that most entrepreneurs assume they just have to deal with and can’t be outsourced. Focusing on the things that directly bring income into your business and being able to clone yourself in even those tasks will enable your business to grow faster.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs you get buried in email every day and when you’re busy it gets even more overwhelming. Open up to the idea of outsourcing even if it doesn’t feel like you have too much email yet. To understand who should manage your email I like to break messages down in 3 categories.
Category 1 : Reference or Educational Emails
I don’t know about you but I receive a ton of newsletters and notifications from other entrepreneurs I follow. I enjoy seeing how others market and what they’re launching but these emails aren’t necessarily urgent.
These are emails that do not outsource; instead I filter them into folders so I can read them at my convenience. Instead of outsourcing the reading of these emails first unsubscribe from all the ones you don’t ever read.
Category 2 : Income Generating Emails
This category has emails from leads about your services, colleagues who want to partner with you, and customer service requests. Customer service is income generating because, when done correctly, you can upsell to new programs, avoid refunds or returns, and build loyalty.
These are emails which can be outsourced to the right person, especially once you’ve created the system that you can teach to others and when you have a process to monitor their activity.
It’s especially important to begin building these email systems because if you would like to make a bigger impact by serving more people, then you must expect to handle more sales and service questions.
I know, it’s easier to think that if you just write clear copy and some good FAQs then you won’t have many emails to answer. But the opposite is usually true because as you reach people who don’t know the way you operate, you’ll want to serve and educate them on how your business runs and how they can work with you.
Category 3 : Business Admin Emails
Administrative emails deal with things that happen to run your business like invoices to pay, reports that need to be read, questions from your team, and requests regarding your business. This is another category that can be outsourced over time.
You might begin by sending invoices and payment requests to a bookkeeper. As your business grows and you trust the team, you build more then you can outsource projects to others. Consider if you had a business manager, he or she could answer questions from your other team members. Same with reports, your team may be able to handle those for you with training and a system.
How would your day be different if you were able to outsource over 50% of your emails? And not ignoring emails, but if they were well and truly answered by your team.
Beginning to outsource emails is as simple as looking at these categories and deciding who on your team can answer some of the emails that you have currently and then considering each week if the time you’re spending answering email is something that you personally need to do.