Regardless of the size of your venture – from a part-time home business to a shop or a boutique – email communications are really at the beating heart of the business. They connect people with suppliers and customers, and just as importantly – with potential new customers.
Given the importance of email, is enough time devoted to developing and fine-tuning this valuable asset? The beauty (and simplicity) of this exercise is that it can be conducted at a relatively low cost!
1. Email management and presentation
In a world where over 300 billion email messages are sent and received every single day, one of the most important takeaways is that an email message, as well as providing a means of communicating with another party, is really an opportunity to make a business stand out.
Convenient email signature management software is available from rocketseed.com to support business.
Good impressions are so important, and a business’s outgoing emails can convey a sense of what the business is really about – its character and nature – in the overall appearance and presentation of its emails.
2. Control your inbox
The email inbox can be considered as the digital version of the real world In-Tray. Items shouldn’t remain in the inbox folder long term – it should be thought of as the entry point into your system to permit further action.
The more emails that pile up in the inbox, the more likely it is that important emails will get missed or not acted upon in good time. So:
- Respond to important emails and then immediately file those emails in a sub-folder once a reply is sent. Sub-folders could be titled under customer or supplier names or under the name of a certain project or service.
- Flag messages which cannot be responded to immediately so that they can be dealt with when possible and then removed from the inbox.
- Set up a ‘Pending’ folder, if necessary, to store emails that may require further action before a response can be made. Flag these messages and/or be sure to routinely check the folder and removed emails to a permanent folder once actioned!
3. Set aside a regular time to tidy email folders
Even the most loving gardener needs to tend their garden with regular maintenance, and the business email system is no different, especially if the company’s email flow is heavy or tends to be left unattended while other tasks are taken care of.
Make a point of setting aside a few minutes in a quiet time and “prune back” stored emails. Ask a few questions each time:
- Can any emails be archived or deleted completely?
- Do additional folders need to be created for new customers, new suppliers, or new products?
- Can certain email folders be merged or reordered as sub-folders? (Putting all your business overheads folders like power, water, gas, and council rates under a new main folder entitled ‘Utilities’, for example).
4. Save time by setting up templates
If the business is one where a ‘standard response’ email is sent routinely, set up a template with pre-formatted text and store it in the ‘Drafts’ folder (or set up your own ‘Templates’ folder).
When required, the draft template can then be further personalized with details of the respondent’s name before sending. A standardized, well-worded email is professional and time-saving.
5. Unsubscribe and delete unwanted emails and spam
Many people fall into the trap of subscribing to newsletters and interest groups, then leaving a flood of received emails in their inboxes, with the mindset: “I’ll get around to reading that in a while.”
Recognize the trap and spend a few seconds finding the “Unsubscribe” link, and delete the email. Remember that all those accumulated unread emails could potentially be hiding the important customer emails from view!
Similarly, delete unwanted one-off emails and spam. An email management software program can further assist with spam filters.
Train your dragon!
Good habits cost nothing. Follow the tips and start training your email dragon like a professional!