Now you are left with new and wanted emails. Open each one, scan the message but don’t reply or have any actions unless the action is to hit delete! Wait to reply until you read them all and get a grip on how many pitches you are dealing with and which you truly want to make a priority. Now reply to them all. For those few left you need to reply to, the next section will make responding so easy and quick. They are called canned responses!
Let me start off by saying that I am a ‘YES’ person! I say YES to everything-“yes” to chairing PTA events, “yes” to making event flyers for school. “yes” to driving down to shop with family after an exhausting week, “yes” to taking extra work shifts. Since becoming a Blogger I have found myself to bring my YES personality to my blog. I have published posts for free, accepted a $5 granola bar for a post that took me 5 hours to plan, write and promote. I have justified that by saying I blog because I love to write, I love to help small businesses, but at what expense? Taking hours away from my family to write for nothing? If I wanted to do that I should write a book, publish it and earn an income for some return, right?
There are many times that we face the internal struggle of how to respond to emails or requests from brands, PR and even interview requests. I no longer struggle at all with a response. My days start out by sifting through over a hundred new emails when I wake up. How I tackle those and decide who I say yes or no to and how to accept what is worth my time and energy is much easier as I have a system and scripts.
Tackling the large load of emails
It’s Tuesday morning and you roll out of bed to grab that cup of coffee and sit at the computer. You have 168 new emails! There is a way to turn that mountain into a hill real fast then turn that hill into a plateau very soon after. You do have emails you get that you will never open and read. These are the emails you keep promising yourself you will unsubscribe from one day when you have time to clean your inbox up. Until those 4 times a year I do an unsubscribe clean, I run through and check every box on meaningless ads, emails that I do not need today or in the near future. Delete! Now I have about 50 legit emails or so (just throwing random numbers out there). Scan the subjects and open any that seem to be deadlines or replies on previous conversations you are in with anyone. Read their replies, respond and file those away.
Create Canned Responses
Your email whether you use gmail like I do or other servers will have a canned response option in settings. I know that for Gmail, you can turn on and use canned responses from the Labs tab in your Gmail settings. These are your timesavers and lifesavers too!
Typically, as a Blogger, you are responding to a few certain pitches such as product review, app review, sponsored post and ‘You are not a good fit’ reply. Within the canned responses you can write scripted responses then label them so you can easily identify and choose the correct response. Write yourself a scripted response for each type of reply your commonly are faced with.
Here is an example of what a canned response is that I send to a contact letting them know that I cannot help them out right now:
Thank you for reaching out. I appreciate you considering (my blog name) to assist in promoting your product. Currently I am working on some campaigns and guides for the Holidays (or whatever you are focusing on right now). I cannot fit this story in my editorial calendar at this time. Please keep reaching out in the future as perhaps I can assist you later on.
If the contact takes anything away from a response like this, it is politeness and a willing to keep your contact on file for future promotions on other brands they may be working with that do end up to be a good fit.
How Canned Responses teach you to say No!
When it is early morning and your brain power has not completely set in, it is very easy to just say yes because it is a quicker response and now you are committed! Having a few pre-written replies allows you to get through the bulk of emails in over half the time. You simply hit reply, click on the pull down arrow and choose the correct canned response-just edit it by adding their name after ‘Dear’ and hit send!
You will no longer struggle with saying Yes as you have some No and even some ‘head to my media page and read how I can help you-with estimated prices already listed’ available to reply with. I never have to turn on my brain when going through emails-ever! My responses are pre-written and sent away with a click or two and I move forward and start my day with my family much earlier than I used to and saying no is politely scripted so I am OK with ‘No’ now.
A fun example as to how a ‘No’ turned into a huge ‘Yes’
Still worried that a ‘No’ response could put a negative vibe on your blog? Here is a true story that happened this past year with me. I was pitched for yet another snack brand one day-they wanted to send me a bag of popcorn for a post and shares. I don’t like to say No, but I also don’t want to put my time and efforts in for a bag of popcorn so I sent my canned response labeled, ‘send Media Kit’ and hit send. This canned response basically says- “….great product….my readers would love it…had to my media kit….I have a product value limit….” I never heard back. About 6 weeks later, I get an email from this same contact and it reads similar to “…sorry we could not work together for the popcorn, but I am representing a brand (appliance brand) and wonder if I can send product (a Keurig type machine) in exchange for a post…” My No to popcorn gave us my favorite appliance worth over $200 that I use and love to this day.
Take the time to script your replies so you don’t have to think about it ever again and you stay fair to the time you and your family deserve from yourself. No amount of time from family is worth a $3 bag of popcorn!
If you would like a glimpse of the inspiration that promoted me to write this post, watch this video, “How to Say No and Stand Your Ground” by Christy Wright. I love her videos and as I watched this I had all of you Bloggers and myself on my mind! The video was worth me mentioning because it will help solidify everything I just mentioned above!