Email is a vital business communication tool. It’s less intrusive than a phone call while also convenient and fast. It empowers entrepreneurs to manage their businesses dealings on the fly from just about anywhere.
With it, businesses can communicate with customers, check in with employees, or set up meetings from the office or on the go. However, the wrong email provider and usage can hinder productivity. Around one-quarter of a worker’s day, on average, is spent on emails, and it’s truly one of the most time-consuming activities for employees.
Business leaders, managers, and CEOs often get hundreds of emails daily. Getting to every message isn’t practical and can drain time and energy. Big businesses often use Microsoft Exchange plans to enable multiple mailboxes and get advanced features unavailable in other mailing services.
Here are a couple of tried-and-tested strategies that will make email management easier.
Plan time to sort emails
It’s not recommended to leave your email program open for the entire day. Alerts from incoming emails can disrupt your workflow and leave you unfocused. Try scheduling specific blocks of time to check your email. You can mark your calendar and add a “busy” status when checking emails.
Here are two email reply templates used by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Work Week:
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12:00 pm or 4:00 pm, please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555.”
“Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to email twice daily at 12:00 pm ET [or your time zone] and 4:00 pm ET.
The required time for reviewing emails and replying will depend on how frequently you check messages and how many you receive. Some entrepreneurs found it practical to dedicate 10 minutes every hour to email. Others prefer to check email around two or three times daily.
Get to it immediately
Applying rapid decisions and pursuing instant actions on emails can also help keep your mailbox under control. The idea is not to delay what can be accomplished right away. When checking your messages, browse for items that can be immediately resolved. Next is, select messages that don’t need a response and either delete or archive them. After paring down the number of items in your inbox, it will be easier to evaluate the most critical ones.
Avoid letting important emails sit in your inbox for days. If you can’t respond immediately, give feedback to the sender that you received the message and will reply as soon as possible, then set a deadline and follow up.
Organize using labels, folders, and categories
While most emails can be resolved or deleted, it’s preferable to retain messages linked to different aspects of your business. Many email programs have a feature to let users mark messages with labels or categories.
Prioritize, group, sort, and file messages to organize your inbox. The better you are at filing, the easier it will be to find emails when you require them. Develop parent categories for general subjects for clients, projects, and finances.
Next, use subcategories for email filing related to specific projects or clients. Before filing a message, make sure that the subject line is search-friendly. Edit the subject line if it doesn’t accurately describe the content of the email, then proceed to categorize and archive.
If your mailbox problem goes deeper than what basic management practices can fix, or if you need advanced features that top businesses use to manage their inbox efficiently, consider email exchange via the Microsoft email platform. This business and professional level program includes custom mailboxes, migration services, cloud network, delete & recovery, etc. Learn more about Microsoft exchange by checking a web hosting provider’s website.