We just had a 4-day holiday weekend and I have to ask… do you hate your email inbox right now? In the midst of all of the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, go-buy-this-thing emails you are probably wading through hundreds, if not thousands, of messages.
So how do you know what’s important? How do you keep from the sensation of drowning when you open up your inbox?
There was a time when I had, at best, a complicated relationship with my inbox. Working for online businesses, email is a lifeline and source of income but it’s also a pain! I used to read emails on my phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. After getting sucked into the chaos of my inbox and wishing I could change things, I made some drastic changes for the better.
I found out that there were 3 primary problems with email.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only problems with email and yours may be completely different. But these are the ones my clients talk about all the time.
Problem #1 There’s too much junk email and it often gets in the way of the real stuff.
Ever hear from someone “I emailed it to you” and thought “oh crap…. which page of the inbox is that on?” The problem is that you probably have many, many emails which you don’t care about at all and they get in the way of the important ones.
When I realized that problem I began to clean things up and created simple guidelines for what I kept, what to get rid of, and how to update my subscriptions every few months. And then I wrote it out to teach my clients how to do the same.
Problem #2 Everything gets thrown into one box and it’s a mess.
Your fridge has drawers and shelves, there’s a reason we use dressers instead of throwing clothes into a big box, and we should approach our email in the same way. If everything goes into your inbox without labeling or sorting then it’s hard to see anything except the most recent emails.
Instead of trying to dive into a box full of random emails we simplify and organize email with labels. I share the tactics which help me respond quickly to clients and media requests – and read the PayPal sales emails later. Or never.
Problem #3 I read the email, I want to reply but I have no idea what to say.
This is the worst! Whether it’s a client you don’t want to work with or a media interview you’d love to say yes to, often we’re stuck with “how do I say that?!” and end up letting days or weeks go by without responding. And there’s not even a bunch of junk emails in the way to hide the fact we haven’t responded.
By using tools in the email platform I was able to prepare answers to the most commonly asked questions, to say ‘yes’ to the requests I wanted to get and to drastically improve the response time for emails. The best part is that no one does this Contact.FirstName! Everyone is too busy and distracted and overwhelmed. So even if you improve your own email system by 5-10% you’re going to be above the crowd!
Instead of describing more of the system for email, I’m just going to give it to you! It’s our popular Conquering Email Chaos program which has helped entrepreneurs from around the world manage their email better.