Email is an essential tool for business today—especially those who do most of their business (and selling) online. But it’s confusing and stressful (and sometimes expensive) when you don’t know which applications will serve your needs the best. And it’s easy to get sucked into investing in one tool for one task and another tool for a similar task without really knowing you’re doubling up.
To help you weed through some of the options—and hopefully introduce you to some great productivity tools, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite email tools.
I work from home and tend to draft emails at all times of the day and night very early morning. And my weekends usually include spending a few hours in front of my computer too. But even though I’m telling you this here, that doesn’t necessarily mean I want my clients to know this.
Boomerang allows me to draft and “send” emails—but to delay the actual delivery to more reasonable office hours. That way, when I sit down on a Saturday morning to do some work, my clients don’t start expecting me to return their emails then.
Another bonus to Boomerang is that I can tag certain incoming emails to bounce back to me when I’m ready to address them. It will also alert me if I never hear back from the recipient of a sent email. That way I can put an email out of my mind without worrying that I’ll forget about it.
It’s really not enough that I close the window on my email and have notifications turned off on my phone. It’s still too easy to pop back in and check my emails when I’m at my computer—way too many times each day. With Inbox Pause, I can tell my inbox to put all new incoming messages on hold until I tell it to unpause. And I can even choose to deliver an autoresponder to senders, so they don’t expect a response right away.
If you’re really trying to curb your email habit, schedule emails to pop into your inbox just a few times a day so you’re not constantly working out of your inbox. I just might try to put this into action.
ConvertKit is my email system of choice, something I switched to almost a year ago. I was using MailChimp before, where I wasn’t terribly impressed with the overall function and user experience. As soon as I made the switch, my open rates went crazy. It’s so easy to build funnels and send out broadcast emails in ConvertKit and setting up opt-ins for my list is a cinch! I’ve even segmented my list so not every subscriber gets every email—something that’s super important to do if you want to keep people on your list.
Gmail for Business
This one was a no-brainer for me. I needed a professional-looking email that was branded with my domain. I was never a Gmail user before, and I actually preferred Outlook because it was prettier. But a business friend recommended the switch and I’m so glad I did it. I’ve linked my email with my calendar with my phone and my tablet—and I can even share my calendar with my daughter so she can see my schedule. Even better, my VA now has an email account through my Gmail account so she can send emails on my behalf. Score!
In all, my financial investment for my email marketing and systems runs me a whopping $39 per month–$29 for ConvertKit and $10 for two branded Gmail accounts. Not a bad deal at all for such an integral part of my business.
I know there are many highly “trendy” email systems and tools out there, but I’m okay with the “less is more” philosophy. I don’t believe in spending more money just for the sake of some big-name tool. I’m pretty darn happy with where I am.