How to Spend Less Time on Email With These Tricks
BY BIG CAT CREATIVE
Hey Biz Owners!
As an online business owner, it sometimes can feel like I spend half of my day (everyday) in my email inbox, replying to emails, sorting emails, deleting emails. Seriously, emails can just take over your LIFE!
Apart from just receiving endless emails, my biggest time suckers were:
Typing out the same things over and over again to different people (or the same people…),
Answering the same questions over and over again,
And receiving way too many emails from clients full of content (aka questionnaire answers, images, copy) when creating a brand or building their website.
So I made it my mission to figure out how to reduce as much time as possible in my email inbox. Spending time in there is obviously inevitable, but some things were definitely avoidable.
Here’s what I changed that has made a huge difference in time I spend in my email inbox:
I revised my contact and support pages on my website to be more detailed and contain FAQs.
FAQs are great because they stop people from emailing you the same questions over and over again. I have a whole support page dedicated to FAQs, because I have a lot of them. You should definitely include FAQs on your website somewhere, whether that’s on a separate page or your contact page.
The important thing is that you should always have (or mention) the FAQs/Support on your contact page BEFORE the contact email or form. If you mention them after the form, people will just go ahead and email you and not even see them.
You also want to detail any more information you have on your website that people may have missed and are probably emailing you about. Make it very clear, eg:
I’d love to help you out, but before you contact me via the form below check out the FAQ’s HERE and make sure I haven’t already answered your question.
If you’re interested in learning more about my services, the process and the pricing, check out the services pages HERE where I go into detail about all of that stuff!
Otherwise, go ahead a contact me via the form below!
Another thing that I have on my contact page which has reduced some email back and forth is a booking calendar. People can book in a complimentary consultation with me without having to email me first.
I was reluctant to put this on at first, thinking that people probably wouldn’t use it or if they did, they may not show up to the appointment due to no prior contact, but I was wrong.
Many people have booked directly without contacting me first, and they have shown up, and commented on how easy it was to book in with me, even going as far as saying that’s WHY they booked in with me.
There’s enough information on my website about my services and pricing that people can feel confident to book straight away, having good knowledge of what I offer.
That brings me onto my next point, getting detailed about what you offer.
When I first started out, I wasn’t sure if I should go into detail about my services. By detail I’m talking about: who the service is for, how much it costs and the process of the whole project. I thought maybe too much detail would turn people away.
Well, it does turn people away. The wrong people. It stops people from emailing and asking questions about the service (aka wasting my precious time), and then not following through because it’s not really for them or it’s out of their price range.
By being specific about these certain things, the only people that will be emailing you are ones you are actually interested and are willing to pay. There’s no point in getting lots of enquiries that don’t go anywhere, dealing with these is a waste of valuable email (aka work) hours.
This sounds super nerdy, but I swear it’s actually a time/lifesaver. Once I realised I was spending too much time typing out the same emails over and over again, I decided to make (what I like to call) "process documents".
I have premade emails (“process documents”) for just about everything, and I suggest you do the same. Make them for ANYTHING that you find yourself typing out over and over again.
If they’re shorter emails, then I just save them into my notes app, but I have a few larger PDF documents that I send out to save MEGA time.
I have created an ‘inquiry’ PDF document for each of my services. This document is made up of a “thanks for contacting me” type message, and then links to useful information regarding the service they are inquiring about.
For example, I have a link to my website and my about me page, then I make a point of directing them to the respective services page to view the pricing, process and package details. The basic outline is something like this:
Hey! Thanks so much for contacting me (blah blah blah...)
This document contains some helpful links so you can find out a bit more about *insert service name here*
If you're interested you can head over to my website > or read a bit about Big Cat Creative >
If you haven't already, I would suggest checking out the *insert service name here* page >, where I got into detail about all of the deliverables, pricing and process!
If you're ready to move forward, go ahead a book a complimentary consultation > with me so we can discuss your project further!
They may have already seen all of this on the website, but they also may not have, and it’s worth making sure they are as familiar as possible with the service details before they book a consultation. (If you think wasting time on emails is bad, try wasting time on consultations and drafting up proposals for people to then be totally shocked by the price of the quote!)
The amount of enquiries I get is crazy, and even though I have all of the details on my website about everything I offer, some people still manage to miss them. It’s really important that I make sure they understand all of the details before we move forward.
It’s also such an easy way to say “thanks, learn more about me here, learn more about the service here, book a consultation with me here”. I just attach the file, write a short email message with it and send it back.
The other document I have created is a complete lifesaver. Seriously. The Welcome Document is for anyone who has booked any of my services (I have a different document for each service).
I send out this document as soon as the client has booked in with me. It is a PDF which lists step by step what the client is required to do from here, how to do it and lots of other helpful information.
This saves my clients asking me SO many questions. And when they do, I can say, “please refer back to your welcome doc!”.
The Welcome Doc is basically full of the questions and regular back and forth I would go through with clients, so to avoid that, I’ve packaged up all of the answers in a cute PDF.
Everyones Welcome Document would be different depending on what they do, so think of all of the pain points you go through with your clients or customers every time, and start writing these things down. Then when you have enough info, create a document for it and make sure every client gets a copy!
I love Google Drive and Dropbox to share files with clients. They’re especially helpful when it comes to building clients websites. In the above mentioned Welcome Doc, I instruct my clients how to package up their content for the website and add it to Google Drive.
They add ALL of their copy and images to Google Drive for me to use.
If I didn't do it this way, image how many emails would be going back and forth with copy and images. It gives me goosebumps thinking about how chaotic that would be.
So if you’re not sharing your files via one of these platforms and you’re still doing it by email (aka losing files, asking clients to send things again, clicking through hundreds of emails only to find the file you were looking for after 20 minutes) you need to stop that nonsense and get on the Google Drive or Dropbox bangwagon!
These are all of the ways I decrease the time spent reading and typing out emails, and if I learn any new systems I'll definitely update this post!
What tricks do you have for saving time in your inbox? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,