You know that feeling? You've sent someone an email and they haven't replied. They might be suffering from email overload. Here's how you help them to respond to your emails more quickly.
Before starting Expertise on Tap in 2007, I worked in companies where email had ceased to be effective. Employees were suffering from extreme email overload, and it was affecting their productivity. In a bad way.
If email overload can be reduced in business, then it becomes a far more effective communication tool, just like it was originally designed to be.
1) Do you need to use email at all?
Ask your clients what their preferred communication method is.
For example, I have one client who uses Twitter constantly. The easiest way for me to communicate with him is via Twitter DMs (direct messages) and I always get a reply within minutes.
I have other clients who are frequently in meetings, and when you phone them it often goes to voicemail. They've told me they prefer to receive emails rather than phone calls.Conversely, I have clients who prefer phone calls, so I use email only if I need to send them a link or a file.
2) Work out when your clients and contacts usually check their emails.
In the SME world, this could be anything from 6am to midnight. SME owners tend not to work 9-5. If you send your emails when your client is most likely to be online, it will land in their inbox as a fresh email and they’re more likely to deal with it. One way to do this is to write your email and then set it to send at a later time - you can do this in some email programs, including Outlook.
3) If you’ve decided email is the best option for a particular client or supplier, here are some further tips.