Email. It’s revolutionized the way we communicate, but it can absolutely take over your life and disrupt the best laid plans. Haven’t we all been here before?
When I left corporate America to start my own company, I made a major change with email. First, I got down to Inbox Zero, which was downright exhausting, and then I vowed never to get buried again. How? A Swiss Army knife, some duct tape and a paperclip.
OK, not really. Here’s how:
- I subscribed to Unroll.me, an email solution that combines all of your favorite subscriptions into one email. Read what you want, when you want, and don’t be overrun with all of those necessary subscriptions to online trade journals, news sites and your favorite retailers. (OK, the last one may not be ‘necessary’…)
- I unsubscribed en masse (which is much easier with services like Unroll.me). It’s amazing what had ended up in my inbox over a period of time. If I didn’t receive value from a newsletter subscription or brand’s emails, I cut the cord. So many companies blast you with the same specials and information you can receive via social media or other channels.
- Speaking of other channels, I found alternatives, such as RSS feeds, social media networks and mobile. I love subscribing to blogs via the WordPress Reader as it’s easier for me to manage. I can follow my favorite brands and companies on social media for exclusive offers, the latest specials and hot, new products and services. I receive coupons and discounts via mobile, where companies aren’t as likely to bombard you (yet).
- I stopped sitting in email. When I’m working, I don’t even have my email program open, let alone receive those distracting notifications that flash onto your screen (and into your peripheral vision). My clients can all contact me in a variety of ways (and do), including phone, Facebook messenger, text, Twitter DM and the like. I monitor the push notifications on my phone to stay on top of what’s happening instead of spending massive amounts of time in my inbox. Basically, I don’t use email as IM (instant messenger) and don’t expect others to either.
What about you? How have you battled email overload? Do you agree with my tips?
Share YOUR tips and experience to help us all maximize the effectiveness of email and communicate more clearly!
p.s. I’m always checking out what’s popular, so I can write about what you want to hear. Here’s the most popular posts on the CCC blog during 2013:
- The Art of Branding
- What You’re DOING is the Story (guest post by Roger Burnett, CAS)
- Things I Carry: Pen and Paper
- Boomers to Millennials: Your Generation Sets Your Communication Style
- Brands Rocking Social Media in the Real World
p.s.s. On Thursday, we’re starting a special series on SEO (search engine optimization) by a guest host. Don’t miss it!
Communicating clearly since ’12,