Inbox Issues: Fixing & Improving Email Communications

4 Minute Read

Three hundred billion. 300 billion. 300,000,000,000.

That’s not the number of stars in the sky or grains of sand at the beach—that’s (roughly) the number of emails that are sent every single day, according to the latest market reports available (Statista). Whether that number sounds too high or too low might say a lot about how many emails you send and receive!

With so many digital communications flying around at any one time from so many inboxes, most people fall somewhere in between complete newbie and utter professional. But email, like any other discipline, can be practiced, improved, and even mastered with the right information, proper tools, and some old-fashioned elbow grease—we won’t tell anyone if you use an ergonomic keyboard. If you struggle with email, or if you want to see if you can teach yourself some new tricks, we’ve created a short guide, just for you.

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Inbox Issues: Fixing & Improving Email Communications

Blog 2022 / 79

*This short guide will contain tips that might be implemented differently between the large email clients (GMail, Outlook, Apple Mail, etc). Regardless of which you use, all of them should have some functionality similar to those described below.

Organization

Do you ever get to “0”? You know what I mean. Does your email inbox ever reach “0” and stay there? Don’t worry, mine doesn’t either. And that’s ok! The goal shouldn’t be to clean out your inbox but to make it work for you. Without an organized inbox and a strategy, you’re going to have a hard time making either happen.

Want to clean up the clutter? Need to find a better way of answering your waiting emails before the next ones start to pour in? We have a few ideas that can help you get back on track and beyond:

  • Install & Use Plugins – Out of any that might be specific to a client, this is the one. Boomerang is our favorite GMail extension—pause emails, send them back to yourself at a more convenient time, and set detailed scheduled email follow ups.
  • Create Folders & Labels – Every client will help you create organized buckets to place your emails in. How? That’s the fun part—you can sort them based on priority, client type, department…the possibilities are endless!
  • Read / Answer In The Right Order – Don’t start from the top! Always scan for any fires/urgent situations, but after that, go straight to the back of the line and work your way forward. The people who emailed you first expect a response earlier than those who just rang the bell and you’ll prevent yourself from missing anything important.

Meetings & Calendars

No matter the client you use, a calendar has always been an essential tool for getting work done on time. But now, with remote work and Zoom meetings stubbornly becoming the norm instead of the exception, it’s more than essential—it’s essential, While we’ll be revisiting the importance of a well-kept personal calendar in a later blog, let’s focus on just how difficult it can be to coordinate meetings and calls with others over email. Sure, some are easy, “Send over the time, I’m available all day on Monday.” But others require a finer touch and sometimes, a chain of back-and-forths. We all want easy, right?

Our recommendations for making this easier include:

  • Book With Your Email Signature – You have a powerful tool in every single email you sell and you don’t even know it! Put a link to your Calendly (or another email scheduling service) in your email signature. Clients and partners can still book with you via normal email, this just cuts out the middle person for more observant recipients.
  • Offer Availability – This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give multiple options, but it’s ok to offer your availability first! If those days/times don’t work for your recipient, they’ll offer an alternative and it will get sorted out in the end anyway, with a few extra steps. Try to eliminate as many back-and-forths as possible by setting yourself up for a “yes” instead of a proposed time that you or your team can’t accomodate.
  • Doublecheck Zoom / Video – Even though we’ve all been on too many Zoom calls to count, it’s worth doublechecking your personal settings to make sure that all of the proper settings (waiting rooms, recording, host access, etc.) have been set correctly before you attach that link.

Writing

This section is going to be a controversy unto itself (especially among copywriters like myself.) Remember the (3) rules of email:

1. Everyone writes emails differently.

2. Everyone has varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to digital communication.

3. Everyone hates writing emails, especially the very peculiar people like me who still somehow like writing them.

Even so, there are a few suggestions that I can give that can help anyone create more readable and engaging emails with efficiency:

  • Use Rich Text Formatting (RTF) – Be BOLDtake chances, and definitely, definitely, always use emphasis. It makes your email more interesting and brings life to something that might be flat / boring to read otherwise.
  • Organize Long-Form Emails – If you need to list out a few items, use bullet points. Separate your paragraphs when you switch topics. Remember those basic rules of formatting to increase the chances that your recipient will read all of the information. It might take a few extra seconds but you’ll also read it quicker when you proofread.
  • Write Descriptive Subject Lines – The one thing you can do that everyone you email will thank you for is to write more descriptive (and unique) subject lines. Not only do they stick out more in quick inbox searches, they also serve as flags for urgent or pressing communications.

Content

Ok, so now you feel a bit more comfortable in your inbox…but what do you send?

E-books, lead generators, interactive PDFs, presentations, one-sheets, style guides—send it all with a carefully-crafted subject line and a strong call to action for a winning combination. But, ask yourself these questions first:

  • ‘Are those assets already designed/developed?’
  • ‘Are they updated with all of our new messaging, prices, and visuals? Do we like our messaging and visuals?’
  • ‘Did they even work the last time we used them?’

These are all problems that our team can help you figure out and more importantly, solve! Schedule a call with us to discuss your email needs and let us help your team create engaging digital content that converts into sales.

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