Can your inbox help boost your blog's business efforts?
Ask most fashion bloggers (or entrepreneurs, really) and they will tell you that they couldn't live without their email, that they rely on it more so than any other communication tool when it comes to their business. Your inbox is basically a gateway to the heart of your blog's business. Think about it – potential brand partners, readers, blogging peers. They are all there, in your inbox.
So what can you do make your inbox more beneficial to blog's business? Is there a way to literally jump-start your inbox and make it a tool for business success?
These three email-management tips will help you see what a goldmine your inbox truly is:
- Place contacts into one big, easily accessible mailing database
This is by far the most important thing you could ever do with your inbox. Exporting your contacts and making a database with important information will make your outreach efforts 10 times easier, especially when you need to reach out super fast in a short amount of time. Organize your contacts by name, email, blog name/brand/publication and learn how to search and sort the database so you can quickly access the information you need in a moment's notice. Another helpful tip? Once you have the database compiled, you can create separate lists to use for a specific event or need. For instance, want to let people know that you are hosting a Valentine's Day giveaway? Sort, find, copy and past the emails of the bloggers or editors who you should email that would be interested. The whole point here is to get your email contacts laid out in a way that helps you be more proactive with your outreach efforts.
- Identify who is an important influencer or stakeholder and create labels so you never miss an email from them.
Remember that time you got an invite to a really interesting event by a PR person (who seemed really nice) and then you lost the email and obviously missed the event? Yeah, big fail. Avoid that kind of mishap and get to labeling your emails. Make sure that all PR invites are organized into a separate folder or individual label so they won't disappear into an email black hole. You could even take it further and categorize your emails according to level of importance for your own blog. For instance, you could use “readers”, “editors”, “peers”, “online personalities”, “business owners” labels so you could see who was contacting you and how fast you should reply back (depending on who is more important to you.)
- Monitor reader emails and manage reader comments.
Questions, concerns, comments: your readers want to hear from you on a direct-level and you owe it to them to not only read their emails but respond. It's basically customer service and you are running a service, in a way. By keeping tabs on reader emails, you will be able to answer issues, anticipate reader needs and, most importantly, do damage control. If someone is having trouble with a post or your blog, you want to nip that in the bud as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely that reader will go elsewhere and complain about your blog. Let's try to mitigate the bad word-of-mouth and respond to emails as efficiently as possible.
Have you optimized your email before? Is it something you want to try and tackle but never have time? It's not the easiest of tasks but once you do a major overhaul, you'll feel less cluttered and overwhelmed every time you open your inbox.