It’s Monday morning and after having watched the emails come in from your smart phone all weekend long, you finally sit down at a computer and log into your email system to see a couple of hundred emails sitting in your inbox. Do you read them? Ignore them? Delete them?
First of all, take a moment and see if there are any emails in your inbox that you always delete without opening or reading. Then take the time to scroll to the bottom of each of those emails and click on “unsubscribe.” This will save you the hassle of deleting these emails daily, weekly or whenever you always delete them upon arrival. Although this exercise may take an hour or two to complete (depending how many newsletters you are unwittingly subscribed to), the end result will be a less cluttered inbox.
Secondly, create a BF (or bring forward) folder where you can place emails that need tending to, but can wait until the more urgent emails have been handled first. Set a time each day to check through this folder and complete as necessary.
Thirdly, create an email triage system in which you respond to the most urgent emails first, followed by those that can wait a little while and then followed by the emails that need to be answered that day, but can wait a few hours. Anything else can be placed in the BF folder, but be sure not to forget about them and make sure to respond to let them know you have received their email. Always review your inbox at the end of the day to make sure you have not missed any emails.
Lastly, RESPOND! There is nothing worse than having a fan, client, or blog reader waiting for a response they never get. ALWAYS respond to someone who has taken the time to email you. Even if it is a brief, “Thanks for emailing – I appreciate your email.” Just respond. I was recently disappointed by a blogger who I thought I had a good professional relationship with. I had taken the time to email that person and three months later I am still waiting for a response, which I suspect I will never receive. I realize that person is busy, but aren’t we all? By neglecting to respond (and yes, I know the message was received), I was left to feel that I was not worthy of their time and no one likes to feel this way.
Proper email management and etiquette is an extension of good customer service. Having a well-organized inbox and having a daily email plan will not only make your day-to-day operations run smoother, it will also ensure your clients, fans or blog readers have not been left disappointed.