Tame the Email Monster

Remember the first time you sent an email? At first email was fun, new, exciting.

“I’ll EMAIL it to you”, we said to one another, wanting to be efficient and up to the moment. We understood technology. We got it. We had email.

It was fast, free and let us stay in touch with friends and family across the globe.

Fast forward to today and you find a completely different picture. Today many of us are drowning in email. We get more and more spam (not the fine Hormel product) every day.  We see super-cool sites we want to know more about so we sign up to get the freebie and then the emails start.

Our inboxes are jammed with forwards from “friends” with jokes and unwanted solicitations to buy all manner of stuff —  all mixed in with the email we DO want!

This has created a situation where it’s not uncommon to get hundreds of emails a day. Some of them important and some saying things like need a case study done for you? We lose time. We lose focus. We become overwhelmed with the volume and soon can’t separate the good stuff from the pitches.

Happily, there is an easy solution. One I’ve done and it set me free! I call it “taming the email monster”. If you want more time and less stress then this is for you!

You really can tame the monster that lives in your computer by using the five tried and true methods below.

When you take control of your email, you will find that you may free up AT LEAST an hour a day.

Some people have found that they save more time than that! Use that time to focus on the goals you’ve been setting, and soon you will find the time you need to grow your business. What could you do with an extra one or two hours a day?

Use the suggestions below and you just may find out!

Create A “Marketing” Email Addresses

Why have everything come into one inbox and have to sort it by hand?

The key to saving time is SORTING your email so you can quickly look at the important stuff. But that’s almost impossible when messages from online marketers are mixed in with messages from friends and family.

Here is my #1 recommendation.

Create a separate address for the marketing material you receive. In other words, create a business email address. When you sign up for a free email series, use the business address. When you contact friends and family, order products online or need to have individual communication use your personal address.

Now here’s the power move — only check the business address once a day or twice a week. Sort the mail you receive there by sender and like magic you will see all the messages from each marketer. This way you can see what you missed and quickly decide if something is worth reading.

HOT TIP: Tired of receiving countless pitches for the latest and greatest launch? Handling your email as described above will help you avoid reading the same message sent by 50 different marketers. You will instantly see the duplicates and be able to avoid them. Time saved!

If you are on a bunch of lists now and want to stay on them but save time just use the link at the bottom of the emails to change your address. All ethical email marketers include such a link in every email they send.

Batch Email Tasks Together

Tip two is a huge time saver but a radical idea for many people. Ready to be brave? Then check your email once a day!

Yes … once a day!

By batching email in this way you will accomplish two worthwhile goals:

  1. You will have focused on your important tasks before checking email.
  2. You will spend less time with email when you are committed to a once a day schedule.

If you try this you will find that no one gets hurt and you will feel in control of your email life again instead of the other way around.

HOT TIP: Never check email first thing in the morning. Use your morning to focus on your top priority and then check your email when you are done. This one tip alone will help you get more done.

Make Friends With Filters

Every good email program (Outlook, Gmail, Apple Mail) has the ability to FILTER email into various folders. In most cases, the help menus in these programs will actually help you get this done quickly.

Filtering works like this. When an email comes in from a particular email address or with a particular subject line, the email doesn’t go into your inbox, but rather to its own folder. This way, you can see at a glance if an email has come in from an important client, or perhaps a request for pricing.

The key here is to avoid scanning a large group of emails that will distract your attention, and be able to go quickly to those messages that matter most.

Imagine if when your email came in you could tell in 10 seconds which ones were important and which could wait. Would you save time this way? You will!

Technology To The Rescue!

So far we have dealt with sorting and reading email, which are the top time consumers. But what about when you need to reply to the email you receive?

If you find yourself sending the same reply repeatedly then I have good news for you. There are small programs you can use that will allow you to paste in any response you want with only a few clicks.

If you are on Windows then check out ShortKeys. If you are on a Mac then check out Text Expander.

I’m sure there are others but these are the two I have used. They both work the same way. You type in your response once and then assign a short series of keystrokes you would not normally use, like ..45ty. Now anytime you type that series of keystrokes your full response is instantly pasted into your email reply.

I have replies in Text Expander that are literally 600 words long. I can type them into an email with 4 keystrokes. I use this for all my Frequently Asked Questions. While I could send them to my support center I feel it’s more personal to answer their question now and then suggest visiting support if they need more. This has worked well for 10 years now.

If you try it I believe you will love the time savings!

Email is here to stay – no question there. Email marketing is the most powerful and targeted form of marketing online.

And email is just convenient and fun when it doesn’t take over your life.

But it is horrible when you become chained to your computer, fearing if you don’t check your email you’ll miss something.

Take control of your email today, and get back the time you need to meet your goals and run your business.

Because being in control is a beautiful thing indeed!

 

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 44 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 16 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

  • […] email ads for products you don’t […]

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  • David Hooper says:

    I like your comment about creating a “Marketing” Email addresses. I started doing this a while ago and then created a blog to teach others how to set up their own domain based email address. If you click my name it will take you to the site I created a few years ago. I mainly did this to prevent spam as I create a new virtual email address for every newsletter, etc. I sign up for and then forward everything to my Gmail Account. I am now thinking of splitting out my personal emails. Thanks for sharing.

  • […] the siren song of “just a quick check of my email” during times that are meant to be relaxing. If necessary, actually PLAN in your free time. […]

  • […] you’ll receive one email a day, sometimes more. Sometimes it’s one email a […]

  • Mark Mansfield says:

    Hi Charlie, as usual a very good post with some great ideas. I have 3 email address I use plus 1 I don’t. I’ve used filters before but they were called rules back then. It is so long ago that I had forgotten about them. Thanks

  • Mountndew says:

    Awesome stuff. Im putting it to use as soon as im done here.

  • […] If you want true focus power check your email only once a day and use a private address instead of one address for all email. Incredibly […]

  • […] EMAIL. Today it’s easy to receive fifty or more emails each day. It’s often difficult to determine which are important and which are junk. To save […]

  • […] to not check email every 15 […]

  • Leon Fleming, Jr. says:

    Once again, thank you Charlie. This as always is very informative and useful for both Newbie and Veteran IM.
    I love everything you have imparted to me so far and look forward to each and every ‘tidbit’ of wisdom and the knowledge that you impart.

    Thanks,

    Leon

  • Hi Charlie; Thank you for the very informative information on the E-Mail ,and how too seperatee them,so I will have more time to work on reaching my goal in my business.Once reached, I will then set another goal for my business. Thank you, Richard

  • J.R says:

    Great post Charlie and some very helpful tips.

  • rusty garner-smith says:

    Howdy Charlie; I’m glad you posted this for me! My inbox gets about 400 e-mails a day at this point. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by unsubscribing, also I still want knowledge, tips, tricks, and freebies. I use a box just for marketing and try to keep other more personal mail in another place, but like you say, you just don’t know what to expect until you sign up. Thanks for the fine post, hope to read more from you soon.

  • shanyai says:

    Thank You Charlie because i have so many email acounts im starting to catch email over load and sometimes i cant even remember all the names to my email accounts but i do have Gmail and i do see the folders but just over looked it which was my mistake so i will be looking at my Gmail accounts and connecting all of my acounts and putting emails into folders Thank You for giving me good and logical advice.

    Thanks Again
    Shanyai

  • John Hordon says:

    Simple but profound advice. But … for a computer nincompoop … how do you do what you suggest in your initial points of advice?

  • Dazzling Dolly Lutz says:

    Hi, Charlie,
    Thanks for the great tips………I already use a few of them but I love the one to do with the Short Strokes/keys to using the same message again and again without having to copy and paste or fwd from previous messages. I always have to take out personal info in each reply.
    NOW all I have to do is figure out a message that still sounds personal, but doesn’t have their name in it………LOL……Dazzling Dolly
    Millionaire Marketing Mentor

  • zora says:

    Hi Charlie,
    It’s very obvious you put in a great deal of time in the e-mail area.
    Thanks for you accumulated knowledge of this subject. You have found features I never knew were available your right about e-mail it’s here to stay so well have to learn all of the tools and futures available.
    Thank for bringing this to our attention
    zora

  • Easy home based business says:

    Thank you Charlie for priceless advice!

    There are far too many “Internet sharketers”.
    You are one of the few that I follow nowadays.
    Keep up the fabulous work!

    Tim Pond

  • Dennis P. says:

    I found your article refreshing Charlie…thanks for the good tips.

  • Boyd Warren says:

    I really needed this right now. So now, I just need to “Tame this beast” & that’s what I intend to do.

    Thanks for all your good stuff!

    Boyd

  • Tim Plyler says:

    Once again, Charlie, your advise on the problems that haunt us as marketers, is worth the cost of a membership to the DOE a hundred fold over. You have a knack for touching on the points of this business that are the most aggrivating, and you always offer good solutions for those challenges. Keep the good info coming! We all appreciate it greatly!

    Tim

  • Daviette says:

    Thanks Charlie!

  • Mark M says:

    Thank you Charlie.
    I’ve used some of those things, I also have an email address for friends.

    Mark M

  • Very good and practical advice I’ve been using for years. I’d recommend Gmail, great filing and filtering capabilites, and you can send mail from your sites server through you account.

    Keep up the good work Charlie.

  • Perry Roberts says:

    Charlie Thanks again for the good advice.There is just too much time wasted on email if you do not have a way to control it.
    Regards
    Perry

  • John Heiermann says:

    Great advice, Charlie! Thanks. I have tried both of your steps and it works. Getting rid of the itch to keep checking email is easier said than done. We need to stay focused on the job at hand.

  • St Louis Tim says:

    Charlie, I hate to think of all the time I’ve wasted on emails and these are great tips. Really appreciate your sharing them.

  • Clyde says:

    Charlie,
    Excellent information, as usual. Thanks so much for the shortcut keys tip. That will certainly save me some more time.

    Thanks and Many Blessings,
    Clyde

  • Leo S. says:

    Very useful, Charlie! Everyone struggles with this problem
    and you gave us useful suggestions, indeed!
    thanks again!

    Leo

  • Sheila Hall says:

    Charlie,

    Your email monster gives me the heebie jeebies … Ha! I appreciate getting your Recommendations … they’re Right On! A couple I will put to use immediately. I do a variation of your “filtering” recommendation now. I use Gmail’s filtering feature, which allows me to insert an Icon on my email to indicate what is Critically Important, Important, or Unimportant (to me). I can tag email when I initiate it or when it first hits my Inbox. I set my Inbox to display email within these groupings – by date received. This allows me to read or respond in order of “Importance” TO ME.

    A word about “Unsubscribing,” which I thought (until recently) was a highly useful option to disconnect from unwanted email. I have learned that there are “Unethical Gurus” out there who refuse to “Unsubscribe” anyone for any reason. (Betcha this is no surprise to you, Charlie.) I was blown away when I heard a “well-known” Guru announce that he NEVER UN-subscribes anyone! I was watching a REPLAY of a presentation at a conference for Internet Marketers – some with “Guru” status. The person presenting before the full assembly said, “I never unsubscribe anybody!” His rationale: “I know they’re going to buy from me eventually – so why would I unsubscribe them?” The audience howled with laughter. I was appalled! When I later tried to unsubscribe from his Subscriber List, he continued emailing me. Finally, I “Spammed” him. I didn’t enjoy doing that, but he forced my hand.

    Charlie, what say you about those who refuse to act on “UN-subscription” requests?

    Shalom!
    Sheila

    • Charlie Page says:

      I would say that they are violating the most basic trust of all and that they are doing the wrong thing. Some people only care about the money and that’s a shame. You really can have a win-win situation where you win as the seller and the customer wins too, but no so much with that mindset.

      I will say too, and no disrespect intended, that spamming him back only makes things worse.

      We never advance when we stoop to the level of those who are doing wrong.

      Charlie

      • Sheila Hall says:

        Charlie,
        I appreciate your response … but please help me understand the gravity of “Spamming.” I don’t have a web presence so I don’t personally know the depth to which I (may have) injured My Offender. I spammed him because I saw no other recourse … except repeatedly “deleting” his relentless emails. I found that response ludicrous. I thought I was simply BLOCKING delivery of his emails. In your view, in what situations should the “Spam” option be used? What is the severity of my “Spamming” [offense]? In what way did I “stoop to the level” of My Offender? I respect your opinion and am eager to have your response.

        Shalom! (Despite my choice to “Spam”)
        Sheila

      • Charlie Page says:

        If what you meant by “spamming” him is marking his email as spam then that would be understandable if he did not unsubscribe you upon your request. I thought you mean you sent him spam email, which would be wrong, in my view, under any circumstance.

        Charlie

      • Sheila Hall says:

        Phew!!! For a moment, I thought I was out of alignment with my IM “Ethics Standard Bearer” – You! I apologize for not writing more precisely. Actually, all I did was put a little check-mark on the line item for HIS email … then I clicked my “Spam” button. This was my attempt to “block” his ability to send more email to my Inbox. Anything more than this WOULD have been “stooping to his level” … and out of character for me. I think we who hang out in Cyber Space should operate with a “Sense of Fairness” in all our interactions … as in Life. I am absolutely certain that you share this view. Charlie, I appreciate the “extra” attention you’ve given me.

        Shalom!
        Sheila

  • Jerry Moore says:

    What you stated above describes myself through and through. I have about 25000 e-mails as of now and they are increasing greatly with each day that goes by.
    I have come to a halt as far as supporting affiliate programs and getting involved with any of them (with very tiny exceptions). I do have, what I do consider, viable programs that I do intend to follow through to the bitter end. It will certainly take some months to get through them all without any outside help. That being so, the 300+ e-mails that enter my Inbox every day and sent directly to Thrash. I am normally left after thet executon with a feeling of achievement and not fear of missing a good bit of help from someone out there.
    Jerry Moore

  • Mark says:

    Charlie
    Nice post! Once again the simple things are the best. Now I just have to take the time to implement.
    Thanks
    Mark

  • You hit the nail on the head; sending emails don’t cost money but reading them do cost a lot of time (and money). Moreover many marketing mails are written without giving information before having opened them. So has an honest salesman one has to open them and may be thereafter one should consequently click the unsubscribe button. That is what I am doing. Despite of this method I still get about 2.000 mails a week. These mails do cost me one to two hours a day. As you suggest already as a solution, I am opening emails on a regular time scale. In my case I am opening two times a day. I believe I have to accept this waste of time as inherent to my business. This waste of time anyway is much lower as in the offline world where shop visitors take the time of the shop owner for hours to show them products, to explain them features of the products without buying anything at all.
    All the best
    Gabriel

  • Make easy money online says:

    Hi: Chalie
    Thanks for some nice tips regarding onganising my e-mail schedule.
    This one will be of great importance to me, as I am really suffering from information over load.
    I personally sign up to marketers and if I think that after being on their mailing list for a month. I feel that they do not add any value to me, I just subscribe.
    Now I will also use some of the tips I get from this article.
    Thanks!
    From: Patrick Sekhoto!

  • Michael says:

    Hi Charlie, I am a new lifetime member and as most I have a ‘charlie page’ folder with all of your great information. This is so hard to rate as all of your tips are top notch. I think that most of us are using emails to get business and this could be of great assistance to us all. It will save time and allow us to devote quality time to our endeavors.

  • Garry Heywood says:

    Great advice and we are all guilty of falling for the email monster.

    I certainly will adopt some of your tactics

    Thanks again

  • I have been doing some of what you recommend already and it’s really helped a lot. The two that work the best for me is not checking my email until I’ve got some things done and sorting emails by sender. It’s so easy to get sucked into viewing emails that you don’t realize how much unproductive time you’ve wasted. You always have such good tips. Thanks.

  • Mike Bannister says:

    Charlie, thanks for the ideas. I have my mail separated but the other ideas will be tried. Already i’m starting to shake at the prospect of only checking my mail once a day. Can I survive, or is it more a case of can I survive if I don’t
    MikeB

  • Tom Mezgar says:

    Charlie,

    Another great article Charlie! This is real awesome advice, and a easy plan to follow. All you need to do is to make a few changes in your dailey routine. Thank you Charlie

  • Thomas Dull says:

    Charlie,
    Thanks for that important information!! Your a Great Leader!!

    Tom Dull
    7-26-11

  • Wendy Owen says:

    Great advice Charlie, I am going to implement filtering into folders straight away. Unfortunately I have to check my email in the mornings, being in Australia, but will certainly cut down the number of times I DO check it.

    I can also suggest spending some time unsubscribing. I do this once a week. There are emails comming in that I have never subscibed to which just proves that some unethical marketers sell their lists.

    Thanks again for a good article
    Wendy

  • wayne says:

    hi charlie for all your e-mails , im new to all this internet , just looking for a new way to make money . im 52 years old ive 4 hartatacks 3 was in one month , not being able to work well its just hard to stop . so i started looking for away to make money , hope to find a solntion soon?
    thanks for all your time wayne

  • Diane Schumacher says:

    Thank you for the tips, I’m going to give this a try.

  • Stephen says:

    That comes under the ‘really useful’ heading.
    Thank you Charlie

  • Viola Olah says:

    Good advice. Thank you. We all get to the point of despair when it comes to email volume. I recently consolidated my most important email accounts personal and business into one Gmail account so I don’t have to check so many different accounts.

    Gmail allows you to combine different email acounts and still keep the email identity. I actually just finished creating a step by step eBook on how to combine and use different email accounts with one Gmail account.

    Viola

  • Nick Bayley says:

    Great ideas Charlie. You can lose so much time without a plan for handling email. I also like to use software so I can check emails on the server and then delete them at that level. Means I don’t get a lot of junk (spam) on my computer.

  • RJRoss says:

    C Page;
    I save your emails because of the practical content presented by you.
    Your essay, regarding “email management”, is…well… ” websitegold.”
    (So is the other stuff you send- as well.)

    I have 5 Gmail accounts connected to I.M. activities. No more speed reading.
    Life time membership holder:

    Robert Ross (RJ)

  • andrew says:

    Thank you charlie, nice to receive an email thats helpfull Andy.

  • Alfred Jones says:

    Another interesting & helpful article, Charlie. I am one of those, who are overwhelmed by my 5 email accounts. I, already use some of these methods, and will implement more of your ideas.
    Thanks.
    Alfred Jones

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