Being an entrepreneur has its boring parts, and for a lot of people, managing email ranks high on the boring- task list. However, just because it’s boring doesn’t mean it’s not important. Fortunately there are ways of managing your email that will make the task easier to handle and take up less of your time.
Improve Your Subject Lines
You’re going to send a lot of emails as an entrepreneur. Some of them you’ll send to investors and partners, others you’ll send to potential customers as part of your marketing campaign. One good way of improving the readability of your emails is to simply improve your subject lines.
Add a verb to your subject line to give the recipient a better idea of what is needed from them. Words like “review” and “confirm” will garner a response from the reader and can help make sure that your email’s content stays on point. You should also make sure that those subject lines have important keywords to make them easier to find via a search tool.
Use Canned Responses
Replying to each email may give your messages a personal touch, but that personal touch is often unnecessary. Write out email templates to use as replies for frequently asked questions or frequently made requests.
Answer the Five Important Questions
When you send out an email, that email needs to answer the five important questions. First, you need to let the recipient know who you are. They must also learn what you want, why you’re asking them specifically, why they should help or participate, and what happens afterwards. These questions can be answered in five sentences, perhaps even less. Keeping your emails short will help you stay focused.
Stay on One Topic
Each email you send should only revolve around one topic. People tend to answer more quickly to emails that have a singular question or request. If you put in too many details or talk about too many topics, the recipient may decide to shelve their reply until they have more time, resulting in a delayed response.
BCC Your Email
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to follow up on a number of your emails, whether they’re to potential customers or potential partners. Put yourself on the BCC list for every email that you expect to follow-up on. Move those emails to a separate folder so you can find those important conversations without having to sift through your inbox.
Set a Time Specifically for Email
One of the biggest reasons email eats up your time is that it’s always readily accessible. Hours of your day can be spent simply refreshing your email, waiting for an important response. Prevent this by designating a specific time to check your email. Once in the morning, once in the middle of the day, and another just before clocking out should suit your needs. Be sure to limit the amount of time you spend during each designated time slot.
Consider Not Using Email
There are times when the best way to use your email is to not use it at all. As an entrepreneur, part of your skillset includes knowing which tool is best for the job. If you think the email discussion will result in more than two emails, send a text, use an instant messaging service, or give them a call. You should also use these alternate communication methods if you need a quick response.
Reply Only to Important and Clear Emails
Not every email merits a response. If the email is important or requires your response, then you should spend the time to send a reply. If you’re not sure what they want you do to, a reply may also be unnecessary. Important emails would have been worded carefully and if they didn’t take the time to clarify what they needed, they probably don’t deserve your time. Naturally, there are exceptions — should the email be from an important partner or customer, take the time to reply and ask them to clarify what they want.
Emails are important to you a s an entrepreneur.They can also be boring and can take up a lot of your time. Fortunately, there are ways to make your email more efficient. Designate specific times in the day to check your email and stick to that schedule. BCC yourself to keep an eye on things that may require a follow-up. Make full use of templates whenever possible. You don’t need all of these tips — even a few can make your emails easier to handle.