10 Ways To Answer A Flood of Emails in One Day

Publisher Channel Content by

answer a flood of emails in one day

Most small business owners are buried in email. This is discouraging since they don’t always get to answer the important ones. Business etiquette suggests that each email should be replied to within 24 hours.

Letting messages go unanswered for longer than this can have a profound negative effect on relationships in their business. The sender is worried that the email was not received or a “no answer” means a negative reply. In many cases, it means neither of these things.

Proper email etiquette is critical because business fortune rise and fall with the economic times. You meet the same people on the way up as you meet on the way down. In other words, today you need something from me and tomorrow I need something from you. If I never returned your email when you needed me, what do you think will happen when the roles are reversed?

10 Ways To Answer A Flood of Emails in One Day

Here is how to answer every email within 24 hours, especially on a busy day.

1. Use Auto Responders

Set up an automatic response from your email system notifying senders with how long it takes on average for you to respond to email. By setting this expectation, the sender knows their email was received and approximately when they will hear from you. The key thing is to then stick to the promised time frame when answering.

2. Be Short

Don’t reply with a novel or something that should be said in a personal phone call or in person conversation. By keeping replies to a few words or a single sentence, it takes less time. Remember, it also becomes more difficult to read long email replies on smartphones.

3. Ask for Numbered Questions

This makes it much easier to reply where you can copy the questions from the emails and briefly respond to each one.

4. Deadlines

Look for a timeframe in which a reply is expected. Then set a follow up for this date to consider the reply at that time. Place email in specific folders for different categories or customers.

5. Got It, Later

If you have no time to reply to it now. Type “Got it, will reply”. In fact, this can be set up as a short cut with a few strokes on your desktop or handheld device. These text expanders can save a lot of time. Then set a follow up so you can reply later.

6. Don’t Add to the Mess

Forget reply all. This just adds another email for someone else to read.

7. Keep Anger Out

Never reply when you are mad. It burns a lot of energy and can have unintended bad consequences. If you must express yourself, type out a reply to yourself and read it 24 hours later before considering sending it to the intended recipient. Phone or in person conversations are always more productive than angry emails.

8. Turn Off Notifications

Set particular times during the day you can actually focus on answering emails without multitasking. You will accomplish a lot more and be effective.

9. Use Rules and Folders

Set up rules within your mail system so that specific emails with particular titles go into special folders so you can review those first or within a set time frame. This prevents you from looking at a monolithic inbox, which can be overwhelming.

10. Schedule for the Future

Many email programs will let you schedule for the future. Answer it now and have the system send it later.

Communicating effectively in a timely manner is always the best way will build the relationship capital that you need for your business success and will help you answer a flood of emails in one day.

Handmade Soap Photo via Shutterstock

Barry Moltz Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting with countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward. His newest book, BAM! shows how in a social media world, customer service is the new marketing.

11 Reactions
  1. That all sounds good, but Auto Responders can be fatal sometimes. I’ve got too much junk mail, but among those junk are very crucial messages, how to sort them?? That was my biggest headache!!! But not now. I hired a virtual assistant from this agency http://vafromeurope.com/ PS: It is very important to hire a virtual assistant from an agency, they are more reliable and you can be 100% sure that your data will be protected. And so now I feel totally relaxed about my mail. I got usual report from my assistant about my mails. He now works for free due to their offer of free trial version! So great. But I must say he does his best.

  2. Another consideration is “Do you actually need to reply?” Too many times I get chime-ins from people who are copied where they don’t add anything to the thread but seem to just indicate they saw the email. It should be understood that you read an email if it was sent to you, but you don’t need to respond to everything.

  3. Yes, we always do not need to reply! Good point!

  4. Autoresponders are good and all but nothing beats really taking a few seconds to make an authentic reply. They can help if you are out of time but you also have to manage your e-mails manually.

  5. Good tips! I find that replying that I will respond later just marks the email unread and I never reply again, so I try to leave things unread until I have time to sit down and read them.

    I like the idea of bundling emails into the Inbox with rules…Google Inbox does this really well! Is there any good way to do this with Outlook? I find that emails that are more than a day old just get forgotten in my Inbox.

  6. Do you use any special email program / app? I got introduced to Spark today and it reminds me of Inbox by Gmail. The incoming flood of email messages could have an impact on your mood, if you see a never-ending amount of new emails in the inbox.

  7. Buffer is a great tool for scheduling emails to send later. I never use the “got your email, reply later” thing. What’s the point? If someone can’t wait a few hours for you to respond properly, they should have called you.

  8. I think we should take care of every single email. Autoresponders are when we out for holidays. Also, email scheduling does make sense as we have so many emails to answer that we do not want to sometimes.