“How could email tips possibly make my business more successful, Von Bargen? Are you drinking nail polish remover? Again?”
“Riiiiight. The way I organize my email affects my happiness. LOL NO.”
Is this what you’re thinking, friends? I get it.
There are about a million ways to make your business more successful (like creating content that does the networking for you).
And there are about a million ways to be happier in your business (like tracking your efforts, not your accomplishments).
But two of my favorite, most effective ‘business tricks’ come in the form of 2 email folders.
Here are the two email tips that have vastly improved my business income + my headspace
I have a ‘follow up’ email folder
You know how it goes: Someone emails you, wanting to hire or book you for a big ol’ project. With visions of dollar signs dancing in your head you reply “Yes! Exclamation points!”
And then you both get busy, time passes, no contracts are signed and no money changes hands. You’re haunted by the gnawing belief that were supposed to email someone. Didn’t someone want to hire you for something? And because you don’t even remember their name you can’t search your email!
So you don’t do anything and you both forget about each other. What a shame!
Theoretically, you could buy some CRM software to help you deal with this. (CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management.’ Don’t worry, the first time I heard it, I had to google it, too.)
And if you have a jillion customers, I’m sure that $50-a-month membership will pay for itself.
Here’s what I do instead: I have an email folder titled ‘follow up.’ Until someone has sent me the final draft, paid their invoice, or signed off on their testimonial, their most recent email reply lives in that folder.
I set a reminder in my calendar to empty out that folder every Friday. That’s it. Works like a charm! That one folder has helped me land more clients and bring in thousands more dollars!
I have a ‘smile file’ email folder
YES I KNOW THAT NAME IS RHYME-Y AND CHEESY AND I DON’T CARE BECAUSE IT WORKS.
Here’s the thing, dudes. If you publish enough things on the internet, work with enough clients, sell enough products, someone is going to be unhappy. It’s just the law of averages! It’s not personal!
Maybe these people are unhappy because they didn’t follow directions, didn’t read the email carefully, or didn’t really read your sales page.
Maybe they’re unhappy because they hold a different opinion in regards to classic literature. (To date: this is the most ‘controversial’ thing I’ve ever published.)
Maybe they’re sending you grumpy emails and leaving snarky comments because they’re grumpy, snarky humans and there’s not much you can do about that.
As every self-help book will tell you: The only person you can control is yourself. You can’t control the way people react to you and your work. You can only control the way you react to those people and you can do your best to maintain a level head and a happy heart when you do encounter mean-spirited nay-saying.
Here’s how I do it: I have an email folder devoted exclusively to kind words. When someone replies to a newsletter with “This was so helpful!” in it goes. When I help a client triple their newsletter subscribers, I move their email into my ‘smile file.’ Really, any email that makes me smile finds a home there.
And when I get the inevitable refund request, hate mail, or snarky comment, I pour myself a tall drink of ‘smile file’ and lick my wounds with past victories.
But I want to hear from you! Do you have any email tricks that have really helped your business or work/life balance?