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10 Email Tasks To Outsource To A Virtual Assistant Today


Barnaby Lashbrooke

Founder and CEO of Time etc, author of The Hard Work Myth

9 minute read

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Imagine a world where email didn’t exist. For starters, it would be a real challenge to get your business off the ground.

Staying in touch with partners, vendors, and staff would be nowhere near as reliable or efficient. Coordinating projects and sharing important information would be a nightmare. Not to mention, you’d have to find other ways to market your business and reach new audiences.

So it's safe to say that email has become an essential part of doing business, and you’d be at a serious disadvantage without it.

But as a business owner, all those messages can quickly add up. Trying to keep on top of the deluge of inquiries, updates, and requests becomes a never-ending chore that distracts you from focusing on connecting with your customers and growing your business.

Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way.

A virtual assistant (VA) can help you tackle both sides of the email coin—cutting down the time you spend in your inbox so you can focus on more meaningful work, and making sure your email marketing never falls by the wayside.

Why should you let a virtual assistant handle your email tasks?

The answer lies in the tremendous advantages that arise from freeing yourself from the burden of inbox management and email marketing.

You save valuable time

Checking your inbox is, undoubtedly, a colossal source of distraction. Each time you delve into your sea of emails, you risk losing precious time and focus.

According to recent reports, the average person spends 28% of their workweek reading and responding to emails, yet only 38% of emails in the average inbox are important or relevant. So that's at least 13 hours every week, or over 81 full working days per year, spent on completely reactive, low-value work.

By entrusting this task to a virtual assistant, you can regain control over your workflow and channel your energy toward more meaningful work that will push your business forward.

You stay on top of your marketing tasks

When it comes to building relationships with your target audience and driving website traffic and sales, email marketing isn't going anywhere any time soon.

  • 99% of email users check their email every day, and 58% check their inbox before doing anything else online—such as logging into social media or checking the news.
  • 60% of consumers prefer email as their favorite channel for promotions and updates from businesses.
  • Email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter for acquiring customers.

However, with so many different responsibilities to juggle on a daily basis, many small business owners find it hard to justify carving out the time to craft compelling e-newsletters, press releases, or promotional emails.

It's a frustrating reality: the potential of email marketing often goes untapped as other pressing demands clamor for attention. But the good news is that a skilled virtual assistant can rescue you from this predicament.

Outsourcing repetitive tasks provides greater long-term benefits

Tasks related to email are not one-offs, they have to be completed on a daily or weekly basis. The recurring nature of these tasks makes them ideal candidates for delegation because, in business terms, they are appreciating assets.

Compared to one-off or ad-hoc tasks that may take longer to complete (and therefore feel more appealing to take off your plate), offloading recurring tasks allows you to take advantage of this reclaimed time and increased productivity every day or week on a continual basis.


Email management tasks to outsource today

Hiring virtual assistants can be one of the smartest choices a small business owner can make. There are a plethora of email management tasks you can outsource to virtual assistants to save time each day.

This list is only scratching the surface of what virtual assistants can do, but these tasks are a great place to start:

Review and tidy your inbox

Let’s start with something so simple and yet so crucial: the soul-crushing task of organizing your inbox.

Anyone who uses email regularly knows how quickly it can become cluttered. You may not get the information that you are looking for quickly. In fact, around half of the time we spend in our inboxes is spent checking for updates and fielding spam or junk mail.

But the good news is that this is one of the key areas where a virtual assistant can help, saving you the tedious job of doing it yourself. Based on your preferences, a VA can sort through your inbox, file emails where they belong, archive any messages that are no longer relevant, and keep only the most important ones front and center.

Create folders or filters to organize emails in your inbox according to importance or urgency

Once your inbox is clutter-free, you'll want to keep it that way! To avoid becoming overwhelmed by floods of messages again, your virtual assistant can set up a system of folders or filters that automatically sort incoming emails based on your predefined criteria. Then each day, you'll be able to address your high-priority messages quickly and easily, while less urgent ones can be attended to at a more convenient time.

This way, you no longer have to be a slave to the "ping" of your notifications. Remember, only around 38% of emails are important, so that means 62% of the time you'd spend checking your inbox every time a new message came in is essentially wasted.

Check your inbox and flag or forward any important emails

It is harder to spot certain messages as the volume rises in your inbox. It's estimated that the average office worker receives 121 emails each day, so trying to dig out one particular message can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack!

A virtual assistant can save you the frustration and help make sure no important messages are missed. Simply provide them with clear instructions and then they can diligently go through your inbox, flag emails that require your direct involvement, or forward them to a separate account or a relevant team member.

Check your inbox and respond to emails

Remember, the more time you can reclaim from administrative tasks, the more you can spend on more impactful work that will take you closer to your business goals. And let's be honest, there may be a significant proportion of emails you receive that require a response, but don't need to be written by you specifically.

Start by determining what kind of correspondence usually requires your specific knowledge or expertise, and what could be handled by an assistant. Make sure you give your VA some guidelines or instructions that make this distinction clear, as well as help them to craft suitable responses.


Check your inbox and schedule or reschedule appointments in your calendar

There’s no doubt that meetings are an unavoidable aspect of running your own company and doing business with other people. A study from researchers at Harvard Business School found that on average, CEOs have 37 meetings in any given week. And in today's digital world, almost all of the meeting pre-planning and communication between attendees will take place via email.

An experienced virtual assistant can also take charge of checking your inbox and scheduling meetings where necessary. They can handle the back-and-forth communication, coordinating availability, sending invite emails to attendees, and ensuring that your calendar remains organized and up-to-date. In total, you could save up to 6 hours per week to focus on other priorities.

Email marketing tasks to delegate today

Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to reach and engage with your customers, which means that it should be a high priority for every business out there. However, staying organized and consistent with your marketing efforts can be much easier said than done.

But thanks to virtual assistants, you can rest assured that these tasks will no longer fall through the cracks, while your time and energy are freed up for where they matter most.

So now let’s take a look at how you can use a virtual assistant to help with email marketing.

Create promotional emails

Your virtual assistant can create eye-catching and persuasive promotional emails on popular platforms such as Mailchimp or Brevo (formerly Sendinblue).

Whether you are launching a new product, announcing a limited-time offer, or sharing any other important news with your subscribers, a skilled virtual assistant can make sure your promotional emails are professional and engaging.

Schedule the delivery of emails

Chances are, you or your colleagues will have established the most effective time slots for your audiences to receive your emails depending on the intended outcomes you want to achieve.

Instead of handling this manual process yourself, a virtual assistant can also take charge of scheduling the delivery of your business's emails on the times and dates you specify.

Add new subscribers and remove unsubscribers from your list

Managing subscriber databases is another critical aspect of email marketing that shouldn't be neglected, yet finding the time in your busy schedule can be challenging. So besides creating and sending your marketing emails, a virtual assistant can help make sure they land in the right inboxes.

They can regularly add new subscribers to your lists and remove any inactive or unsubscribed contacts. Keeping your databases in good health increases deliverability and reduces the likelihood of your emails ending up in the dreaded spam or junk folder.

Create segments in your mailing lists to send more relevant and personalized email content

Regardless of the nature of your marketing campaign, understanding your audience and delivering a more personalized touch can go a long way in sealing the deal. This is another area where virtual assistance comes in handy. They can handle the time-consuming task of dividing your mailing lists into subsets based on factors like demographics, purchase history, or engagement.

Instead of casting a wide net, these segments make it possible to send email campaigns that are tailored to fit the specific needs and interests of your target audience. More relevant messaging leads to higher open rates, click-through rates, and, ultimately, conversions.

Curate interesting content for email newsletters or digests

Aside from promotional marketing emails, a virtual assistant can also help you keep your e-newsletters or digests fresh and engaging.

Outsourcing this task means you can say goodbye to scouring the internet yourself in search of content that fits your brand and your target audience's interests. Whether it's researching topics, sourcing images, or repurposing existing content from your business, a virtual assistant can save you a great deal of time and hassle.


What's the bottom line?

To make the most of your limited time and resources as a business owner, you can't afford to get bogged down in all the day-to-day back-office work that comes with running a company.

Having a virtual assistant by your side to help tackle your regular email tasks allows you to invest more energy and attention where it matters most—taking your business to the next level.

And beyond the tangible benefits of time savings and improved efficiency, there's an equally valuable advantage to delegating tasks to a virtual assistant: restoring much-needed balance to your life.

Putting your repetitive email tasks in the hands of a professional allows you to reclaim your personal time and reconnect with the aspects of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment. No longer tethered to your inbox, you can devote quality time to your loved ones, pursue hobbies, or simply relax and recharge.

So if you're ready to hire a virtual assistant to take all these tasks off your plate, we're ready to set you up with a dedicated professional based on the skills and experience you need—at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Get started now!

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About the author

Barnaby Lashbrooke is the founder and CEO of Virtual Assistant service Time etc as well as the author of The Hard Work Myth, recently recommended by Sir Richard Branson. Barnaby is a Forbes Columnist on productivity and is also an accomplished entrepreneur, selling more than $35 million worth of services.

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