VAs for Email Management: 5 Tips Our Team Use
How much time do you think VAs for email management should use? Well, that can depend on their employers…
Most business owners find themselves quickly absorbed by this task and easily start spending hours instead of minutes checking their email.
When you also consider that the average professional receives approximately 126 emails every day, you can see how easy it is to lose control of your inbox.
For most of us, reading and responding to emails takes up to 28% of our workweek. That’s how, little by little, email management becomes more tedious.
Have you found yourself checking your inbox every few minutes? Welcome to email OCD!
It’s one of the evils of modernity: the need to check your emails every 20-30 minutes. This is a problem especially developed in entrepreneurs and business owners around the world.
Now, if you decided you didn’t want to deal with email management anymore and started delegating…
Welcome to the road to productivity!
Many entrepreneurs and business owners realize that there are many tasks that tend to be repetitive and time-consuming. More importantly, they realize that they don’t need to do them themselves!
VAs for email management (among other tasks) are one of the best strategies you can find to improve productivity in your company!
That is why we want to share with you some of the tips that our VAs use when it comes to email management:
1. Our VAs for Email Management Allocate Specific Times
As we mentioned before, an average professional may develop the need to check emails every 20-30 minutes a day. That means that a person in working hours can be checking email from 8 to 24 times approximately.
Sounds like a lot of time wasted, right? Especially if you hired a person to handle your emails among other tasks. The truth is that you don’t want your virtual assistant to spend so much time on one task!
What can you do as an employer?
One of the easiest strategies is to request people to send you emails at a specific time. You can also communicate that you will be handling emails at a set time.
In this way, you are also supporting the efficiency of your virtual assistant’s email management.
If this is not possible for various reasons or is not practical, that’s fine, your virtual assistant can still take care of managing emails at a specific time.
The idea is to support your company’s productivity, not to hire a person to sink into multitasking. You would be wasting money and time if you have your virtual assistant managing emails with no organization or schedule.
2. Our VAs for Email Management use Labels, Folders, and Categories
One of the main qualities that your virtual assistant must have without a doubt is that she must be organized.
The ideal person to support your email management should be a person familiar with labels, folders, and categories on any email server.
In reality, there is no universal rule that applies to the creation of categories, labels, or folders. Each person can organize them according to his or her preference. The important thing is that the strategy works for your virtual assistant.
For example, if you are a realtor who must be in constant contact with buyers, sellers, brokers, lawyers, among others, your VA can organize your mail folders according to the sender.
If you manage an advertising agency, your virtual assistant could be organizing the folders according to the project.
It all depends on the activity you are involved in and the importance of the emails.
The more refined this process is, the easier it will be to locate important and specific emails when they are needed.
3. They Apply the Pareto Principle
You’ve probably heard it before, only in a different way: the 80/20 rule.
This is a rule that works for all aspects of our life and is based on a simple principle: 80% of the effects of a situation come from 20% of the actions.
If we think about it particularly for email management, we can easily apply it. Focus on the 20% of the inputs that lead to 80% of the results.
This is where we see why the previous step is so important. When we assertively prioritize emails, we give attention to what is most important first.
How can your assistant know what that 20% is?
You can help her by giving her instructions, at least initially, about your best customers. Perhaps these may be mailings related to current projects that need to be followed up impeccably.
It can also be about partnerships, speaking opportunities, open house, in short, here you can support your VA. You can create a list of priorities and she takes care of the necessary filters.
As for the remaining 80%, it does not mean that you have to let them drift, but you can take care of them more calmly or, if necessary, eliminate them.
Make sure you communicate your preferences very clearly to your virtual assistant!
4. They Rely on the OHIO Method to Email Management
Have you heard of this method before? It’s quite simple and practical!
OHIO stands for: Only Handle IT Once. It is a very popular method among people with ADHD and some organizational difficulties.
It is about creating awareness of a situation to make decisions immediately.
This helps to avoid coming back to an activity over and over again. As mentioned in the first point, it is best to assign a schedule for email management.
And with the OHIO method in mind, we will add that every email that is opened is an email that needs to be dealt with immediately. Either reply or take some extra action, close it and move on to the next one.
In theory, it is a fairly simple method to follow, but sometimes it can be challenging in email management. This is due to the tendency to procrastinate responses, especially when it is a response that requires your attention.
In these cases, what we usually recommend is to use templates to respond to the types of emails you have. In this way, your virtual assistant can move on to the next thing by attending to the standards of care that you would give.
5. They Flag the Emails that Need “More” Attention
Thinking about the above, we must emphasize that there will always be emails that need a well-thought-out response. In these cases, it is not about being spontaneous or using templates, it is more about giving more attention.
Your virtual assistant can be in charge of filtering this type of email so that they can be attended to at a specific time. In this way, they ensure that productivity continues to be boosted without compromising on quality.
Your customers will appreciate it and your business will be well attended.
What our VAs do is sort these emails so that they appear at the top. They can also mark them as unread or assign a label if you use Gmail.
The times that seem to be best to attend to them tend to be at the beginning or end of the week.
Bottom Line: See What Works for You and Your Virtual Assistant with Email Management
Obviously, there is no one way to do things right when managing emails.
Here’s what works for our clients and virtual assistants in general. You can see for yourself which strategies suit your preferences.
The important thing is that you can create filters and organize emails in a way that maintains or boosts productivity. Avoid procrastination, waste of time, and in general, unnecessary repetition of tasks that can be refined.
At There is Talent we not only focus on connecting you with the right talent for your company but we also seek to support processes efficiently.
With us you can hire virtual assistants through monthly plans, all you need to do is fill out our contact form or schedule a free strategic call with our director.
We are waiting for you!