Using Systems Beyond Email

Breathe while reading your email!
Photo from m-c's Flickr

What’s the point of having a database if you continually rely on email? Email is one inbox that is effective for managing the point-to-point communications you would have for quick information exchange. Yet, email is deficient when it comes to building something intelligent or an asset that grows your business. It is good for personal productivity, but it could compromise group collaboration or having a system that scales.

Every day, you will communicate heavily. As this information flows, you can use it strategically to grow your business assets. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Project systems. It’s difficult to get significant projects completed by email. Having everything in one place helps anyone new to a project get context quickly. Furthermore, new team members can get up to speed quickly by reviewing past projects. Such a database contains a knowledge base for growth.
  • Content Management. If you send anything beyond two paragraphs seeking to communicate your ideas or position, then email is a one and done. The content is not useful because it is not published. Slightly tweaking the copy and posting it in a content management system or blog platform positions you and broadcasts content that lives to the world. Google picks it up and your growing content can be used to help others see what you stand for.
  • Managing Support. Answering questions one at a time in a private communications can be better served with a support system that stores past answers within a knowledge base. There are plenty of tools for this. You can even use Google+ and segment your customers by Google Circles to provide answers that they can reuse and search on for getting answers.
  • Marketing Forms. If you have calls to action on your site and you merely have emails of inbound requests, then those assets cannot be harnessed or grow. What if you want a growing team to analyze, study or follow up with segmented lists of leads? They need to reside within a database or CRM system and organized for later use. You have a ready channel for targeted marketing, offers or whatever engagement you can imagine to drive precise connections.

These are just a few examples of rethinking how you communicate and manage information. You can build assets along the way by changing process and systems and committing to strategic thinking rather than just getting through your email.

How can you turn your inputs and outputs into information assets?

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