Subtitle: and if you combine two software programs with the two principles it can triple the effect!
Half a year ago I never thought I would hear myself say this, after I decide then to untweet myself. But others convinced me - rightly so - that if you use twitter strategically and tactically it can do 'wonders'.
Therefore this statement: Twitter is a great tool to discover not only people but also principles that can make your business (life) more effective, efficient, profitable etc. Like bloggers can shows you, teach you; only tweeters tell you (redirect you more often) in a very short and effective way (140 characters). As with everything in business (life) it is what you do with it that counts.
Last week a twitter 'discussion' about the use of AWeber with @adriarichards made me aware of a principle I hadn't actually heard of being named this way: Inbox zero (as part of GTD: Getting Things Done). Adria pointed me to a video where Merlin Man explains the principle (I do recommened you watch it but be aware the video is almost 1 hour long!) in, I think - never have seen him before - his normal straightforward, no-nonsense, sometime hilarious way.
Inbox Zero does not mean reducing the amount of emails coming in, as business in these modern Internet times almost impossible. (If you don't want any email coming in, don't get an email address - again for a business almost impossible.)
Inbox Zero means: taking decisive actions on the emails coming in. Either:
- Delete (or archive)
- Respond with one effective answer
- Defer - when you need time to make sure the answer you do give is as effective as possible
- Do - immediate action such as buy the product, schedule the meeting, phone the sender etc
And nobody orders you you should check your email every other minute. My email program only connects with the email server every hour to collect new emails from prospects, clients, suppliers, friends and of course the spam and phishing emails that somehow get past the spam filter.
After watching the video I had a proper look in my 'inbox' - I'm a kind of a horder apparently, I even found emails in there 1 year old! Decisive actions followed: a handfull got archived and 3 were responded to. None of the remaining needed a deferred or an immediate action any longer - had already happened - but still hovered in the inbox. They got deleted. (Now I have to tackle the 'outbox' the same way.)
Your inbox might look like mine did: still filled with emails you have already tackled. It is not just that a clean and uncluttered inbox gives you a feeling of accomplishment, following the Inbox Zero principle will spur you on to be more effective/efficient with responding to incoming messages.
And that's were the subtitle comes in: combining the principles of GTD and Inbox Zero with two software programs.
To help you increase the numbers of email you can respond to immediately and reduce the numbers of 'defered' emails you - as many businesses have found - will notice that many will contain the same questions/answers many times over. Using ScreenSteps in combination with ScreenSteps Live gives you an instant database filled with Q&A's. Now with the new widget of ScreenSteps Live Support Client (desktop application for listing, searching and quickly getting urls for your lessons on your ScreenSteps Live account) your respons is almost automated.
You can create a complete 'instruations of use' or training manual, step by step guides using multiple ScreenStep's options. The only response your prospect/client needs is the link to the right page of your Live manual/lesson. And he/she will be grateful too.
And what if your prospect/client has also implemented the Inbox Zero principle in his/her life? Can you, as business, still market them effectively without running the risk being deleted? You can, when you use email marketing strategies and tactics that makes your message anticipated in such a way your prospect/client can only take the 'Do' action.
Get Things Done and help your prospect/client Getting Things Done, be it buying your product or receiving the most effective answer to his/her question about your product/service.
And it starts in the inbox, yours and theirs.