Email Management 101 for B2B Marketers

By Andy Mowat, Co-Founder and CEO of Gated

The average person spends 2-3 hours staring at their screen every single day trying to read unnecessary emails, figure out what’s important to them, and ultimately clean up their inbox. For B2B marketers, opening up your inbox each morning is a nightmare as you see the flood of emails trickle in. Rather than spending valuable time attempting to sort through the mess, consider the following ideas for managing your inbox.

Compartmentalize Your Response Time (In Email and Beyond)

The most successful people set aside dedicated time to respond to emails – which allows you to consider which are priority, versus responding to everything the moment it arrives. Setting aside a few minutes each day to review and respond to emails helps minimize the distraction that can occur when you are constantly breaking your focus. As you do this, you’ll find your inbox will feel more under control and your responses more thoughtful.

Successful (and focused) professionals in any industry always recommend time blocking, as well. So consider setting up your calendar in a way that works for you and encourages productivity, not distraction. B2B marketers often feel a strong sense of urgency to respond to emails right away. Rather than reviewing your inbox every 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes when you get a notification (I’ll get to that stressor later), set aside one or two times per day to check your inbox. Without using any tools or hacks, having a 10-15 minute window etched into your calendar to go through your inbox may make a world of a difference.

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Silence the Digital Noise

This is where it gets tricky for most of us – it can be extremely difficult to turn off the notifications for anything, from our text messages, to favorite social media sites, to work email, especially when our world moves so fast these days. It’s important to ensure that you’re engaging in deep-focused and thoughtful work throughout the day. During that time, you should be taking the necessary steps to quiet the noise around you and not let notifications disrupt your flow.

The idea of missing an important email can be overwhelming, especially in B2B. But you will be pleasantly surprised to see how helpful and relieving hitting the “off” button can be.

Most solutions available today mean that you have to turn off notifications manually, but we believe that technology should help turn down the noise whenever you want – easily and without requiring effort.  As a B2B marketer, you may not have the luxury of being able to spend additional time in your inbox, so utilize technology such as Gated to work smarter, not harder.

You also shouldn’t have to spend time unsubscribing to all of those unnecessary and unwanted email newsletters you don’t read. New tech like Gated means those messages won’t reach your inbox and you can avoid opening yourself up to malicious attacks by clicking an unsubscribe link.

Know Your Value (Set Boundaries)

With the countless mass emails you receive on a regular basis, it often feels like your attention (and time) is simply not being valued. When you receive these emails and notice that someone is not taking the time to show that they value your attention, you shouldn’t spend your valuable minutes, or sometimes hours, dealing with those emails.

Set boundaries for the emails that are worth your time: people you know, people who bring relevant solutions that are applicable to your needs, people who make an effort to show that they are not just hitting you with spray-and-pray campaigns.

Instead of allowing your email to turn into an excessive and draining “to do list” from everyone else trying to reach you, start by being clear in what is important to YOU and then seeing if incoming messages meet that threshold. If they don’t, you shouldn’t be losing hours and hours of valuable time engaging in said emails.

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Take Advantage of Technology

You already use technology all the time within your job, so why not utilize more tools to make your life easier? At Gated, we believe in working smarter, not harder. So lean on the amazing technology our world has to offer to make your days a little bit easier.

Using Slack or Microsoft Teams to centralize internal communication at work is ultimately going to make your email far less messy. Once your internal communications live in one place outside of email, you’ll notice that your inbox will be less cramped. If you don’t already use a messaging tool at work, consider setting your team up with one to keep internal conversations streamlined.

If you look through your inbox you’ll most likely notice similar emails that require similar replies. Utilize email templates to have ready-to-go replies whenever your inbox seems to be filling up. It can be daunting to utilize email templates when we so often feel the need to customize every single email that we send for maximum efficiency. However, the bare bones of the majority of emails you send are typically the same, so creating basic templates will undoubtedly save you the time, stress, and effort of writing fresh, new emails on a regular basis.

Ultimately, technology is already so integrated into our lives, we may as well appreciate it and keep our eyes out for more fantastic tools and programs to save us time and keep us focused and productive.

Admit It: Your Email Isn’t Secret

As I’ve already shared, there are a multitude of ways our email is no longer a secret – anyone can get to you with lists, mass emails, scraping emails, etc. If you start with that realization, you’ll also realize that you need to prepare to deal with the ever-increasing flood of inbound sales pitches. So, be proactive and plan out a system to deal with that flood effectively and efficiently. Set filters on your email, use technology that helps increase the relevance of your inbox, and always be prepared to say ‘no’ to the rest – so you can focus on what matters most.

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