The number of emails you receive daily can be overwhelming. With over 300 billion emails sent worldwide, an average person finds around 100 emails in the inbox every day. A business user can get 600 and beyond.
Sifting through all these messages can be time-consuming and frustrating. Eventually, a letter or two may fall through the cracks. Without proper email management, it’s easy to miss something important while spending too much time on something that isn’t.
How do you get your email management under control? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Email Management?
Email management is a set of tactics to help you optimize the efficiency of your email practices. It involves classifying, storing, destroying, and replying to email messages.
The systematic control of the quality and quantity of the electronic letters ensures the high efficiency of the email communication channel.
When it comes to business inboxes, inefficient email handling is one of the most unfortunate time-wasters. Some employees spend as much as 30% of their workday dealing with incoming and outgoing messages.
Email management is a system that helps minimize the time you spend dealing with your inbox on a regular basis. It helps keep all the messages under control, ensuring a successful interaction with all senders and receivers.
Common Struggles with Email Management
While every business user understands the importance of managing emails, hardly all of them are up to the task. The common struggles with email management involve:
1. Lack of Time
Many email users simply don’t have enough time to set up and implement a high-quality email management system. Ironically, this forces them to waste more and more time on their inboxes.
While trying to manage emails in a rush, business users tend to skip seemingly unimportant emails, put some messages off, and send valuable letters to the spam folder.
Eventually, the problem starts snowballing, leading to lapses in communication, unhappy clients, downtime, and unexpected expenses.
2. Wrong Tools
Trying to handle over 600 emails a day manually is time-consuming and often frustrating. Today, numerous email management programs exist to simplify this task.
Finding the right one for the job can be tough. Using the wrong one usually turns out to be counterproductive.
3. One Mailbox
It’s much harder to handle the influx of emails when they all arrive in one inbox. For productive email management, it may be reasonable to create several mailboxes for different purposes.
By allowing both personal and business emails to appear in one inbox, you are maximizing the chances of something getting lost. Some business users may create inboxes for different tasks, such as marketing, sales, client communication, etc.
Email management only works when done regularly. Leaving your emails without attention for more than half a day can have its repercussions in the form of a “999+” sign in the inbox.
Email management is a daily task, neglecting which may result in missed messages, miscommunication, and spam attacks.
5. Doing it Alone
For overwhelmed entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, an email management system coupled with the right tools may not be enough.
With more than 66% of SMB owners personally responsible for at least three major areas of their businesses, spending hours on handling emails is counterproductive.
Outsourcing email management could be the only efficient way to control your emails without being distracted from other tasks.
Best Tips for Outsourcing Email Management
Hiring someone to take care of your emails is an excellent choice for busy entrepreneurs. A personal assistant can:
- Send messages and respond to emails on your behalf
- Check spam folders for useful messages and get rid of the useless letters.
- Organize your inbox using email management tools.
- Unsubscribe from unfavorable email lists.
- Put messages in specific folders for later actions.
- Alert you to messages that need your immediate attention
- Outsourcing email management is easier than you think. It only requires three simple steps.
1. Test Yourself
If you don’t think you are spending too much time on your inbox, run a simple test. Don’t check your email for 24 hours. Then when you open the inbox, set a timer, and record how much time you spend on sorting emails.
This little exercise is likely to convince you that you need outsourcing. Delegating this task can free up 12 hours a week.
2. Consider the Level of Confidentiality
To what extent are you willing to trust an assistant with your emails? Are you ready to share usernames and passwords? Outlook and Gmail allow third-party access with a different password. This gives you an ability to revoke assistant’s access rights at any time.
You may also want to consider creating a new account for your confidential messages and leaving the rest to the assistant.
3. Hire an Assistant
When it comes to email management, you don’t need the assistant to be available in person. A virtual presence is more than enough to deal with all the key inbox systemizing tasks.
Collaborating with a virtual assistant is often easier than with an in-person employee since you don’t have to worry about office hours, benefits, and sick leaves.
Top Email Tools to Get You to Inbox Zero
Whether you decide to hire a virtual assistant or work with the inbox on your own, email management tools can make the task easier.
Mailbird is an excellent solution for multiple inbox users. It arranges all mailboxes on one dashboard, allowing you to manage multiple accounts with ease. The software easily integrates with Gmail as well as popular task, calendar, messenger, social media, and video communication apps.
It’s equipped with a speed reading feature to help you get through messages as fast as possible.
Free trial: Yes
SaneBox can help with email prioritization. It works with any email client and as many mailboxes as you need. The program creates folders like SaneLater (for unimportant messages), SaneNews (for newsletters), and Sane CC (for messages you aren’t a primary receiver on).
The app analyzes your previous actions with the inbox to make decisions about further prioritizing and systematizing.
**Free trial: **Yes
Sortd for Gmail
Sortd sorts your emails into lists organized in easily scannable columns. This puts different types of emails side by side so you don’t need to explore folders to find important messages. The drag-and-drop feature allows you to move emails from one column to another.
This is an excellent solution for keeping all the messages visible and not allowing them to slip through the cracks.
Free trial: Yes + basic free plan
Unroll.me makes unsubscribing quick and painless. If you are getting hundreds of useless daily offers and newsletters, unsubscribing from all of them manually can be time-consuming.
This app allows you to either unsubscribe from everything in bulk or choose addresses to unsubscribe from. Once you are done, you can create a “Roll up” of the subscriptions you need. Instead of getting tens or hundreds of subscription messages daily, you’ll be getting all of them in one email.
**Free trial: **The service is 100% free
ActiveInbox is a Gmail extension, which allows you to sort your emails according to tasks and projects they relate to. It merges your inbox and your to-do list, making sure none of the important emails remains unattended.
It comes with such important features as due date reminders, send later functions, and email tracking.
Free trial: Yes
Additional Email Management Tips to Help You Save Time
These tips can help you save time while managing your inbox.
1. Act Immediately
Don’t leave any unimportant messages in your inbox. As soon as a useless email comes in, delete it or send it to the spam folder. If you believe that you may need a message later, move it to the “later” folder.
Don’t turn your inbox into a long “to-do” list. It can be psychologically unsettling. Sort all new emails as soon as they arrive to make sure none is lost in a long list of messages.
2. Get Rid of Group Emails
If you are a part of a group mailout you don’t need, ask to be taken off the list. While it may be fun to read what others are up to, such emails take up precious minutes of your time without providing valuable information.
3. Use Filters
Mail service providers like Gmail have useful filters. They can send messages to appropriate folders automatically based on the sender or the subject line. This can prevent emails from building up in your inbox, making the daily scanning easier.
4. Set Email Checking Time
It’s usually more than enough to check email twice a day. However, many business users do it as often as every hour. This takes up an immense amount of time and contributes to extra stress.
Turn off email notifications and set a timer to remind you to check emails twice a day. Designate 30 minutes a week to deep clean your inbox and folders.
5. Create Templates
If you tend to write similar responses to certain messages, create templates. This can save you several of productive working hours per month. Additionally, such templates can come in handy when you hire a virtual assistant for email management.
6. Start with a Clean Slate
If you have too many unsorted emails in your inbox and simply don’t have time to deal with them, start from scratch. Select all the existing messages and move them to a designated folder. Voila! You have a clean inbox. Allow your assistant to sort through the old folder gradually.
By managing your inbox, you can save time and money while enjoying peace of mind. You can take advantage of a variety of email management tools to handle your inbox better while using the above tips to optimize the process.
In case you still can’t handle the influx of messages without stealing time from important tasks, consider hiring a virtual assistant.
At Zirtual, we dedicate ourselves to searching for top-notch virtual assistants to help you focus on what you do best. For more information about outsourcing email management, please contact us today.