Email is a public convenience that can quickly become a business nuance for a busy blogger. Getting your first fan email felt so wonderful…but dealing with an overflowing inbox on a daily basis is no fun at all.
The following tips from our team should help you level up your email productivity and spend less time in your inbox!
LIMIT YOUR EMAIL TIME
Fact – checking your email with manic frequency pumps up your stress levels. Resist the urge to click that (1) notification whenever it pops on the screen. Instead, keep your email client turned off most of the day and add “email hours” on your daily schedule.
Those can be 1-3 hours per day when you diligently throw all your attention towards dealing with the incoming communication. Leave the fan mail for the evenings when you feel less productive and deal with high-priority tasks earlier in the day.
ADJUST YOUR INBOX
To limit your email hours and avoid the email overwhelm, you should keep your email neatly organized. There are two different systems you may want to try:
Create different email addresses for specific types of emails. That’s the Tim Ferriss way circa 2008. To organize different communication flows, create a set of email addresses on your domain:
- firstname.lastname@example.org – for brand inquiries
- email@example.com – for fan mail
- firstname.lastname@example.org – for all the other blogs/business newsletters you are subscribed to and so on
In this case, when you access your email, you can choose which inbox to tackle first and avoid mixing pleasure and work.
If you grew fond of using Gmail and don’t want to give it up, create specific folders/labels for all emails. That may require some initial time for organizing everything but will surely pump up your productivity later down the road.
Create different folder types that would match either:
- Action Type: “To Read”, “To Reply ASAP”, “Follow-Up”, “Personal” and so on.
- Communication Type: “Business Inquiries”, “Fan Mail”, “Newsletter/Updates” etc.
MAKE AUTORESPONSES YOUR BFFS
When your plate is full or you want to take some time off, don’t be shy to admit that. Having a sweet autoresponse in place is better than going radio silent for days. Also, autoresponders will reduce the number of follow-up emails from the impatient types wondering if you ever got their email.
Setting up an autoresponder is simple in Gmail. Just follow these quick steps:
- Click the Settings icon.
- Scroll down to the “Vacation Responder” section and turn it on.
- Next, customize the date range, subject line, and text. Again, it makes perfect sense to set up slightly different sets of autoresponders – a more professional one for business inquiries and a more casual one for your readers’ questions.
- Save changes.
Here are a few simple examples:
Informal Autoresponder For Fan Emails
Thanks so much for reaching out! I love hearing from my readers but…
Currently, I’m all into working on the new exciting project for my blog (stay tuned!), so it may take me awhile to get back to you.
Nonetheless, expect to hear from me in X days!
Simple Autoresponder For Business Inquiries
I’m thrilled to know that you want to collaborate with me in some way.
Yet, at the moment I’m working hard to meet a huge deadline, so it may take me 24-48 hours to review your inquiry.
In the meantime, you can check my media kit and feedback on the past collaborations.
Look forward to speaking with you.
TRY SOME HANDY EMAIL APPS
If your email still looks messy and certain messages keep falling through the cracks, try the next sanity-saving apps:
Unroll.me cleans up your inbox by organizing all the subscription emails in a neat digest, which can be sent once/twice a day. Use it roll up all the updates from other blogs, adverts and so on. Next, you can use it to review all your subscriptions and instantly unsubscribe from certain updates.
Tip: Don’t roll up important updates such as “hosting/domain renewal notices” as Unroll.me digest typically arrives a day later.
Zapier is another blogger’s lifesaver. This tool allows creating a simple automation between two different apps, meaning that you spend less time on daunting routines. For instance, you can use a “zap” to save new Gmail attachments to Google Drive – for instance whenever you receive new photos from your photographer. Or have it instantly create new tasks in Wunderlist for labeled Gmail messages.