Posts from Email

Some Thoughts On Email After Dealing With 500 Emails

I just spent four hours going through my inbox and taking it from 500 emails to zero. These were old unanswered emails, not spam (which I delete regularly in the ordinary course of business).

My email routine, now that I am solidly on gmail and loving it, is to quickly check off and delete all spam in my inbox at least once and ideally twice or three times a day.

Then I scan my inbox for emails from my top priorities; wife, family, partners, colleagues, portfolio, etc. I try to get to all of those at least once a day and ideally twice or three times a day. Gmail knows who these people are and I can't for the life of me understand why they don't build a tool to source up all of those emails automatically. Please build that feature google.

I let the rest build up in my inbox and try to get to it on the weekends. That's how I get to 500 unread emails and that's why I spent my sunday mornings in my inbox.

So for those of you who email me from time to time, here are some suggestions:

1) Be patient. I do try to respond to all legitimate non-spam email and do a pretty good job at it.

2) I am not perfect. Sometimes in my haste to delete spam, I delete a few legit emails. If you have not heard back from me in over a week, please resend your email.

3) Short and sweet gets a faster response than long winded.

4) I like to have conversations via email. If you send me an email looking for a meeting, expect a few questions back from me first.

5) Just because my reply is short does not mean I have no interest. It simply means I've got 500 emails to get through.

6) I've largely given up on responding to anything other than urgent emails and disqus comments on my blackberry. I do scan a lot of email on my blackberry.

7) I still would like a send and delete button from gmail. Send and archive is so awesome but I do a lot of send and delete too.

8) Gmail is life changing. Thank you google.

That's it for now.

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#VC & Technology

Gmail Feature Request: Send and Delete

Nothing has made my email productivity increase quite like adding the "send and archive" button via the "Labs" tab in Gmail settings. I got to zero inbox for the first time in years last night during the Jets-Dolphins game because I've become fanatical about archiving my email. My inbox is full again this morning but I am confident that I can keep my email under control with this new routine.

But I'd love for Google to add another function in Gmail: send and delete. I don't want to archive every email. I want to delete many of them. So the combo of send and delete and send and archive would make my gmail usage even more productive.

I realize that many people could care less about stuff like this. But when you receive hundreds of non-spam, non-newslettter, non-notification emails a day that demand replies, every second matters.

I'm hoping someone out there works on the gmail team. If you do, please help me by adding a send and delete button. I'll thank you and so will a lot of your power users.

Note: I realize that keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate solution here. I'm getting there with them, but I still think adding a send and delete button to gmail would help a lot of people, me included.

Second Note: I want to thank Kortina for tipping me off about send and archive via Twitter last week. I've received dozens of great gmail tips on Twitter and thanks to everyone for that.

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SEO and SEM For Email

Everyone who works in online marketing knows what SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are. They have become large businesses with hundreds of millions (SEO) or billions (SEM) being spent each year. SEO and SEM are the tools a marketer uses to get customers or potential customers to visit his or her website via search.

But many marketers don't realize there are similar tools for getting customers and potential customers to see their email messages. As Matt Blumberg, CEO of our portfolio company Return Path, points out in this post, there are very similar tools available in the email world.

SEO is all about the things you do to make your website optimized to show up in the organic (aka free) search results. In email, the equivalent is "reputation monitoring and management". As you work on your email reputation, the likelihood that your email will get into the inbox goes up. And like SEO, there are both consultants you can hire and tools you can use to do this.

SEM is about buying traffic via search. In email, the equivalent are whitelisting services. If you have a good email reputation, then you can pay to be on various whitelists that are like "EZ Pass for email".

Just like SEO and SEM, you really should do both. Start with optimizing and then move onto paid services. If you want to learn more, Return Path is the leader in providing both "reputation monitoring and management" and whitelisting. You can learn more on their website.

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