October 15, 2019
Welcome back to the Freedom 101 series! Today we are going to talk about one of the things most people struggle with: email management.
According to Harvard Business Review, an average professional spends 28% of workday reading and answering emails. That is equivalent to 2.6 hours per day!! Whaaattt???!!
When we own a business, our time is precious. We need to be efficient and effective in managing all different areas: accounting, writing, selling, responding to inquiries …#allthethings with the little time we have. It can be challenging.
We need a killer strategy to approach our inbox seamlessly while not letting other vital tasks fall off the train. Canned email responses can do just that.
I was chatting with my business coach the other day, and I told her I only spend 2 hours or less each week in my inbox, and she looked surprised. I typically receive about 20 emails per day. It’s not a crazy number for some people, but it used to take me hours to go through all of them. Why? I kept rewriting to make it “perfect.” Can you relate?
I created about 30 canned email responses and saved them in my CRM (I personally use Dubsado but if your budget is tight, saving your canned responses in drafts right in Gmail will work just fine). These canned email responses are game-changer, and I will explain further in just a bit.
Pro tip: if you ever find yourself writing an email more than three times, it is time for a canned response (I can’t remember where I read this but it’s one of my favorite advice EVER!).
Duh! I know…but stay with me here.
My biggest dilemma when it comes to inbox management is that on the one hand, it’s a great way to serve our clients and provide client experience. On the other hand, it’s truly a time-consuming task. Especially email tends to be online business owners’ primary method of communication as most of our work is virtual; it can get a little disorganized at times.
However, canned email responses allow you to hit the “send” button without second-guessing because you had already taken the time to tailor your email to your heart desired. You can confidently send it off without starting from scratch. Additionally, it makes the client onboarding process or whatever that you do so much smoother and faster because you have a seamless workflow. Workflows and canned emails go hand in hand, but let’s save this topic for another time.
Going back to creating canned emails, you are not alone if you are unsure where to start.
Here are 10 ideas to get you started. I highly recommend you to take an afternoon to complete all of them in one sitting because the truth is the longer you sit on it, the less likely you are going to get it done.
No one wants to sound like a robot. I get it. Your brand is your “baby”, and you want to show some personal touches in every situation possible, including what you say in your email.
But here is the thing: you’ve got to treat your business like a real business.
What canned emails can do is to help you stand firm in your own policies and terms so that there is no confusion and disconnect between your clients and your expectations and boundaries.
I can tell you that just because you are using templates, doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose your brand voice. As a matter of fact, you may be even more consistent with your brand voice if you use canned emails. For example, how do you introduce yourself and greet people? Are you a professional businesswoman who uses “Dear XXX,” or a bestie kind of boss lady who says “Hey girl!”? And are you consistent with it? Small things like this can make or break your business. As business owners, it is super important to let our clients know how we want to be treated. And we can start doing that by having email templates that show our brand voice in the most consistent way.
I hope this blog post is helpful. I understand how it feels to be an entrepreneur, but finding freedom in our inboxes is not impossible. As always, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat more in detail!