On Day 1 I ask you how experienced you are and one of the questions is about your email:
What is your system for processing your email?
Of course you have a platform for using email on a daily basis, and interestingly your choice here has repercussions later on. As does any system that you may have in place.
As this caused some of you to ask me questions, I thought it worth a short article, so herewith:
Why the email client you use (and the process you adopt, matters).
Firstly, let me be clear, there is no "right" or "wrong" platform or process, but there are implications once you take your business digital.
Here I'm going to share, why it matters
- Why it matters
- What do I mean by "process", and
- Platform choice implications.
1. Why email matters - especially when you Go Digital.
Love it or hate it, we are all drowning in email. Some of my MNC clients process more than 150 incoming emails every day. And these are all work emails.
And they reply, on average to 120 of them! .... well, they do eventually.
Now, imagine that you have a digital business that is moderately successful with 200 customers.
It is likely that those 200 customers received at least 7 emails before they became customers. And you wrote to at least 1000 prospects or even 10000 to close those! That's a typical 70,000 emails that you have sent out.
And you will be keeping in touch with them via email, somewhere between 2 and 7 times a week via email. That's 400-1400 emails out a week.
They contact you (via email or an email notification of a message) somewhere between 2 and 7 times a week. another 400-1400 emails to read and process a week.
You see why email becomes critical?
It's sheer volume. Sure you can set up automation for outbound emails and even some inbound these days. But you will still be processing a typical 700 plus emails every week dealing with your customers questions, responses, review, etc etc.
Obviously, we need an easy processing system to deal with all of this additional email volume and our existing emails.
There are as many processes as there are platforms, so I'm going to keep this simple.
When I say "process" for incoming email I mean something like "4D" - Do, Defer, Delegate, Delete.
- If it is something you need to do (respond or act) and will take you less than 30 seconds to do, then do it, otherwise, defer it.
- If it is not something that you need to do, can you (should you) delegate it to someone else? If not, delete it.
Subject line coding
Another helpful method can be using subject line coding.
e.g. [VIP] at the beginning of subject lines I send out refer to my AdvantEdge VIP Members broadcasts. The recipient can instantly spot this as something they can defer until they have more time - they know it is not urgent.
[FYI] in a subject line would be for the recipient's information. [NAR] is similar (no action required).
[NRN] No reply needed (or necessary) also works for this type of email.
[URGENT] should speak for itself, as does 
Coding subject lines can be a real boon, especially internal communications - though I find that people hate to admit that their email is not at all important [NAAI] :-)
There are many solutions to help you get to inbox zero - some are connected with task management systems like GTD (Getting Things Done). Just search for Inbox zero for more than 2 million results.
Why your choice of email matters
This came home to me big time recently as I made a huge switch to an iMac for my desktop computer.
I have been on windows forever it seems, and I have office 365 as my email platform and outlook 2016 on my desktop. Easy, straightforward and I have a very good working system and great, there is outlook 2016 for the Mac.
And of course, the Mac version of outlook is completely different to the windows version. Well, they are basically the same, but there are many differences. Key for me is that I use a couple of outlook addins to manage my email. Well, I did... but they don't work on the Mac version.
I played with Apple Mail, polymail, newton, canary, airmail and a bunch of others. None could I get to work the way I have gotten used to working.
And the same will be true for you.
And yet, you will almost certainly have to change your email platform
Or at least your mass emailing platform.
Because you should not use your transactional email service for your email marketing. That's the quickest way to get you blacklisted and stopped on your main business email service.
You'll want to and need to complement your current systems with something new that works for going digital and the increased volume of interactions with your customers.
For now, just be aware that there are repercussions on your current email platform and process choices.
How to deal with them? That depends on the choices you have made so far, and how you are going digital from here. But it's OK, together we will find the best way forward for you.
Just remember not to make any major decisions on platforms until you know the whole picture.
And you can always ask me. The chances are that I have tried something out and if not me, someone else will know.
Share your experiences with different processes or platforms below: