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Need Help With Your Email?

Email tactics that work for me.

Email is one of the most important and least important distractions. It is a sinkhole that can consume your day, distract you, and also make you money.

For most business owners, email is where leads and client inquiries come from. The other 70-80% of emails are ones you’re either copied on, newsletters you subscribe to, or they’re spam.

For years, I have tried multiple ways to sort my email efficiently. I’ve had all the “folders” set up to keep myself organized, and I’ve hired an assistant to help me manage my inbox. Yet, time and time again, the email vortex sucks me back in.

I’d like to offer a few suggestions to help you better manage your email based on what I have tried and what works really well for me.

Ditch your folders. You don’t need them anymore. Search has become so effective on most mail platforms that with a name and a keyword, you should be able to retrieve what you’re looking for with ease.

Have one folder called completed. All email comes into your inbox, and when it does, do one of three things to it:

1. Delete, and if it’s spam, block or unsubscribe first.

2. Respond if it is something you need to respond to.

3. Archive by placing the email in a completed folder once you’re done with it.

This method allows you to keep only the emails you need in your inbox, and everything else is in completed.

Two other nifty tools that help me include snoozing and scheduling.

Scheduling: As a business owner, you don’t always work conventional hours. There’s nothing worse than finally getting through your inbox only to find you now have 15 new emails to reply to because people are responding to you! Use the scheduling tool to send emails out either the next morning or midway through the next day. This ensures you 1) don’t bother your team outside of business hours and 2) don’t end up in the never-ending cycle of people replying to you.

Snoozing: Sometimes, some emails require you to spend more time responding to them. There may be documents to review, and you need to set time aside in your calendar to do the work in order to respond. Set a time in your calendar to manage these emails all at once. Batching is always better, and then snooze them to come back to your inbox at that date and time.

Snoozing is also a great way to give your team time to respond to client requests. Our rule of thumb is to do our best to respond to every client’s email within 24 hours, and often, I am copied.

I have such a high sense of urgency that I want to respond immediately. I know this undermines my team and doesn’t make them feel good, so I will snooze the email for 24 hours. This gives them time to do what needs to be done while also ensuring that I remember this as a priority. It’s a great way to provide space and ensure you’re still on top of a request.

Finally, if you can, set a time in your calendar each day to manage email. I have a daily window to do this, and I have to be honest: I have a couple of extra folders because I have an executive assistant who helps manage my inbox.

The first folder is labeled with my name. Every email in that folder is mine to respond to.

The second folder is labeled review. The emails in this folder are ones my assistant wants me to review and give her direction on how to handle them so that, in the future, she knows how.

People often tell me that they wish they had a “Michelle” (my assistant), and I tell them that the Michelle I have today isn’t the Michelle I hired. We are both committed to growth, and we have both grown. We spend a lot of time figuring out the best ways to manage our time effectively.

One of the things I love the most about Michelle is she embraces change. When I come to her with a new idea I want to implement, she is always willing and never resistant.

If you’d like to know some of the strategies you could put in place to have an assistant you can rely on fully, hit reply. I’m happy to write about what we’ve done that allows us to work really well together.

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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