Over the last few weeks, I have really worked to clean up my professional email. Sadly, I am one of those people who signed up for subscriptions to various blogs and news services and read a few articles here and there but was overwhelmed by the number of emails coming into my inbox and going straight to the trash, because I could never make the kind of time to read them.
What I didn’t encounter is that many of the sites that I had signed up with also included me on other lists like conferences, new products, breaking news and other types of information. I am sure this information was in fine print when I signed up for these publications, but I think I really underestimated how much information I had really signed up for.
After two weeks of unsubscribing from numerous sites, I am beginning to see a huge time savings in the way I look at email and use email. I really did not need to be signed up for all of those sites and I can now focus on those few sites I like to read that offer the most value to me.
This was the first step. The next step was looking at a service I have used for years and taking it to another level.
A much better approach to getting better, quality information
Google Alerts – This service offers people the ability to have Google search for key word phrases in the background. All I simply do is put in the key word phrase and submit it. If Google happens to find that particular phrase, it will send a link to my assigned gmail address. I have a dedicated email just for this type of search information.
The best part is that I can look at the title, author and quickly glance at the article and determine if the article is worth reading or not. In addition, I can delete the email knowing I will not be receiving any emails associated with that article.
Google Alerts also looks at a much wider view of information and it is much more refreshing to read articles from sites I normally would not take the time to seek out and read. It is a much fresher approach to reading and receiving content.
I use Google Alerts in the following manner:
- Follow my personal brand, “Brent Pohlman” as a keyword phrase
- Follow company brand. – See how fast Google is indexing your own content you are posting.
- Follow certain people in the industry “First Name, Last Name”
- Follow competitors “Company Name”
- Follow specific topics in industries. “calorie counts on menus” “soil testing”
- Follow specific blog sites “Title of the Blog”
Lesson for Marketers
Make sure you treat people like people and not like another number. People want better information and certainly deserve better quality information. If you are asking people for their email address, make sure you are doing it in a way that encourages people to take the next step and you actually provide them with valuable information.
Also, consider using your time wiser by setting up alerts to deliver the pertinent information you are looking for. This may allow you to use your time in a more productive manner.