Email is still the most personal and effective way to interact with people online.
While everyone else is going nuts over social media, marketers and business people who’ve seen the statistics, know that email is still the most important transactional medium.
10 ways to make your email more effective
So here are some things I do to make my email experience more fun and effective for my business and personal life online.
1. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t need
This is especially relevant if you use an email client like Mac Mail or Outlook Express to centralize all your email accounts. Every account is summed into one giant inbox which means more emails to deal with.
When you receive an email newsletter that’s irrelevant just scroll to the bottom and look for the unsubscribe link.
2. Create folders or rules for incoming emails
Most mail clients can label emails or even move them into folders based on pre-arranged rules. This is a great way to free up your inbox with emails and highlight ones that need to be responded to straight away. The key here is to put priority on important communication and push other things into the background.
3. Stop using Hotmail
I know Hotmail has improved its service over the last 10 years but it’s still down frequently, and is especially vulnerable when used with Facebook and expired accounts. Gmail has much better uptime, spam filtering and gets you access to a lot of other essential webmastering tools, not to mention Google Analytics.
4. Respond to support emails fast
If you run an online business or blog, and invite people to email you, don’t do it half-heartedly. I follow one simple rule for when I check my emails.
If you check your emails be prepared to reply.
Don’t launch your client or browser emails until you have time to reply to communications. This prevents the ‘later’ syndrome.
5. Flag important emails
If you do need to wait to reply to an email, flagging it means it stands out for your attention. In Mac Mail I just open the email in a separate window and even if I close down the app it will open again, reminding me to reply.
6. Use an email signature
This is information that sit under all email communication you send out or reply to. It’s a great place to add contact information, testimonials to boost credibility and even offers and newsletter invitations.
7. Use BCC when replying to groups
Replying to a group email using CC (Carbon Copy) means all the recipients can see everyone’s addresses putting you in their bad books instantly. Blind Carbon Copy hides the other emails from showing up in the persons inbox.
8. Check junk mail
If you’re using your email client to filter junk mail, some will occasionally get lost in there. Check in every now and again to see how the system is working.
9. Use Gmail
I use Gmail exclusively for both standard and domain name accounts. Their awesome spam filtering means I don’t have to waste time getting rid of them in my email client, freeing me up to reply to, or read relevant communication.
On top of that you’ll need one to access all their free web services anyway.
10. Use more than one account
If you do sign up for a lot of social media networks, forums and newsletters it’s useful to have one for that purpose. This frees up your personal account for friends, business and blogs you may have.
When I do a website project for a client I always create a Gmail account for all administration purposes. This puts all the hosting, domains, WordPress and other related accounts in one place, making it easier to stay in control.
Make sure to check this account often!
You don’t want to miss the renewal dates for your hosting or domains.
This might seem more complex but if you’re managing a digital life, it’s actually simpler in the long run.
Manage Your Passwords
This isn’t exclusively an email issue but it’s certainly one many people have trouble with.
Which of these strategies do you need to implement now?
Let us know if you think I’ve missed anything in the comments!