Remember the first time you sent an email? At first email was fun, new, exciting.
“I’ll EMAIL it to you”, we said to one another, wanting to be efficient and up to the moment. We understood technology. We got it. We had email.
It was fast, free and let us stay in touch with friends and family across the globe.
Fast forward to today and you find a completely different picture. Today many of us are drowning in email. We get more and more spam (not the fine Hormel product) every day. We see super-cool sites we want to know more about so we sign up to get the freebie and then the emails start.
Our inboxes are jammed with forwards from “friends” with jokes and unwanted solicitations to buy all manner of stuff — all mixed in with the email we DO want!
This has created a situation where it’s not uncommon to get hundreds of emails a day. Some of them important and some saying things like need a case study done for you? We lose time. We lose focus. We become overwhelmed with the volume and soon can’t separate the good stuff from the pitches.
Happily, there is an easy solution. One I’ve done and it set me free! I call it “taming the email monster”. If you want more time and less stress then this is for you!
You really can tame the monster that lives in your computer by using the five tried and true methods below.
When you take control of your email, you will find that you may free up AT LEAST an hour a day.
Some people have found that they save more time than that! Use that time to focus on the goals you’ve been setting, and soon you will find the time you need to grow your business. What could you do with an extra one or two hours a day?
Use the suggestions below and you just may find out!
Create A “Marketing” Email Addresses
Why have everything come into one inbox and have to sort it by hand?
The key to saving time is SORTING your email so you can quickly look at the important stuff. But that’s almost impossible when messages from online marketers are mixed in with messages from friends and family.
Here is my #1 recommendation.
Create a separate address for the marketing material you receive. In other words, create a business email address. When you sign up for a free email series, use the business address. When you contact friends and family, order products online or need to have individual communication use your personal address.
Now here’s the power move — only check the business address once a day or twice a week. Sort the mail you receive there by sender and like magic you will see all the messages from each marketer. This way you can see what you missed and quickly decide if something is worth reading.
HOT TIP: Tired of receiving countless pitches for the latest and greatest launch? Handling your email as described above will help you avoid reading the same message sent by 50 different marketers. You will instantly see the duplicates and be able to avoid them. Time saved!
If you are on a bunch of lists now and want to stay on them but save time just use the link at the bottom of the emails to change your address. All ethical email marketers include such a link in every email they send.
Batch Email Tasks Together
Tip two is a huge time saver but a radical idea for many people. Ready to be brave? Then check your email once a day!
Yes … once a day!
By batching email in this way you will accomplish two worthwhile goals:
- You will have focused on your important tasks before checking email.
- You will spend less time with email when you are committed to a once a day schedule.
If you try this you will find that no one gets hurt and you will feel in control of your email life again instead of the other way around.
HOT TIP: Never check email first thing in the morning. Use your morning to focus on your top priority and then check your email when you are done. This one tip alone will help you get more done.
Make Friends With Filters
Every good email program (Outlook, Gmail, Apple Mail) has the ability to FILTER email into various folders. In most cases, the help menus in these programs will actually help you get this done quickly.
Filtering works like this. When an email comes in from a particular email address or with a particular subject line, the email doesn’t go into your inbox, but rather to its own folder. This way, you can see at a glance if an email has come in from an important client, or perhaps a request for pricing.
The key here is to avoid scanning a large group of emails that will distract your attention, and be able to go quickly to those messages that matter most.
Imagine if when your email came in you could tell in 10 seconds which ones were important and which could wait. Would you save time this way? You will!
Technology To The Rescue!
So far we have dealt with sorting and reading email, which are the top time consumers. But what about when you need to reply to the email you receive?
If you find yourself sending the same reply repeatedly then I have good news for you. There are small programs you can use that will allow you to paste in any response you want with only a few clicks.
If you are on Windows then check out ShortKeys. If you are on a Mac then check out Text Expander.
I’m sure there are others but these are the two I have used. They both work the same way. You type in your response once and then assign a short series of keystrokes you would not normally use, like ..45ty. Now anytime you type that series of keystrokes your full response is instantly pasted into your email reply.
I have replies in Text Expander that are literally 600 words long. I can type them into an email with 4 keystrokes. I use this for all my Frequently Asked Questions. While I could send them to my support center I feel it’s more personal to answer their question now and then suggest visiting support if they need more. This has worked well for 10 years now.
If you try it I believe you will love the time savings!
Email is here to stay – no question there. Email marketing is the most powerful and targeted form of marketing online.
And email is just convenient and fun when it doesn’t take over your life.
But it is horrible when you become chained to your computer, fearing if you don’t check your email you’ll miss something.
Take control of your email today, and get back the time you need to meet your goals and run your business.
Because being in control is a beautiful thing indeed!