I am FINALLY gaining control of my email in-box and am freeing up at least an hour a day.
I have been overwhelmed with emails for years.
I have five different email accounts. Four of them feed into my Fastmail account, an account I have had for over 10 years. I LOVE IT because it is fast, and easy to organize. Way easier to organize than Gmail.
I also have a Gmail email account. I originally got this because I wanted to link up to all the very cool Google services including Google Docs and Google Forms.
My Gmail account isn’t a problem because I strictly restrict the people who have access to it. I don’t use it to signup for newsletters, affiliate programs. Just a FEW very special people are given access .. As a result this email account is easily managed.
The other four accounts are totally out of control.
I have one email account that has been in existence for over 20 years. It gets over 1500 SPAM emails a day. All I can say is Thank GOD for Fastmail’s very efficient spam filters. This same email address gets over 200 emails a day that make it through the spam filters.
The problem is … I am TOO busy to rectify the problem. So I just have a quick acting delete finger and have learned to scan quickly.
I know that I AM the root of the problem because:
I don’t take the time to rectify the situation allowing it to get worse over time.
I love Bright Shiny New stuff.
The big problem with ME is that I am enticed by possibilities. I sign up for newsletters because of the possibilities. I don’t remove myself from lists because I MIGHT miss out on that ONE big thing that could change my life. I am a shiny new object junkie!
My excuse for shiny new stuff is that I have to keep ahead of the game, test new gizmos, software and try out new marketing methods. I must do this to be of use to my customers and my blog visitors.
The problem has been so overwhelming that I am wasting huge amounts of time processing emails instead of engaging in my business.
So what has changed? And why have I become the Email BITCH from Hell?
One day as I was looking at the endless stream of incoming emails I realized
*** BING BING BING ***
If I spent a bit of time on solving the problem, I would no longer HAVE a problem … or I’d have less of a problem. I realized I didn’t need to do it in a day or a week or even a month … just just had to be consistent and persistent. A bit every day. I spend at least an hour a day on email … mostly getting rid of it, answering email when necessary and reading “shiny new stuff.”
So I put yet another thing on my daily To Do List
I decided that I would give the EMAIL PROBLEM daily task an initial commitment of 30 days. At the end of 30 days I’d see where I was and make a decision to stop or to keep on going for a second 30 days.
I have NO idea how many lists I have subscribed to. I DO know that I have 101,206 emails sitting in ONE of my in-boxes. I also have over 150,000 emails that have been automatically filtered into over a dozen specialized folders.
Once I made the commitment here’s what happened:
Every day for 30 days when I opened my email inbox(es) I scanned through and found ONE list to UNSUBSCRIBE to.
The fist few days were excruciatingly painful. What if I deleted myself from a list that would make me a millionaire overnight?
I KNOW you might be saying … “Get REAL Melanie.”
I was saying the exact same thing … especially because I HATE those guys who imply that ”you too can make $1359 a day,” but only if you buy and follow their super secret program.
Just an aside … have you ever wondered why these guys are willing to sell their secrets? Why don’t they keep their secret to themselves and ramp up a thousand times and make a billion overnight? Just wondering ….
I started removing the get rich in a month guys. OK to be fair, there are a few gals, but mostly guys with very short dicks. I also removed the guys and gals who give you NOTHING useful, but just try to sell you stuff TEN TIMES A DAY (I am not exaggerating this …. Some of you will resonate with this because you too are on those lists).
The very first list I removed myself from was a “Doctor.” This guy continually promises that HE and only HE has found the secret to curing “whatever ails you,” from Diabetes to Cancer. He strings you along with seemingly great information that simply ends with a pitch for one of HIS products. I can’t remember even once him giving away some USEFUL information for free. So WHY THE F*@k did I stay on his list for so long? Well … because someday there might be something useful.
So the Doctor was the first to go.
First I hit the UNSUBSCRIBE link.
Next I searched my email archives for his name/address and deleted ALL 3078 emails from my box.
Let me TELL you about the angst of hitting the mass delete button. I started going through each email separately, just in case there was one I should keep. After the first 100 manual deletes I hit the MASS DELETE button.
The second list to go was two guys who send emails two to three times a DAY. On top of that they send 3 versions of each email, within one hour. Each version has a different Header. I guess they figured the different choice of titles would get more emails opened. Hey guys … after I figured out what you were doing, I would just delete all three emails at the same time … so NO it didn’t work with me.
WOW, It feels so freaking damn good to be a Bitch!
I am now on Day 37 of my Email BITCH mission. The sheer amount of incoming emails have been reduced by about 40%. The backlog of archived emails have been reduced by over 32,000.
It feels GREAT. It is LIBERATING!
As I mentioned before it took me a few days for the BITCH to get into gear because I was so afraid of missing something.
Now? I am a ninja warrior taking less than a minute to UNSUBSCRIBE and MASS DELETE one publication each day.
I’ve also come to the realization that I am STILL the problem, because I have succumbed to the temptation and have subscribed to several new newsletters. This time though, they will have to provide some kind of real benefit in order to be placed on my KEEP list.
My new rule: Each newsletter that I want to keep has its own folder along with the filter code that shunts it into the folder. If I don’t open and browse through the emails in a folder for 90 days then I will unsubscribe and delete the entire folder. If I can’t get to something in 90 days then I probably will never get to it … so it goes.
I still have a long way to go, but even the bit I have done so far is making a BIG difference. I’ve removed the biggest offenders and by doing so have cut my incoming email in half! This, in itself, is my incentive to keep going.
OH and just in case you are wondering how this affects my OWN newsletters?
I am trying harder than ever to provide USEFUL information to my readers. There are days I know I have failed, but I pick myself off the garbage heap and try again.
And … once a month I run my GetResponse stats and remove people who don’t open my emails. They are NOT interested and I am paying to keep them on my list!
I’ll update my progress at the 90 day point and let you know what’s happening. Will I continue being an Email Bitch From Hell, or will I succumb to all the Shiny New stuff?
Ella James says
I have the same problem. I have signed up for every site that I go to. Now I am inundated with emails that I don’t need or want. Thanks for the great advice. I am going to do it.
Thanks for your comment Ella James! My mail has now been reduced to less than 1/10th of its former volume … giving me at least an hour a day to do more important things … like have some fun!
If you just chip away daily, it will whittle itself down until it is manageable!