Even though text messaging and social networking have taken over as the most popular forms of communication, email is still widely used, especially in Corporate America. We’ve all experienced email overload at one time or another in our lives, and we’ve all been on the receiving end of an email that simply didn’t make any sense. In order to combat the frustration and confusion that comes with email, you need to ensure that you and your staff are using these tips.
Use a Mobile Signature Line
If you use email on your smartphone, you have the ability to create a custom email signature, and it’s very important that you do this. You can either keep the standard “sent from my [insert smartphone name here], or you can create your own. Having a signature line for your mobile device allows your email recipients to know that the email was sent from a mobile device, which may be why it sounds so short or contains misspellings.
Get To The Point
Nobody has time to read an email that contains multiple paragraphs. If you have something to share with someone via email, just share the gist of the information. Get straight to the point, and leave out all the fluff and unnecessary copy. Trust me, your recipients will be happy to spend 30 seconds on your email instead of 30 minutes.
Limit Your Attachments
Instead of sending attachments via email, which only take time to download and can take up a large portion of a person’s inbox, use an online file storage like Dropbox instead. This way, you can send an email that says “document is in Dropbox” instead of spending the time waiting for the file to send and then having your recipient spend the time waiting for it to download. Livedrive is another example of great online file storage and offer unlimited online storage. Click here to sign up for a 30 day free trial – no credit card details required!
Edit Your Out of Office Reply
When you’re out of the office, it’s very important that you set up your out of office reply so that anyone who sends you an email knows that you’re gone and when you’ll be returning. But your out of office reply does not need to be four paragraphs long. If you’re only going to be gone for a day, put it in the subject line. Now, everyone knows that you’re gone and they don’t have to open the email. If you’ll be gone for a while, you can create an out of office reply, but keep it short. Let them know that you’re gone and when they can expect you back. You should also provide them with the contact information of someone else in the office who can help them during your absence.
In order to send emails more quickly, use shorthand (but make sure it’s shorthand that everyone knows). For example, if you need something by the end of the business day, use EOD. Typing three letters is done more quickly than typing out full thoughts. You may even want to consider creating shorthand for general office terms. For example, use an acronym to refer to business meetings or company databases.
Limit Website Contact Emails
If you run a website then you will know all about spam email. To reduce the number of emails that reach your inbox, filter them out before they reach you. There are a number of ways to do this. For example you can create a contact form to fill in if someone wants to email you. This way they have to add that extra effort to send an email. You can also add security to this contact form so a lot of spam is blocked from the start.
Pick up the Phone
I know that this world tends to be verbally anti-social, but if you need a quick answer or to share a quick piece of information, pick up the phone and call someone. This can be done much more quickly than typing out an email and hoping that the recipient sees it.
Email is still a popular form of communication, and instead of being weighed down by the hundreds of emails in your inbox, use these tips to help you manage your email and get back to focusing on your business.
Garrett Payne is a marketing professional working with SEOMap – a group specializing in SEO keyword strategy.