If emails cost 60p


Were you amazed by the recent rise in the price of a stamp? 60p for first class!?

Charities are rightly worried about the impact of this bombshell – from the increase in the price of direct mailing to the cost of communicating with often elderly volunteers who may not be on-line. This price hike also got me thinking about what would happen if emails were charged in the same way.

Imagine if every time you sent an email it cost your organisation 60 pence?

And another 60p every time you scrolled through your emails but didn’t take any action?

And another 10p for every email CCd to a colleague ‘just in case’.

And how about 5p for every word you use in reply?

Emailing would become a luxury none of us could afford. You’d quickly be looking for ways to cut down on your email addiction.

Luckily, it doesn’t cost our organisations anything like 60p to send an email. But unnecessary and unfocused email activity is cluttering up third sector in-boxes and minds, making us massively less productive. When you waste time on unproductive emailing you may as well be burning your organisation’s money.

In the workshops I run with charities, how to handle emails always crops up when I ask for participants’ greediest time thieves. I encourage my clients to stick to five simple email rules:

1. Look into your in-box just three times a day (yes, it’s tricky, but it can be done)

2. Reply straightaway to emails that don’t need further research or other work. Schedule when, in the next 24 hours, you’ll reply to others – and do it.

3. Use the fewest possible words as is polite for the recipient.

4. Think twice before you CC. Does Fred really need to see your email? Could you do a summary email to him at the end of the week? Or give him a quick update call?

5. Use your email filing system to keep non-current emails out of your in-box.

My clients’ productivity always improves when they start putting these rules into practice. They find themselves using the phone, internal mail or a quick visit to the next floor more. These options are still there, and have the added benefit of building the real, authentic relationships with colleagues which great third sector organisations will always value.




Through my one-to-one coaching and training, I can support your staff to reach their full potential and deliver excellence through their management of emails and other strategies. Contact me here to explore how I can help you.

 For more tips and ideas on getting the best out of your third sector staff follow @katieduckworth on twitter