Email makes the world work today. Every business uses it to communicate and get work done. And the chances are that you’re one of those people who handle countless emails each day.
And when there are more than 347 billion emails sent per day, there’s not much you can do about the volume. However, there are some tactics you can utilize to optimize your time in email.
Getting the most out of your day means optimizing your time on email. Below are seven common errors in email management that you must avoid.
1. Lack of Labels and Folders
One of the biggest mistakes people make when storing emails is not organizing the inbox. Every email goes into the primary folder, with nothing ever done to them.
It makes more sense to organize emails by their function. For instance, if you have a client that you want to keep track of, create a folder for their emails and move everything there.
You can also do this based on the different types of emails, such as product management, communication, and data. Once you have your organization system, it becomes much easier to surface past emails.
Learn more tips about how to declutter your inbox to learn more about making it organized.
2. Never Deleting Email
If you’re like many workers, you get a ton of emails every day. As time passes, you’ll notice your inbox continues to grow and become a nightmare to manage.
The chances are good that you don’t need all those emails. You have a few important ones to keep around, but you shouldn’t have a problem deleting many of them.
Create an email retention policy that makes sense. If an email is over a certain age, don’t feel bad about getting rid of it.
Of course, you’ll want to mark the most important ones. When you do, you can keep those around while getting read of the emails you don’t need anymore.
3. Not Using Automation
The important thing to remember about email is that it isn’t all a manual process. Email clients have come a long way and offer a way to automate many manual tasks.
The more automation you do, the more time you save to focus on higher-impact work. Explore your email client options to see what’s available.
For instance, look at Outlook. Outlook allows you to set up rules that automatically place emails in specific folders. If you have a client section with individual folders for different clients, you can automatically tell Outlook to place those emails there for you.
4. Using Bad Subjects
Since you’re currently trying to manage your email, you know how challenging it is to look through everything. And the chances are good that you have several emails you ignore because they don’t look important.
The people you’re emailing are doing the same thing. They filter their inboxes to surface the most important information and ignore what doesn’t matter.
Without a great email subject line, you risk that happening to you. Take time to create a descriptive subject that lets the other people know what the email is about and why it’s important to them. Doing this will help you get more of your emails read and a greater reply rate.
5. Too Much Content
Another thing that puts off reading emails is the email length. People don’t have time during the day to read a novel. They want emails that are easy to read and straight to the point.
Try to condense your emails as much as possible when sending them. It should only take someone a few seconds to figure out what your email is about and why it’s relevant to them.
There are many summarizing tools available today. Sign up for these tools, paste your email content into them, and have the program summarize your email for you.
Doing this will allow you to see the same content in a different form. Doing this enough times will help you minimize your email length and get straight to the point.
6. Replying to the Wrong People
In some cases, you’ll need to send an email to multiple people. The reply all feature is excellent for this, so constantly clicking it is tempting.
But make sure not to do it in every situation. There may be times when you get sent an email that goes to multiple people. But in some cases, you only want to reply to the person who sent it to you.
There’s also the case where you’ll email multiple people. You may not want other people to see everyone in the email. In cases like that, make sure to use the BCC feature to make the other recipients invisible.
7. Using the Wrong Tone
Using the right tone is essential when sending an email. You’re doing business when sending an email at work. You don’t want to rub someone the wrong way.
Make sure your tone is one that the business email recipient will take it seriously. Stay professional with your email, and avoid using too many common phrases and slang.
If possible, look at examples of business emails to see some of the best email formats.
Don’t Fall Victim to Errors in Email Management
There’s no getting around going through email when working. You need it to stay updated with what’s going on and keep track of team and client projects. But at the same time, you don’t want to spend half your day on email tasks.
That’s why you must do whatever possible to avoid making costly email mistakes that cost time and lead you to make errors. Keep the errors in email management above in mind to maximize your time during the day.
Do you want to learn more tips that will help you get the most out of your workday? Learn more about productivity on the blog.