Welcome to Episode 150. I guess it’s another milestone for Marketing for Owners podcast. My name is Jon Butt and I am your host as always.
Emails are the bane of allies for a lot of people but there are ways to stop it. So this is your weekend challenge.
It’s a Friday yes, and we do one every Friday and today is no different, so I want you to grab a piece of paper and apen. Do not type this on something electronic.
Write it down, it works better with your brain. Now this is going to be a long list and I am going to read from a little couple of notes so sorry if my eyes divert away.
1. Choose a Time: So first of all, select regular times of the day to answer emails. In the older days people use to write letters or they would phone you. Now if you write a letter they’d have to wait for a reply.
They knew it was going to take a while. If they phoned you, you’re either there or you are not in. If you were not in you may have had a voicemail or an answering machine.
They know you’re not there, you’ll get back to them later. It is the same with emails. It’s too easy to reply straight away. Get people used to it. So select a time and it does not have to be the start. Get work done. Say something like 10:00 o’clock, 11:00 o’clock and then just dedicate an amount of time, 15 minutes something like that. Do not get distracted.
2. Use Gmail: Do not use normal what you call web-mail with your host, Hotmail or Live or whatever it’s called now. Just use Gmail or Google apps same thing but that’s the more for bigger businesses.
We use both. Consolidate all your email addresses into that one place. Bring them all in so you deal with it from one Gmail account. Now we’ve talked about this before.
It is very, very, very easy to bring them all in and answer from one Gmail account as every email address that comes in. Gmail does that it’s called POP3 forwarding and something like that, don’t ask me. But it does it and it tells you how to do it. I think we might even have an instruction somewhere. No excuse.
3: Unsubscribe! Unsubscribe from all the garbage that you keep looking at and thinking uh and then deleting. Just unsubscribe from it. You don’t need to know it. If you need to know you can Google it and you’ll find the information that they send you. It’s not a secret. When they send it to their 10,000, 50,000 emails subscribers, it’s not secret information. Okay? Use an app called unroll.me, very clever.
4. Filter your emails: Next thing, filter things into folders to keep your inbox clean. If there’s something that you want, that you need say, invoices that come into your accounts address filter them direct into the accounts, one. You don’t need to be reading those do you? Just filter stuff.
If you’ve got newsletters you actually want to keep, filter them into a newsletter thing, a newsletter folder, avoid the inbox and then read them when you want to read them, which is probably never. Then if you can’t answer immediately, can’t deal with it and answer, don’t leave it there and say I’ll do that later.
Boomerang it use an app called Boomerang, again free and it comes back to you. Set it to send it again tomorrow, the next day, two days’ time, a week’s time. Only deal with stuff, only get things done. If you can’t get them done, delete them or archive them okay? Keep that inbox clean.
5: Auto Replies: Use an auto reply to explain to people that, “thank you received your message. I answer emails between time and time on these days. If it’s outside of that and very urgent please telephone us.” Don’t give them the phone number. If it’s urgent and they need to ring you they’ll have the phone number. This explains, do it politely, don’t do it rude or curtly. Just do it very politely. Quite a lot of people do this, sets expectations as they are. They can always phone you.
6. Short Answers are a NO! Don’t reply with inane short answers saying “thanks”, “great”, “LOL”. Don’t use waste of time email thread extending answers. Know those once where people have… They’ve given you, giving the answer and someone says, says “thanks” and then you say “no problem” and then they go “LOL”.
What a waste of time. You’re wasting each others time. Send your answer, done.
7. Manage projects elsewhere: Use Evernote or Trello or Wrike. Don’t manage them from within your email inboxes, that’s not what it’s for. These things have free Evernote and Trello free. Wrike has a free trial. Don’t know if it’s got free level. Mine have a free level, but it’s certainly got a free trial.
8. Use a CRM: Use a CRM, Customer Relationship Management software such as Insightly, for managing and keeping in touch with clients and managing the way you deal with them. Again, don’t do it in your email.
9. Separate personal and work: Then finally, separate your personal and your work emails and do not answer personal emails during your working day. If you work for somebody and, and, sorry, if you have an employee and they were getting phone calls from their friends in the day and answering them sitting at the desk, how would you feel? Yes.
That’s the same for you. Obviously no one’s going to tell you the different. Why should you be any different? Why are you dealing with personal stuff? Remember I said, before emails, before mobile phones, before all that stuff we used to use telephones and letters. People contacted you in the evening when you’re home.
They couldn’t contact you in the day and the world survived and the world got to where it is now without any trouble. This is your weekend challenge to clean up your email. Deal with it, make it a habit. This won’t happen overnight.
Make it a habit and then that’s one thing off your plate. You don’t have to complain about anymore and you can get things done. Tada. Anyway have a super weekend. It’s going to be lovely and sunny in Canada. I don’t know what it’s going to be like where you are but I hope it’s the same. I will see you next week.
How often does your email stop you from working?