Has your spouse complained that you appear more devoted to staying on top of your email than you are to your relationship? Has the mere thought of your mobile device buzzing once more during a family picnic sent a shiver down your spine?
Whatever your level of email anxiety, some simple strategies can help protect your inbox from the never-ending stream of emails, says Javed Khan, president of EMpression, a marketing services firm in Toronto.
“The quantity of emails that financial advisors get on a regular basis can be daunting,” Khan says. “But there are ways to make it simpler to manage.”
Khan offers four ways to make your email processes more efficient:
1. Filter out the spam
There are various ways to control the amount of “junk” messages you might receive on any given day. For example, if you continually receive unwanted emails from a particular address or addresses, add them to your “blocked” list.
Another option is to increase the spam detection level in your email program to insure it provides a more rigorous examination of incoming messages.
Using spam filters, Khan says, will allow you to concentrate on the messages that matter most to you – such as those from clients. Just remember to check your “junk” folder occasionally after making the adjustment, to ensure no important messages have been diverted there.
2. Use lists
Gone are the days when emails would be “blasted” out to any and all of your clients.
“Email is now being targeted to very specific audiences,” Khan says. “The key to success, now, is in having strong lists.”
To build your lists, do a thorough segmentation of your client base. For example, Khan says, you might sort clients by ethnic community or geography. Or, you might make lists of retired clients, pre-retirees and young families.
Whichever variables you choose, targeted emails allow you to hone each message to a specific audience. And, ultimately, targeted emails in your “sent” box will ultimately lighten your inbox.
“You will only get [responses],” Khan says, “from people who are interested in your products or services.”
3. Take a proactive approach
If 30 clients email you regarding a recent news item about interest rates, don’t panic. Be proactive and save yourself lots of time.
Rather than answer each message individually, craft your own response, approved by your compliance department, and add it as an update to all the subscribers on your mailing list. Taking this action may prevent more clients from emailing you with questions.
You might find it appropriate to also post a recent research report that your firm has conducted on the subject on your website or on your social-media channel of choice.
“Always be on the lookout for trends that appear,” Khan says.
Keep the number of mailing lists to which you subscribe to a minimum, Khan says.
To reduce the number of daily mass emails in your inbox, unsubscribe from lists that offer little value or are not directly related to your business.