Five Quick Tips for Effective E-mail Management

E-mail has always been the preferred communication means of businesses given the various advantages it offers to users. Primarily, it is very easy to use. Regardless of the application to utilize, you can send e-mail easily to anyone no matter what the location is.

Moreover, e-mails are free. Businesses do not even have to invest anything for communication to be present among their employees.

Furthermore, e-mails are best used if you want to keep records or references for future use. Compared to messaging platforms, e-mails can serve as files better than chat conversations.

Given the said facts, as a virtual assistant, e-mail management is a primary requirement when assisting business owners or executives. Fortunately, it is easy to learn. To make things much more efficient when handling e-mail accounts, there are quick tips to consider, such as the following:

Categorize e-mails for responses. A concept from David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, provides a tip to follow the “Two-Minute Rule.” This tip advises you to set aside an e-mail for later reply if it will take you more than two minutes to respond. Otherwise, if a mail can be replied in less than a couple of minutes, then you should revert accordingly.

This is to avoid heedlessly responding to concerns in the e-mails. There are messages that should be read repeatedly and carefully, such as those tackling sensitive topics.

Allot a certain time for e-mail management. If your work as a virtual assistant is entailed by various tasks, then a specific chunk of your time daily should be dedicated to e-mail management. Be reminded that e-mail management is not about responding to messages solely. It also involves organizing the mails and removing unnecessary messages.

If you keep on managing the e-mail accounts throughout the day, you will lose track of your other priority tasks. This would also divide your concentration since you will end up multitasking.

Try setting time at the start and end of the day for e-mail management. Scheduling your e-mail management to when most of your contacts would likely be at their desks checking their respective inboxes is a good way to go. You will be able to determine this based on their usual response times.

Identify e-mails that require replies. Note that not all e-mails should be replied to. If you are receiving tons of messages daily, then you will waste most of your time just responding to e-mails. 

There are messages that should not be acknowledged, such as promotional ones and invites that would not be beneficial to the recipient. Furthermore, there are e-mails that should be considered spam and deleted immediately.

On the other hand, there are e-mails that require replies, especially those coming from interested leads and offering business opportunities. The quicker your responses are to these messages, the better.

Know when to switch to a call. There are matters that cannot be discussed efficiently via e-mails, particularly if it would require constant back-and-forth. There are times that a call should be scheduled for a more in-depth discussion.

Keep in mind that due to long threads of e-mails sometimes, some concerns are not being addressed properly and other information is being missed. It is also possible that delays may be experienced, which should be prevented if there is a timeline involved. For instance, in terms of projects or deliverables.

Never forget labeling the e-mails and creating folders. To a more organized e-mail account, labeling and creating folders would always be an effective and easy tip to follow. For instance, you can label e-mails that are from customers, partners, and suppliers. 

Moreover, you may create folders for references. A good example is when the e-mail account is often receiving attachments. Searching would no longer be tedious in the long run with folders.

With the given quick tips for effective e-mail management, you will be able to take full advantage of e-mail’s usefulness in business or work. Instead of making e-mail management a time-consuming task that keeps you from accomplishing other activities efficiently, make it a key to a more productive day.