Justin Meadows shares some tips on keeping your inbox empty and also shows how you can be using your website to save time answering the same questions from each customer.
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For more info on keeping a clear inbox, look out for InboxRelief.com A great resource that is about to be release by James Schramko, who is quite an expert when it comes to systems and keeping a clean inbox.
Hi, this is Justin Meadows with another website strategy news update. This update covers managing your inbox and how you can save hours of your day by just cutting out those unnecessary emails, why you should be using Gmail which is a fantastic email service for most businesses. It also covers how you can use your website to eliminate some of those questions that you face on a daily basis that take much of your time every week.
It is important to clear your inbox
You have to learn to manage your inbox. You get tons of emails every day. Some are important that you have to read them and act on them immediately especially when it concerns your business. There are other emails that you can forgo reading but need them just as well for reference in the future.
Using a filter on these emails can be effective ways to weed out those that are not a priority but still have them in your email system. With an email filter, what are left on the inbox are the most important ones that need attention.
A filter will allow the automatic saving of an email based on sender, subject or even a specific word or words to a created folder. This will un-clutter the inbox and what is left would be emails that you need to focus on. An example would be emails from a certain supplier. When you set up a filter and a rule based on the supplier’s email address, the email will be saved to the folder created for that supplier. You will know that the supplier has an email for you immediately. No more need to scroll the inbox email list. When you know that the supplier email is a product announcement only then you can just leave it for later and attend to more important emails such as customer questions or inquiries.
Use an auto-archive for emails
Gmail provides the best solution when you want an email system that allows you to organize your mails. They really do very well with labels so that you can apply labels to certain emails. They have a very efficient rule setting system that can automatically archive emails that have particular labels. You could also do this with folders on Apple Mail and various other ways withdifferent email software.
Automatic forward and archiving
When you get invoices and receipts, you can archive them into folders and check at a later date. If you have an Accounting section, you can set a rule to have these emails forwarded to the section for record keeping or action. This will free your inbox as well as free your time manually forwarding them. Setting up a rule for words on the email like “invoice” or “receipt” is not a very tedious thing to do.
Social media notifications or subscriptions from suppliers can also be filtered to free your inbox. By placing these emails on the appropriate folder, you are sure that there will be no need to search for them at a later time.
Emails that do not need to be acted upon immediately can be archived immediately. The key here is for you to see those important, business-related emails at once and that could be acted upon at the soonest possible time.
Only critical business emails in the inbox
What you want to do is reach a point where only emails coming into your inbox are the ones that will help you grow your business. Things like customer requests, customer questions and orders and things that are necessary for you to keep the business growing. You want to have everything else being archived for later. Or, you can simply unsubscribe from the emails that you don’t need and make sure they don’t get those coming from your inbox at all.
Setting up is worth it
Setting up may take some minutes and fine tuning is needed until the system will run smoothly. Your time spent configuring the filter will be worth it because this will save you time every day for the rest of the year. This is a good practice and a return on investment in terms of time.
Why Gmail is the preferred email service
There are some reasons why Gmail is recommended to most businesses:
1. Cloud Service – This means that the emails are not saved on your PC or laptop but on their servers. You can get online from any place in the world and when you access Gmail, the emails will all be there. This can be done even on your phone while travelling or from home when there is something urgent.
If your computer dies, it means that you don’t lose your emails at the same time. You simply need to get a new computer, open up the internet and all your emails are there. So you never lose those emails and sometimes it is very important to keep all those emails.
2. Google Docs – Now Google Drive
Gmail is part of Google Docs which has recently been renamed as Google Drive. This is a virtual drive where documents and spreadsheets can be saved and shared with others. The Cloud Service will allow you to see pertinent files wherever you are and manage them as well.
This is great if you have several computers where you have several employees working on the same document. It’s live and they can work on it and it gets automatically updated so there’s never going to be issues with who saved what.
3. Spam Filter
The other thing that is great with Gmail is that they have fantastic spam filter. I get very little spam coming into my inbox and then they also have the ability to add different labels to different invoices and this can be done automatically using rules. So you can have all emails from certain suppliers or certain people getting automatically labelled with a certain label which archives it into a folder. Or you can have them automatically forwarded on to someone else. So using these filters and rules is really very powerful way to keep your inbox clear.
4. Search Your Own Emails
Because Gmail is part of the Google system, it has a very efficient search facility. You can search for an email based on sender, subject or a word or group of words. The email system will return a list of all emails that have the search category.
How your website can help to save time
Your website can help to save hours from answering emails from customers over and over again. It is important to have a Frequently Answered Questions page so that customers can check the entries and can find answers. One other method is to add answers or more information on the parked pages or service pages of the website.
For very important questions that are in need of attention, place them on a section on the homepage. Make sure that when people land on your website these burning questions, the most important ones are answered immediately.
So have a think about the kind of questions that you get coming up time and time every week or every month. And make notes as you go and just add the answers to those questions unto the website. Make sure that your website is structured so that these questions are answered easily and people don’t need to get on the phone and waste your time.
Comparison charts are also effective time-saving means. The comparison chart will allow people to see which of your product and services the best solution is for them which again cuts down the time of them phoning you up and asking you and finding out what’s the best solution. They can find out for themselves just by looking at the website.
I’m Justin Meadows. This is Evergreen Profit. I’ll speak to you soon. Cheers.