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A Productivity Hack That Only Takes a Minute

I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled email inspiration/tip for some productivity advice.

I know you want to learn from the master over here.

And by “master,” I mean shiny object syndrome expert.

Oooo a new tech tool!?!? Wait. Where did the last 2 hours go?

But seriously, here’s a tool I keep forgetting about and rediscovering. It’s like a tiny treasure I keep from myself and then remember when I get the overwhelms.

AND it only takes a minute to set up.

INBOX PAUSING

Whaaaaaaaaaaat!? I know.

If you’re like me and keep your email inbox up at all times (because everyone will scratch their eyeballs out if you don’t respond to their email in 30 seconds), then you know how distracting it gets.

I installed Boomerang for my Gmail and G suite emails and it comes with INBOX PAUSE.

If you don’t know what Boomerang is, it’s also its own productivity hack. It can send back emails that you sent that the recipient didn’t respond to. It can also schedule emails in your inbox.

SO COOL.

Weirdly, I mainly use it for the Inbox Pause feature.

When I’m trying to focus, I flip on the pause switch which defaults to 2 hours.

I know what you’re thinking. Why not just close out your email?

When I’m trying to dig through my emails for one tiny detail that I cant remember, I end up losing time because OH LOOK ANOTHER NEW EMAIL. It’s NEW! It’s SHINY! Must read it!

You know that song and dance.

And for all of you Outlook users, there’s a similar function. It’s called “Work Offline”.

Seriously, it’s a game-changer.

Halloween emails don’t have to be scary ?

OK, calm down.

That joke was hilarious but not *that* hilarious.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

No? Didn’t laugh at all? Fine. I’ll save my best stuff for later.

I hate to break it to you. The holidays are on us.

First, Halloween. Then, Thanksgiving. Then, Christmas. You know the drill.

It’s a comically out-of-control snowball that is about to scoop you up in its demolishing descent.

Some of you may be in businesses that do not sell anything related to holidays.

That’s fine.

But it’s kind of weird *not* to acknowledge a celebratory season, right? (Unless that’s really, really not your thing or your brand).

And even if it’s not your thing, you don’t have to go overboard with the all of the words you can replace a syllable with the word “boo.”

OK, now I have to do it. Ready?

Boo-tiful, a-boo-rable, fa-boo-lus, boo-ty…

OK. I’m out. That didn’t take long.

Back to emails here.

What I’m really trying to say is, that you don’t have to go all out for a holiday email, like Halloween. You can keep it keep it super simple.

A fun color change, a cute little boo pun, an emoji in the subject line.

Find a way to celebrate the ordinary with people who are looking for something to celebrate.

Here’s an incredibly easy, fun, simple example of a Halloween email that’s worth taking note.

 

Subject Line from original email: Humongous Halloweekend Sale ?

 

Here’s what you should copy from this email: 

COLOR: 

Postable used a bright orange background color with white font and a black CTA button.

The background color immediately brings Halloween to mind.

The bright color also helps contrast against the white font and black CTA button making everything “pop”.

SUPER SIMPLE: 

A marketing email doesn’t have to be five million paragraphs long.

If you have a promotion or simple message you want to get out to your audience, consider a brief, direct email that gets your point across!

SUBJECT LINE EMOJI: 

Seasonal emojis for the win! Emojipedia as collections of seasonal emojis to pull from.

Sprinkle one here and there in your subject lines during the season and feel all of the Halloween goosebumps.

Check it out —-> https://emojipedia.org/halloween/

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?

Email Inspiration – Ellanyze

Get Inspired

One inspirational email.

Three easy takeaways.

wish I could take credit for this week’s email. It’s a newsletter series called Short and Sweet by the lovely, Janelle Reichman.

She owns and operates Ellanyze, a front end web development company.

She is one of the kindest humans I’ve met in Ann Arbor, MI. She freely gives her time and is a talented WordPress developer.

Her Short & Sweet series is just that. Short and sweet.

Janelle highlights something that has stuck out to her every week – which is either an artist, a business hack or a website tip.

It’s easily digestible and a joy to read.

Take a scroll, check out this example of Ellanyze’s Short and Sweet, then read the 3 easy things that are worth repeating.

Here’s what you should copy from this email: 

LENGTH: 

Do you see how short this email is? 

We often can only grab our email subscriber’s attention for a fraction of a minute. Maybe more if we’re lucky.

In a crowded inbox, how do you make sure people read your content?

Make it short.

I often seen people try to cram as much content in an email as possible. 

Cut down the copy and highlight the most important parts of your business as possible.

BRIGHT, BOLD VISUAL: 

I immediately want to know more about what’s happening in this email based on the visual.

My curiosity is piqued.

Is it an overly stylized image? No.

It’s a beautiful graphic that she cropped for the size of her email. That’s it.

Don’t overcomplicate your graphics. They don’t need to by hyper-stylized.

It just needs to be eye-catching.

CTA

I often see CTA’s buried in the bottom of emails.

Here, Janelle makes her Discovery Call CTA button bold and beautiful.

There is no missing it.

If I want to talk to Janelle, I know exactly how to do that.

Don’t hide your CTA’s.

Don’t make your subscribers hunt to find how to contact you. The harder you make it for them, the less likely they are to follow through.

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?

Email Inspiration – Fab Oops

Get Inspired

One inspirational email.

Three easy actions.

Fab? Yes.

That’s all I have to say about this email.

End of blog.

j/k

Have you been like the thousands of other people who sent something out and realized there was a mistake?

Oh, you haven’t?

Cool cool cool.

Then, I’m just writing this for myself then.

OK, self. You made a mistake. You sent out an email with the wrong link, the wrong headline or the wrong subject line.

Crap.

The world is ending.

Oh, wait. It’s not ending. Weird.

Pick yourself back up and figure out how to fix it.

First step, admit you made a mistake.

Second step, delight your audience with a fantastic Oops email.

That’s what Fab did with today’s inspiration.

Take note and figure out how to bounce back gracefully.

Here’s what you should copy from this email: 

HAVE FUN: 

Yes, you’re mortified that you just made a mistake.

Guess what? We all do it.

Sorry to be the one to tell you that you’re not special in that regard.

There’s nothing better than deflecting embarrassment with humor.

A weird coping mechanism? Maybe.

It’s definitely not something I do.

But it does put people at ease. They forget to be made when they’re smiling.

CALL OUT THE MISTAKE:

Pinpoint what happened. Name it. Say it out loud.

Do what you have to do identify the mistake.

What’s worse than making a mistake? Not admitting to it and naming it.

People feel like they’re having something pulled on them because it lacks transparency.

Name it so you can move on.

ISSUE THE CORRECTION: 

In case this isn’t obvious, give them the correct info in the follow-up email.

Give them the opportunity to take the action you wanted them to take.

BONUS: Can you give an apology offer? Maybe a discount, a freebie or a sweet pic of your baby niece (with mom’s permission of course)?

People appreciate it when you go the extra mile any time during their customer journey. Don’t let this opportunity be any different.

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?

Email Inspiration – opt-in with Sandra van der Lee

Get Inspired

One inspirational email.

Three easy actions.

This week’s inspiration is a little different. We’re going to talk about opt-ins.

I found a truly exceptional example from a web designer and get-sh*t-done coach, Sandra van der Lee.

Her opt-in is clear, valuable, designed very well and has a lovely landing page to boot.

Take a scroll, check out this opt-in offer and then read the 3 things that are worth repeating.

Homepage

Landing Page

Welcome Email

Here’s what you should copy from this opt-in: 

HOMEPAGE LOCATION: 

We all know you need to get those email address when someone visits your website. 

I see people making the huge mistake of embedding their opt-in form at the bottom of the page. Who scrolls all of the way to the bottom!?

I do, but that’s because I’m looking for an opt-in form to sign up for emails.

Keep it right at the top with a nice beautiful button.

LANDING PAGE:

Brilliant. I love her opt-in landing page. (Also, I kind of love her. Amazing copy!)

It’s simple with clear benefits of signing up for her mini-course.

Added benefit? She can link out to this page from anywhere to get people to sign up for her emails.

WELCOME EMAIL: 

I love an excited gif. And this one was a great choice.

Sandra comes off as human in her copy throughout her website and her welcome email is no different.

Before she launches into her opt-in she gives a brief intro on what she does and her value.

OK, I’m not gonna lie, I partly signed up for her opt-in because I need all of these things in my life.

The only thing I’d change from her email is the small hyperlink to booking a call. I often see people bury this in their emails. Make it a nice BIG button so the eye is drawn to it. It’s the next natural step in her sales cycle so make sure people know how to take it.

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?