E-Mail Overload

Email Overload
E-mail Overload

E-Mail overload is why many in the business community are resisting Social Media….True or False?

Well, I can start with my own email box and tell you that I receive on average about 200 emails per day.  I can also tell you that about 75% of them border on spam because most are advertisements or newsletters that I do not have time to read.  In some industries, there are businesses that want to develop an awareness of a particularly new product or special pricing.  Problem is they are duplicating their efforts and this information can be gathered through other programs.  Perhaps they were told by an email marketing expert that this was a valuable tool, but when you have thousands of other businesses doing the same thing, everyone suffers.

The key email time guzzler is in-house email.  There seems to be a “cover yourself” philosophy adopted by many  in that when some are sending an email, they just copy whoever they feel may, potentially, possibly, hopefully be important to copy.  AND THEN there are the “Reply to All” people.

So I am going to take a stab here to give some tips on ways we all can free up our email box which in turn should reap many extra minutes of every day.  Let’s tackle in-house first.

  1. Develop a formal in-house policy for email lists; i.e. who can email to whom.  If you are emailing your immediate Supervisor, it could be up to the immediate Supervisor who may need to get a copy of that email.

  2. No “Reply to All” is allowed in-house.

  3. If you ask to be taken off an email list, get a formal reply back that it will be done.

  4. No streaming emails .

  5. No “got it”, “yes”, “Thanks”, one word emails.  We know you got it and we know you are thankful.

  6. Policy must be strictly enforced.

  7. Emails that require ACTION should state that upfront.

  8. Follow up to whether you received an email should not be done for 24 hours.  No explanation points please!!!!!!!!

  9. Remembering that your email is most likely being viewed on a mobile phone…try to be as brief as possible.  If that is not possible because of content, send a brief email first about subject and then advise the recipient to expect a content driven email.  This allows the recipient to get quick info and then it prepares them for the more indepth email.

  10. If you have any options at all, get off email lists that you are not interested in receiving.

We all have our email address on our business cards, on our websites, just about everywhere we can think of.  Here are some tips to control emails coming from the outside community.

  1. When attending an event or meeting, we give out our business card so that potential clients will have our contact info.  This in itself will generate emails.  Take the time to really digest who contacts you by email.  Is it someone you wish to do business with, have lunch, etc.  If not at the present time or near future, do not respond to it yourself but forward it to a receptionist, intern, temp to respond for you with a standard reply.  Your staff person should then establish a follow up system to ask you at some future date, if you wish to contact this person again.

  2. If you start to get newsletters from acquaintenances that you have met at meetings and they are not of interest to you, you are more than likely given the opporutnity to “unsubscribe”.

  3. Remember the same courtesies apply to you when sending emails.  If you are exchanging a lot of emails with a particular person, make them aware of your preferences.

  4. Communicate what is important for you to know and what isn’t.

  5. Make a phone call when the emails go back and forth more than 3 times.  This will be a time-saver and it is more courteous.

There is so much to be gained here and if you are bogged down with emails you are going to be extremely resistent to growth, change, and (you had to know it was coming) Social Media.  Don’t get left behind and more importantly, missing opportunities that are available to you for FREE that will lead you to further successes.  Emails have a place in our businesses but that are not to consume us.

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About Diane Meyer
Diane has more than 20 years in the corporate environment as Marketing Manager, Marketing Training Director, Advertising Manager and PR Manager for such companies as Celanese Corporation, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and The Money Store. More recently she served as Executive Director of Community Health Campaign overseeing all the marketing efforts for 13 health agencies.

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