Inbox Management for CXOs

Andy Mowat
September 22, 2022

Inbox Management Today….

Every morning (and evening) most of us open up our inbox and spend ~15 minutes triaging the flood of email. Some execs set aside a full hour every day to go through the pile of messages that arrived every night. The C-level is especially impacted, as key targets of aggressive sales efforts.

Now, we can't blame senders. Today, there's no marginal cost for someone to email you. And so sellers hit the 'send' button on massive campaigns, they automate processes.  And we, especially at the leadership level, are innundated with email. If you're the owner of a large budget, you'll especially know the pain.

Consequently, to achieve inbox zero or, more modestly, simply maintain a semblance of santity, we have taken steps to clean our inbox.

We've developed personal processes. We've paid for tools that help us sort through the mess faster. And… we've ready the productivity books - of which every one has at least one chapter on email management.

Here are the things that most of us are doing in some way or another: 

  • Removing people we don’t know / messages that aren’t relevant
  • Actioning emails from people we know / have relevance for our business

Because we have so much email to go through, that often results in executives (or their assistants) quickly deleting irrelevant email as fast as possible. This, in turn can lead to: 

  • A low likelihood that we'll open an email from an email address we don’t recognize
  • Senders prioritizing eye-catching subject lines
  • A very low reply rate to emails from people we don't know (average of ~2%).

But there is a better way. We just have to shift the incentives that are leading to overwhelm in the first place.

With Gated, your inbox is split in two:

  • An inbox that holds only emails from people you know OR those who have donated to reach you
  • A Gated folder with emails from people you don’t know
Your Gated inbox holds emails that would otherwise distract you from your focus.

Gated does the initial triage of what's relevant/not for you automatically.  It learns from your behavior to allow people you know (and domains you trust) and routes the rest out of your inbox.  But, critically, it also tells people you don’t know how they can demonstrate that they have a relevant message for you.

This allows you to approach your inbox with a different mindset.  

Instead of deleting emails from people you don’t know, every email is relevant and you can dive right into your day uninterrupted.

With a clean inbox, you'll:

  • Have 30-50% less email in your inbox overall
  • An ability to focus on what matters
  • Know which emails included a donation - showing the sender's respect for your attention

It's long past time that execs stopped spending money and valuable time just to be more productive in email. Let's shift our thinking and set boundaries, so that emails have to earn our attention instead.