Our current presidential candidates recognize the importance of proper handling of emails. Starting or running any business today requires you to master the art of emailing. I’m not talking about sending and receiving. You should know how to do that by now. I’m talking about using emails to keep records of what you’ve said and done in your business relations. But that’s just the beginning of proper use of business emails.
I get nearly a hundred emails a day. In the course of my normal 10-hour day that’s one email every 6 minutes on the average, 10 emails every hour for 10 hours straight, 7 days a week. Rain or shine, whether I’m preoccupied or not. While the emails are flowing in I’m sometimes tied up in a one or two hour client meeting or design review with the team. Once the meetings are over, I look at my in-box only to experience the horror of a long train of unread emails.
Groups of emails are typically on the same subject matter. Some are coming from the client, and some from the team members here at Evocativo. In most cases the more recent emails supersede or resolve the issues brought up in the earlier emails. Other times the more recent emails are from senders annoyed that I had not answered the previous emails.
I can go into a Friday meeting thinking I’m caught up with all my to-do lists only to come out of the meeting to find I’ve got a weekend of answering emails ahead of me.
Herein lies the lessons learned. When encountering a list of unread emails, always respond to the most recent emails first. We’ve all made the mistake of working from the bottom up answering the first email to come in only to read the more recent emails saying the issues were already resolved. Your outdated email response just caused panic and confusion amongst its readers and you now have two hours of damage control to do.
Save all your emails both incoming and outgoing. Like forever. We keep a tight ship when it comes to records keeping. Emails are the only true record we have of what was said and agreed to with our clients. This is why we follow up a phone call with an email confirming what was agreed upon.
We also have a spreadsheet where we keep records of all discussions and transactions on a project, the balance on the account, and any purchases made towards that project. These sheets are updated almost every day. Each of our clients receives a link to this spreadsheet so that they can download the sheet at any time and get the most recent status update of their project….without sending an email.
Confusion often arises along the project development path. That just happens from time to time. One person says one thing and the other person hears something completely different. Just human nature. When this happens we are able to bring up precise records of what was discussed and what efforts were done on that project for any day since the birth of that project.
Got to go…more emails just came in.