Months of anticipation contribute to the letdown after the big event is over. Case in point: It’s been over 24 hours and I’m still not over the Formula 1 race in Austin last weekend.
I’m still gaga over F1.
My uncles have been going to Indianapolis 500 for as long as I can remember. It’s always been on my bucket list to go with them one year. But this year I got the chance to do one better. When F1 became a reality in my own hometown of Austin last summer, my dad and uncles called to tell me they were coming down for the event. You can’t be car fans and NOT go to the first F1 race in Austin; out of the question! This was my chance to check it out.
To say it was fun is an understatement. The noise, the sheer power of gorgeous gleaming machines flying along the track at up to 230 mph. Drivers executing turns at top speeds capable of producing 5 G’s of force. Man, machine and millions of sponsors’ dollars putting everything on the line for speed times measured in thousandths of a second.
F1 racing is gripping good stuff! Check out turn 1 of the first lap and tell me if you don’t love this! [Video]
The race last weekend pretty much carried me away. It was a mini vacation (not long enough) from which I’m still trying to get a grip on reality. I spent half the day figuring out when and where I can see another race. I might be hooked.
Whether it’s true love or infatuation, I don’t know. What I do know is, I sat down at my computer this morning to a load of email. Literally hundreds of messages greeted me since Friday evening.
As much as people talk about the importance of subject lines, when push comes to shove and you have to ruthlessly delete email from your inbox, subject lines matter less than two other criteria.
Today the true test of subject lines never even got a chance. I had to get through the bulk of email based on the sender, and what I knew of them.
When you need to delete hundreds of email at a time, it comes down to two simple factors.
- Past behavior
- Perceived value of the sender’s email.
Here’s how I whittled down my inbox this Monday morning.
First I scanned my inbox for my clients’ email. These are customers I am currently working with who contacted me over the weekend. Obviously I read these. Next was family. Not always necessary to respond to, but should be scanned nevertheless.
Next, business emails. Bills, receipts, auto responders of payments and ad receipts, etc. Keep those.
Next I had to get through all the stuff that I subscribe to. My discretionary emails.
Interestingly, the criteria for reading or deleting all came down to two things: The sender and my knowledge of their email patterns based on past sending behavior.
I immediately deleted anything I knew would be presented again in the near future. Some senders produce content that I know will be repeated and accessible through future sends. I deleted those. Their reliability in this case got them deleted! They’re going to send me the same stuff again soon. I already know this base on past sends.
I got rid of stuff I subscribe to through a different channel. For example if I subscribe to an RSS feed via Google reader, I deleted that email. If I’m on a list that takes all content and sends an aggregated version of it at week’s end, I deleted that email. I know I’ll get another chance to review it within a few days.
If I knew it was a regular sender and the message might be an exclusive message with a non-repeatable content inside, I decided whether I wanted to check out the message based on he subject line. Here’s where the subject line actually held some real clout. Admittedly I had so many emails to get through I deleted these based on the sender. But if I know the sender’s content is unique and valuable, I peeked at it before deleting it.
Notices from social sites…I deleted those, too. My daily routine is to check out my social sites and respond to comments, etc, so I was okay deleting those without reading them. Come to think of it, maybe it’s time to stop those daily notifications like “You have new followers on Twitter, or “This cool person just started following all your boards on Pinterest.” I don’t need to be reminded to keep tabs on that.
Want to know what I did read? Basically, three emails this morning:
1. Sandy Krakowski’s email, my go-to online small biz mentor…for inspiration.
2. Alan Weiss’ Monday morning email…for practical personal and business advice. (As a new subscriber, I’m intrigued with his emails.)
3. Jeff Goins’ email, a fellow writer…his earnestness and warmth are comforting.
I needed these emails today…because if F1 was like a circus, the Renaissance Festival or the Grateful Dead, I’d probably leave everything behind and follow it around the globe. I’m in an F1 frenzy. Good thing it takes money to go to Monaco and Singapore to follow F1. Reality (family and finances) is a good thing. : ) These three email senders would get me back on track and cure my F1 hangover.
And so it all comes down to this: the connection the recipient feels to the sender of the emails, regardless of how she feels about F1 racing.
I deleted over 90% of my emails without reading them simply based on: first, the sender address; and second, my knowledge of their past sending behavior.
Pretty eye-opening, don’t you think? How do you go about deciding what stays and what goes when your inbox is flooded? I’d love your input!