As virtual assistants, our email is not just one way, but a crucial way to communicate with our clients. It is where we receive most of the instructions for our tasks. So, how we manage it can reflect on how we deal with their tasks.
To keep ourselves organized, let’s always start with our email. Here are a few refreshers when using your email:
- Respond to your emails in a timely manner. Set a schedule when you have to respond to your emails perhaps checking them in a certain time like every hour or two. Making it a habit to acknowledge your client’s latest instructions is quite an assurance on their end that you are already taking care of the task that can be urgent or important.
- Avoid sharing too confidential information. Do not be too assured that it is okay to share something confidential like login credentials through your emails. Remember that what you can see on your email can always be copied. It is better to use LastPass for a secured sharing of logins.
- Create a good email content. Brevity is the key to a good communication with your client – that is being concise, and organized and giving the most relevant response or message.
- Use an email signature. You may also take the initiative to include your most professional headshot in your email signature for a personal touch. It is simply a way of giving the recipient an idea on who he has been talking to.
- Have a backup of your important emails. The thing is you cannot just save your important emails in just one place. We do not know when a system bugs down so having a backup can save you from distress. For instance, if you are using your Microsoft Outlook, drag the email that you want to save to a folder in your computer. You can always open your backup emails for as long as you got your Outlook.
- Create your subject lines wisely. Be descriptive as much as possible like letting your recipient know what the content is all about. You may write your email body first before you get more specific with the subject line. For another, you can start your subject line with the verb – so as to give the recipient an idea of what is to be done and he reads the body of your email thoroughly to get the clear instructions.
- Avoid using the same email thread when talking about a new subject. We must admit that it is difficult to back-read an email thread. This takes so much of our time and it gets worse when you only find out the new message does not relate to the previous thread at all. Having a distinct subject for every new email can surely help you and your reader organize the emails at that instant. Plus, you easily find what you are looking for when the right keywords are used.
- Remember that your email inbox is not your task organizer. It is good to have your own list-to-do notes, not your emails so as not to waste time digging your mailbox. Try using another feature of Google spreadsheet.
- Remind yourself to delete unnecessary emails. Also set a schedule when to clear out some of your email messages from your inbox. And, save those emails that contain some information for future reference by making use of labels on Gmail. That way, you can easily organize the emails through certain topics.
- Be careful when sending out your email. There are an awful lot of ways to mess up when sending out your email to your clients. You either send an email without the important attachment or you send it to the wrong person. Also, be careful with these two fields – To: (the main recipient that you are expecting to respond to your message) and Cc: (who only needs to have a copy of your email.) Also, double-check when you need to ‘reply to’ one person or ‘reply to all’, sending your email to everyone including who have been copied. Remember that this part is also crucial to your email correspondence as it only reflects how keen you are into details.
Always keep in mind that our clients get to know us more through our emails. We inexplicitly express ourselves when writing to inform or inquire about their tasks. So, we carefully use our email as virtual assistants always do.
Juvy Ann Magbanua
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