4 Underrated Email Productivity Hacks

October 20, 2017

8:30 am

The average person spends 28 percent of their work week reading and responding to emails. Imagine what you could achieve with just a few of those hours back. Email has become a constant interruption throughout the day, disrupting productivity for employees around the clock.

Especially for sales teams and customer service teams, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in emails each day. Sending cold emails and responding to customer complaints can take a massive amount of time and energy. There are a ton ideas out there for increasing your productivity – from not using email at all to sticking to inbox zero – but the best hacks are also the most underrated.  A few technological tweaks and productivity practices can help cut down on email as a distraction and get you moving through the workday.

Look for Automation

Automation can help you cut down on the minutiae that consumes much of your time. Look for tools that you can add to your inbox to take care of the little things.

Boomerang is one such automation: it operates as a task management tool for your inbox by giving you the power to schedule emails (even recurring emails!) to send at a certain time.

Cut down on the amount of traffic coming through your email with an automatic unsubscribe tool. Instead of hunting for the “unsubscribe” button, and add UnListr For Outlook is an Outlook or Unsubscribe Button For Chrome to make unenrolling from emails easier.

Lastly, get instant scheduling, tracking, templates, polls to your Gmail account with Mixmax. MixMax is a powerful add-on that lets you track and automate emails with a productivity suite for your inbox. Like Boomerang, Mixmax lets you schedule emails to be sent later and also integrates with Salesforce for better CRM tracking.

Develop a Rhythm

Give yourself an email routine – and stick to it. Experts agree that you should skip logging into your email when you first get to the office. Diving right into your emails distracts you, wasting your refreshed mind on distracting and often unimportant tasks.

As Harvard Business Review discovered, “Making email your first task of the day wastes the opportunity to use your mind at its highest potential. Try waiting at least 30 minutes, or even an hour, after you get to work before checking your inbox.”

Once you do check your email, have a game plan for how you’re going to manage the incoming and outgoing flow of messages throughout the day. One way to do that is to turn off your email notifications, and then batch process your correspondence. When you let your messages pile up and process them all at once, you will be better able to prioritize and delegate.

Stay Organized With Integrations

Like automation, integrations are here to help streamline your email process. Apps like ToutApp and Sidekick can integrate with your sales and customer service team emails to elevate specific issues, automate campaigns, and flag sales leads. Integrations are a great way to add transparency to your emails. ToutApp even gives you the functionality to to bulk update tasks and view all tasks associated with your campaigns. See more clearly what emails require your time and attention, and let everything else wait.

Perfect Your Communication Style

Now that you’ve spent all this time setting up your system, how can you make sure your emails are actually read? First, keep your emails short. Lead with the most important information. Practice keeping things short and sweet in your email replies. When you reply to an email or forward it, try to only respond in three sentences or less. Get to the point quickly, but keep your emails typo-free: it will only add to your credibility as a leader and communicator.

Follow the one-click rule. This rule means you click once to open an email, and then either reply, delete, forward, or archive it. And, when you write emails, make it clear what action the receiver needs to take.

Read more productivity tips at TechCo


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Josh has over 12 years of experience in the tech industry. His interests include data visualization, big data, and analysis as well as the intersection of journalism and technology.