Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Marketteer, Don't Be a Slave to E-mail

You can listen to the live version of this blog by clicking the title link or at:, original show: October 20, 2008

Chains of E-Mail: Slave No More

Do you ever feel like a slave to your e-mail, well with four blogs of my own, two social networking sites that I manage, two that I participate in, five Talkcasts, an on line community magazine, a business, mentoring and two board positions, sometimes I will be honest with you. I do! Also that does not count the 900 e-mails in my family in box that are always there and the newsletters that I subscribe to and Google alerts that keep me on the cutting edge which I try to keep in a separate account for when I need inspiration. Oh my……help!
With 5 Talkcasts and 5 blogs, 2 social media sites that I run, 3 that I contribute to, an on line multi media community magazine, two non-profit boards and a marketing company you can imagine that I get a lot of e-mail.
And that does not count all the funny jokes, and stories, and political pundits that I am missing out on from my family and friends. Yes I was guilty of sending them too and forwarding them and now that luxury is rare. There was a time when I overwhelmed my “positive friends list” with inspirational items, few jokes but many inspirational items. Alas those days are gone.
My mother used to say when I complained about housework, that it never got done. Well e-mail never gets done either.

Anyone feeling my pain?
As busy people take on more clients and customers, it does not get easier and the volume does not slow. ,
Solutions from well intentioned friends: A Blackberry! Right so I can spend my down-time to check my e-mail. Hello! I already use drive time and traffic time to return phone calls, sorry if you are reading this in a state where it’s illegal.
This is a part of my life that is seriously out of control and gives me no end of stress, worried that something that I really must attend to is in my in-box.
Some suggestions that I have adopted:
Instead of leaving things in my inbox until I get to it, I have adopted the same rule as I do for papers. Touch it, in this case read it once. Either I get it done or move it to my task list in my Act program. You can put it where you like, I personally like Act.

Now just in case I need to refer back for information from my task list I put this in a folder appropriately marked. For example: NAWBO, PTA, a file for each of my clients, one for each of my internet radio shows, etc This way I know the e-mails in my in box are either new mail or things I am working on right now. If the email coming in creates a task that I can do in less than 5 minutes I just do it and get it done, if not then I plan when I can do the task, ergo, the to do list and assign a time.
What does controlling your e-mail have to do with marketing?
1. Never use "A" time (selling time) to read your e-mail. I tell clients and associates if it is urgent call me, otherwise I will answer your request within 24 hours, 48 if I am slammed with all day appointments.
2. If your mind is clear of all of that e-mail that you “just have to answer,” you will be able to concentrate on the task at hand.
3. Can’t live without your newsletters from friends and associates? Try setting up a separate e-mail account for things that are less pressing like your inspirational ideas or great marketing e-mails.
4. If it’s an event you are worried about missing, put it on your calendar and then file the e-mail under events so that you will have it in case you missed a detail before it comes up.
5. Liberate your mind by organizing your e-mails into folders that you can refer to later, you will be amazed at how much marketing and selling you will be able to get done when you unclutter your inbox.
6. Unread e-mail is a stressor; take a week-end, clear it out. If you are not caught up on Joel Olsteen’s messages or Today’s Inspiration, just take a week-end and clear it out. Joel or the Inspirer will probably send a similar message; even they only have so much inspiration to go around.
7. Feeling guilty about deleting Uncle Jerry’s or Cousin Lacretia’s jokes, put them in a folder for when you have some time and you need a laugh.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
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