The Best Ways to Manage Your Email Mailbox

Although we like to think that we’re well organised, many of us do not have total control over our mailboxes. You must avoid losing control as once your mailbox has grown to over 100 new emails while you keep receiving new emails, it can become frustrating to deal with. Plus, you could be missing out on sales opportunities if you don’t manage your mailbox properly.

Here’s what top executives say about managing their emails:

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

Tony Hsieh says that he employs a full-time team of “email ninjas” to manage his mailbox. He says that he has a team of four or five full-time workers solely handling his email.

How you can apply this tip in your business: Hire one Virtual Assistant to manage your inbox remotely. You can pay her by the hour to deal with incoming emails and to classify them as important or non-important.

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman Alphabet (formerly Google)

Eric Schmidt writes in his book, “How Google Works”;

“Most of the best – and busiest – people we know act quickly on their emails, not just to us or to a select few senders, but to everyone.”

Schmidt says being responsive establishes trust and that even if you respond with a mere “got it”, the sender will appreciate it.

How you can apply this tip in your business: You may not have the resources nor the time to respond to every email personally, but you can do so with an automatic email responder. A simple auto-reply informing the sender that you’ve received their email and will reply in due course will go a long way.

Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite CEO and Founder

Ryan likes to delete his entire mailbox when he’s overwhelmed. He coined the term, “inbox bankruptcy” for this habit. He recommends that you do this every few years and add a disclaimer in your signature that reads:

“Sorry if I didn’t get back to your last email. To become a better communicator, I’ve recently declared email bankruptcy.”

How you can apply this tip in your business: Although we don’t believe that you should delete all your emails and call “email bankruptcy” as the cause, we do recommend that you clear your mailbox in the following ways:

  • Add subfolders to your inbox (e.g.. Important, spam, family, clients, complaints etc.)
  • Archive an email as soon as you read it
  • Add a disclaimer in your email stating, “If I haven’t responded to your previous email, I am not ignoring you, it may have passed by me. Please resend your email with a mark ‘important’ if urgent.”

Kara Goldin, Hint Water CEO and Founder

Image: sbnonline

Kara considers herself as more alert and energised in the wee hours of the morning and so dedicates this part of the day to respond to emails.

She says, “Doing this gives me a clear understanding of what the next 12 hours are going to look like and what my priorities are once I get to the office.”

How you can apply this tip in your business: Respond to emails when you are the most energised. This will make it go faster and reduce email mistakes.

Karen Wessels, SnappSales CEO and Co-Founder

Karen has been known as the “email ninja”. She firmly believes never to visit any email twice and stays on top of her inbox by unsubscribing to any email list that doesn’t add value.

She says, “In order for me to stay on top of my day and my inbox, I ensure that I only visit my inbox at 3 specific times throughout the course of the day and that I respond to emails that require my immediate attention as quickly as possible.”

“Don’t allow your inbox to dictate your day. Rather look at the bigger picture and see what needs to happen in order to make the boat go faster.”

How you can apply this tip in your business: Avoid spending countless hours responding to emails. Try to stay focussed on the bigger picture of growing your business and always ask yourself, this task that I’m currently busy with, will it help my business grow?