Managing your inbox can seem like an exercise in futility. It often feels like the faster you delete old emails, the faster new ones arrive, but there is a lot of potential value to be gained by keeping your inbox operable.
In part one of this two-part series, the Naples contractor attorneys at Cotney Construction Law discussed the problem with unread emails, overstuffed inboxes, and how to achieve “Inbox Zero” with as few complications as possible. Now, we will offer a multitude of email management tips for contractors.
Minimize Intercompany Emails
Correspondence within your company likely accounts for a large portion of the total number of emails sent within the framework of your contracting business. Chat systems like Slack have aimed to reduce the need for intercompany emails, but many companies still utilize emails and phone calls for these day-to-day communications. Embracing superior internal communication strategies is key to managing your emails.
As a contractor, you’ll need to work closely with the owner(s), materials suppliers, and subcontractors to finish projects. Emails are effective for sending PDF copies of documents like change orders and supply logs, but minor communications can be handled more efficiently using calls, text, or video chat. By limiting email to important tasks that require clear documentation, you can greatly reduce the number of emails sent daily. In addition, you should limit the number of workers who have access to your email address to those in leadership roles.
Customize Your Intake
Now more than ever, email marketing systems and sales-generation software are targeting your inbox. It might not feel like it, but you do have control over what appears in your inbox. Be proactive about designating email addresses as “spam.” Taking a few minutes a day to sort out legitimate senders from the spam will significantly decrease the number of pointless emails clogging up your inbox.
Consider this: 269 billion emails were sent daily in 2017. Experts don’t expect that number to decrease in the coming years. They suspect that by 2021, more than 333 billion emails will be sent daily. Thus, managing your emails is only going to become more important as you continue to grow your contracting business.
Author John Zeratsky believes that part of the reason why “we get so many emails is that we’ve all been told this story about how we need to respond quickly to be productive and meet expectations.” However, this is a double-edged sword. Zeratsky goes on to say that by responding quickly, you develop a “reputation for being responsive,” which causes more people to send you messages. This can lead to an excess of unimportant emails filling up your inbox.
Your email inbox is an important portal for communicating with others and acquiring new business, but if you fail to manage your inbox, you could quickly become overburdened by hundreds or thousands of unread emails.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.