Ramping up your email productivity is always a good idea. And sure, being able to send super effective emails at a faster pace isn’t going to harm anyone’s sales or customer service goals.
But take a second to think about what email productivity actually means.
Less time spent staring at your inbox, or laboriously typing out the same email again and again means more time for the other “stuff.” The stuff that makes your boss sit up and take notice. The stuff that you never usually get around to.
Master email productivity and not only will you see your open, click-through, and response rates skyrocket, but you’ll find your time freed up for other tasks, too.
Sound good? Here are our top six tips for mastering email productivity, from time management to the best tools to help you get on top of this once and for all.
1. Practice good email etiquette
The majority of professionals send multiple emails every working day, but not everyone prioritizes good email etiquette.
From brisk emails sent on-the-go to lengthy essays that recipients struggle to get through, we’ve all seen our fair share of emails that leave us annoyed.
So how do you make sure your emails aren’t annoying to read?
Aside from generally being polite and courteous, the golden rule is to be succinct whilst also getting your message across.
So how can you achieve this?
- Use short paragraphs. Even when you have a lot to say, you can make your emails more scannable by breaking up the text into small chunks.
- Personalize your emails. Personalization has proven to be extremely effective for boosting open, click-through, and reply rates. Whether you’re sending emails in bulk, or emailing an individual contact, make sure you tailor the email to the recipient as much as possible.
- Keep it short. Remember: in an email, every single word counts. Don’t use five different words when one will do. Consider how you can get your message across with as few sentences as possible. Brevity will get you a long way in the email game. According to a study, the ideal email length for sales is about 100 words.
- Offer value. Often, our reasons for emailing someone are because we want something from them. It’s important to flip this around: even if you’re emailing with a favor or a question, make sure you give them something useful back, thereby turning the email into a mutually beneficial exchange.
2. Use templates and automatic responses
Crafting the perfect email that will get you the desired result takes time. If you have to do that every time you send an email, you’ll have little time to get anything else done.
Instead of just writing the same email over and over again, why not create an optimal email template that you can reuse with canned responses for different scenarios?
Plugins like Right Inbox can insert your most effective emails with just one click, and even schedule automatic follow-ups if your contacts don’t get back to you.
You can also boost your productivity by making the most of automated emails. Receiving an email inevitably intrudes on your work schedule and priorities—even if you try to ignore it and get on with other things, the email’s presence in your inbox stays in the back of your mind until you finally click open.
Setting up an automated email that lets people know you’re busy and will get back to them later provides something of a silver bullet. People won’t become irritated because you’re not replying to them straight away, and when you do get around to it, you can answer all your emails at once—which is a much more efficient system.
3. Schedule email time
It’s so important for general productivity that professionals block out dedicated time for checking and responding to their emails.
We constantly get distracted from more important tasks by the need to check what’s new in our inbox. But checking your email every ten minutes is seriously harming your productivity.
So what can we do?
Create a schedule for checking your email. Keep it down to between every two or three hours where possible, or every hour if you need to be prompt in your responses. Make your email checking time on the hour, and set an alarm or calendar notification to remind you. The rest of the time, just close your inbox and watch your productivity rocket through the roof.
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4. Use tools
There are so many handy and easy-to-use tools out there that can boost your email productivity. Failure to use the available tech in today’s fast-paced business landscape puts you at a significant disadvantage.
Among other things, email tools can help you to speed up sales prospecting and ensure your emails are going out to the right people at the right time—even when you’re not sitting in front of your computer clicking “send.”
Two of the most effective tools for boosting email productivity are Mailshake and Voila Norbert.
Mailshake is a sales engagement platform that allows salespeople to create personalized outreach campaigns using phone, email, and social. So what can you do with Mailshake?
Upload prospect lists with personalization fields such as name, phone numbers, or even fully customized sentences or paragraphs. Once the cadence is published, the messages will be automatically sent according to your campaign settings, and can also be automatically paused if a recipient performs an action such as clicking a link. Easy, right?
Meanwhile, Voila Norbert is a lead intelligence software that provides you with a very useful platform for finding new email addresses and verifying the ones you have for potential prospects. Want to slash your bounce rates and cut the time you spend in your inbox? Voila Norbert has you covered.
5. Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails
Unsubscribing from unnecessary mailing lists may sound like an obvious way to boost email productivity, but it’s something many of us never get around to. Instead, we just put up with wading through the countless irrelevant emails in our inboxes to get to the messages we need to see—and potentially miss some of the important stuff along the way.
So just do it. Take the time to find that pesky unsubscribe button on any emails you don’t need, from newsletters and brand mailing lists, to group emails you no longer have any need for.
It’s also worth unsubscribing to notifications from social media platforms, which take up a serious portion of our inboxes these days. Aside from just unsubscribing from emails, take steps to clean up your email inbox.
6. Turn off email notifications
This is something most professionals think about, but few of us have had the guts to do. Turn off email notifications? What if we miss something super important?
Checking your inbox once an hour is all you need to provide timely responses—notifications ultimately do more harm than good. Email notifications are super interruptive and distracting, and yet are only useful once in a blue moon.
Replying to that one email 20 minutes later than you otherwise would have is no big deal—it won’t have an impact on your reputation, or how effective you are at your job. But seeing your productivity skyrocket will, and people will sit up and take notice.
Make your email work for you
Mastering email productivity is one of the easiest ways to boost your overall productivity, as well as to get more out of your emails.
As is the way of the working world, unsubscribing to email lists or scheduling email times may be pretty low on your list of priorities in the midst of a busy working day. Yet, ticking off every tip on this list shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours—and the returns could be huge.
So just go for it, and make email work for you.