Many now talk about how social media is taking over and the decreasing significance of email. However, the fact still remains that most of us (it’s more like ‘all of us’) have email accounts which we check on a regular basis. Not only do we have email accounts that we check on a daily basis, we also have inboxes overflowing with emails (read and unread).
Many of us suffer from email inboxes which resemble jungles – it seems like an impossibility to sift through all of the emails. How many of us would love to cut the cruft out of our inboxes! Life would be a lot simpler! One of the ways of dealing with inbox craft is the use of message boards. Sending an email to a group of people is wasting their time. Why send all of them an email and contribute to their inbox craft, when you can simply keep them updated using a message board or forum?
An online bulletin board should be used within a company for posting announcements. A collaborative white board can be formed within a working group. Needless to say, this strategy will significantly reduce the number of unnecessary emails in an inbox. Why whisper into everyone’s inbox when you can simply use a loudspeaker to announce your message using a message board, forum, online bulletin board etc?
Another cruft-prevention strategy is that of instant messaging. One can use the ‘reply by chat’ option in Gmail to clear issues swiftly instead of playing to-and-fro with emails. Not only will this reduce inbox craft, it is also more convenient and easily and swiftly resolves issues. After all, why are you sending emails to someone who is online when you can simply resolve the issue by replying by chat?
Emailing someone who you can clearly see is online is like posting a letter addressed to someone who lives two doors from you. Not only are you spending energy and time for something that could’ve been easily done using less effort and time, you are also unnecessarily filling up another man’s mailbox. Blogs are also a great way of passing on information to large groups without flooding their inboxes. Blogs share similarities with message boards – the format of blogs is better, though. Tumblelogs and microblogging are also effective solutions.
Another thing that causes annoyance for many is a multiple-step email. We are all aware of that ‘call to action’ email. Even if we are interested, many of us hesitate to proceed with heeding the call to action as the path can be full of twists and turns – a landing page, go through paragraphs of text, click buttons etc. Many of us can already see the meandering path lying ahead, and just leave the email to languish in obscurity in our inbox.
Life would be a lot simpler if such call-to-action emails were more instant – for both the sender as well as the reader. The ideal strategy would have as few clicks as possible on the road from the ‘call-to-action email’ to the ‘action’ – the best strategy would be to have in the call-to-action email, just one button and just one click.
As you can use, you can employ multiple strategies to keep the cruft out of your inbox as well as the inboxes of others!