How to Automate Your Emails

Posted on - in Automation

Communicating by email is convenient, but it can also take up more time in your day than expected. Fortunately, there are some useful ways you can automate your emails.

1. Set Up Auto-Reply Messages

An auto-reply message sends a single, prepared message to either anyone who tries to contact you by email or only the people in your contacts list. Many individuals use them if they’re on vacation or need to unexpectedly leave the office early. However, you can depend on them in other ways, too.

Consider the scenario of setting up a dedicated email address for the messages you receive regarding registrations for an upcoming conference. Your auto-reply message might thank the person for sending a registration inquiry and mention that you’ll respond to any questions within a business day. It could also remind people that they must follow up on any registration form submissions by contacting you via phone to pay any necessary fees.

The goal is to reduce the amount of typing you have to do to answer individual people. If a single, automatically sent email could do the trick, you save time and effort. If you use Gmail, the process for setting an auto-reply message only takes a minute or two. You can customize the content to say anything, as well.

2. Receive Emails on Your Desired Schedule

Incoming email notifications can break your focus, especially if the near sound of a just-arrived message convinces you it’s necessary to stop whatever you’re doing and check your inbox immediately. However, a product called Adiós uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver incoming messages in bulk three times per day, and only when you specify.

Also, users can set some parameters that override the system. For example, they can make it so that all emails from immediate family members or a child’s school arrive in real-time. There’s also a feature that enables receiving email right away on request, regardless of any schedule settings.

3. Use Smart Filters to Categorize Emails Automatically

Anyone who has ever cleaned out a closet full of clothes knows how making dedicated categories for their garments makes the task much more manageable. When you have groups for attire to keep, recycle and give away, it’s easier to survey a piece and decide how to handle it. An email program can do something similar.

For example, Gmail allows setting up filters that dictate how the software handles incoming emails. You can have a new email from a client automatically go into a folder with a “Work” label, for example.

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Alternatively, a product called SaneBox has an AI component that analyzes users’ email histories to determine what they deem important. Eventually, the program ensures you see essential emails quickly, but moves the ones that could distract you to a separate folder.

Even more precise email categorization may be on the way soon. A team at MIT found that 40% of people polled felt common email programs couldn’t accomplish their filtering needs. The researchers are testing a more customized option for sorting emails called YouPS.

4. Let Gmail’s Smart Compose Feature Anticipate Your Sentences

What made you decide that now is the time to automate your emails? Time is often a defining factor. For example, if a person has to write dozens of emails daily, most would love to reduce how long it takes them to finish. Google kept that in mind when it introduced a Smart Compose feature for Gmail.

It works in the background to suggest words and phrases in gray text as a person types. Accepting a prompt is as easy as pressing the Tab key on a computer keyboard or swiping across the proposed word or sentence on a smartphone screen.

5. Automatically Keep Email Lists Free From Outdated Content

People who use email for marketing frequently feel dismayed when some distributed messages bounce back because the addresses associated with them are no longer operational. The primary way to fix that problem until recently was to manually search for and remove old emails when people became aware of them.

However, NeverBounce recently unveiled a product called Sync that automates the list-cleaning duties for users every day. It has an automatic import feature that allows you to connect all email lists to Sync and let the software sift through them to spot problems. The program then gives reports to confirm how many emails are still valid, as well as the number removed due to disuse.

Automate Your Emails Today

These tips are some of the worthwhile options for automating your emails that could make a huge difference in your daily tasks.

It may take a few days to get used to these methods and make the most relevant tweaks. But, staying dedicated to this endeavor could free up valuable time.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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