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This week on the Health Fit Business podcast, we want to share with you a really easy way to save time.
That way is to stop writing the same email twice.
In most jobs, especially service based jobs (like health and fitness based jobs), you answer emails and write emails a lot. Ok a ton. And frequently those emails are the same email over and over again but with a different person's name or a different time, etc.
The email is typically a generic email with specific information. You shouldn't be writing these emails each time.
Both Anthony and myself use a feature of gmail called canned responses.
Canned responses are essentially saved emails that you can insert into any email that you are writing.
Click here to see step by step instructions on how to set up and use canned emails.
This Episode's Challenge
This week your challenge is to set up either canned responses or a similar method in your email client and get a few of the most common emails you write pre-made and start making it a habit to use this technique! Never write the same email twice.
Ryan I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business. This week, what we’re going to take a look at is a way you can start saving time as you go from the 10 to 10,000. When you start trying to think about big projects, bigger things that you need or want to achieve, you have to find ways to create more time for yourself. Now, this episode what we’re going to discuss is how you can use certain email tools to save time by specifically using something that we talked about in this episode a lot is canned responses. Canned responses are a way to save a tremendous amount of time. Anyway, without giving away too many details, let’s go ahead and listen to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast.
Anthony Hola doctor!
Ryan Hey Anthony! How’s it going?
Anthony Doing fantastic. How are you?
Ryan I’m great. What are we talking about in this episode of podcast?
Anthony Right. So, back in to our shoes when we were new, we were starting to switch our schedule from working with people one on one to think about how to create value to people and scaling one of the biggest thing was identifying repetitive tasks and automating them rather than do them over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Ryan Right. Because going from ten or being busy chronically with one on one, you have to find ways or create almost time to reach the 10,000.
Anthony Right. And so, one of the things that people do that they don’t realize, briefly in this last episode, was sending too many emails. Think about how many emails you send in a day.
Ryan And most of those emails are like, the same. Like you say the same couple of things to these different people over and over and over again and you spend time typing it out
Anthony Right. This could easily be automated. Think about, I guarantee you, all three-people listening, have a time where you are like “Oh”” questionable schedule, questionable hours “Yeah,” like check the website, do this whatever, like you need to type out, do something like this, do something like that, over and over and over again. I’m sure you have plenty of examples, person to person of emails you get all the time.
Ryan Right. So, one of the tools that I use and I think I trained you on the canned responses. Didn’t I? In Gmail?
Ryan So, I’m taking credit for that. So, there you go. So, in Gmail in Chrome. I think that’s just in Chrome.
Anthony Any Gmail account.
Ryan Any Gmail account? So, in Gmail, there’s an extension called canned responses. A lot of people use like drafts and things like that. Maybe on outlook, they have drafts of emails to send out. I think that makes it a little bit slower and harder to automate. What I do is this: I pre-wrote. So, you have to install this extension in Gmail called canned responses.
Anthony So, first of all. Let’s take a step back here and explain. Once you identify these problems, before you have any automation system in place, you should not be writing over and over again the same things. Even if you are copy-pasting emails, you should basically have a template which you respond to people with.
Ryan Right. And so, that’s essential with the canned responses.
Anthony Some people call those swipe emails or swipe files or you could keep that on a google doc or in Evernote note or Onenote note if that’s what you use and then push that over in to your email, right? With canned responses is, what Ryan is explaining now, a way to make that even easier.
Ryan So that’s built in to Gmail, and essentially, let’s say some one ask you “Hey, what are your hours?” and instead of saying “so and so, here’s the hours blah blah blah” and spend the time typing it out, canned responses- you essentially go into the reply field of Gmail, you hit a little arrow button and then you say reply with and then it has a list of all your commonly send out emails and all you do is click for example, questions about time or questions about my hours. You hit that and it’s a pre-written email that immediately goes in and then you can just hit send and maybe you have to enter the person’s name. You save yourself having to write that for emails. You can literally respond to that email in 5 seconds.
Anthony Right. And so, this I believe and we’ll put it in show notes, but you go to settings and then in labs portion, and I think it’s three sections down. You just click activate.
Ryan Yeah, where there are the photos and blog posters in the show notes, how to get there?
Anthony Right. The challenge for this episode for people listening is identifying emails that you send over and over and over again and generating a rough template and then putting that in to canned response. Right. And there’s tons of different ways where you can minimize email in general. So, for instance, you can set up a MailChimp that have automated email that explains a lot of stuff.
Ryan What is…? A lot of people may not even be familiar with what MailChimp is.
Anthony If you are not collecting emails and if you are not having email list, that can be a completely separate podcast but there’s email automation which we’ll get to so until then now figure out the emails, make templates, make a canned response, and then that way you will cut down. Another way you can do that is eliminating the chance of sending emails in the first place. For instance, one of the things you might consider both my clinic website as well as pureWOD.com , I was getting a lot of the same questions through the contact form. So, if you step back here and say people are reaching me through the contact form but they all have these three questions. What I did was before people can submit an email that will come to me that would have to reply to, I set up a FAQ of the top three things that people are emailing me about before contact form.
Ryan So right above the page. That’s what you mean.
Anthony So, in that way, I said “Hey, thanks for wanting to reach out to me. I love to help you out. However, here are top three things that people reach us to us about. That people email us about.” Whether scheduling, product returns or whatever it maybe, put that there so that they have to scroll pass it and answer their own questions, before reaching out to you. A lot of times people are just lazy about their emails especially when you have a service-based business when they could have googled or search on your website a little bit more so just make it easier for them that when they are looking to ask something from you, you can just provide them answers before they even that.
Ryan Yes. So essentially, you might have to put up a little more time upfront doing that. But you have to think about how much time I’m going to save me. Like you may go “oh I have to put this FAQs, I have to download this canned email thing. There’s a little bit of time set up wise but it’s going to save you hundred or thousand-fold by setting it up.
Anthony Right. If you can decrease the amount of email you send out in a week by 20%, think ow much more time you can have to either work one on one people or create some kind of program where you can help more people.
Ryan Or let your brain recover.
Ryan One thing too that I learned from you, it’s just kind of off topic, but you should essentially be doing either one of two things in life. You are either working hard on something or you are letting your brain recover and go back down to like normal.
Anthony Yeah. So, the ever-responding emails is not a way where you can have shot your brain off and let it recharge. You describe a way that you do canned responses, right? Can you give me some examples of the ones that you use most frequently? So, they can kind of get an idea of how they can do it.
Ryan Yeah exactly! So my common canned responses are a lot of them are related to my workshops that I do. So, I send out an email before the workshop that’s essentially, this will go out like two or three days, and you can also set this up in MailChimp like an auto thing but I just do a canned response. So, what I’ll do, is three days before the workshop I have a canned response that I labeled pre-workshop email. It has all the stuff written out about what to expect during the day, a link to download the note packet, what time I’m going to arrive, the agenda etc. So, I just, put the email addresses in there, put the canned response, I have to change a few details within the email like the venue etc. and then I don’t have to write out this email every single time before every single workshop. That’s number one. The second one I do is a follow up email to the workshops that I send out the next day after the workshop is over. And all I do is just, take that same email list, push the canned response, the post-workshop email, that’s what I call it, in the canned response and then it sends out. Another one that I used commonly is when I’m working with a gym to host a workshop, after we’ve confirmed that we’re going to host it on as a certain day, I have certain things and steps that they can follow to how to post it on their website, where the link is and stuff, so I just reply, hit the canned response, I do that. For my clinic, people have common questions that are asked like what should I expect during the appointment, how long is it, if I need them to fill up my online paper work which is something I do so again, I have them fill up before hand, so just auto pulls and automates into their file, I send them a link to that, what to wear, what to expect, what to bring. Rather than having to type that out, I hit the canned response and it’s a nicely written formatted good looking email that I send out every single time.
Anthony So much more personal thing to do that. Automation has a time and place but with something like we should be working one on one with people, it is better to have a one on one touch in my opinion. In that way, canned responses you can still have that personal touch but without repeating yourself over and over again. If you are a clinician or a therapist or a trainer or somebody who has valuable knowledge, you are wasting your time sending emails. You should be doing as much stuff as you can to provide value to the people that you are trying to affect.
Ryan Yes, so either answer the question before them so that they don’t even have time to ask just like that you did with the FAQs, or think about what email that I have to send out more than once this week that was the same and then make that new canned response. So, I gave some examples of my canned response emails. What are couple of yours that you frequently use?
Anthony So, a lot of stuff that I do now is not applicable but before a lot of issues I have were about even though I provided FAQ and even if those information are very very clear, again people don’t want to go to the time of looking at that. So scheduling, all my schedule is automated online, people could change or modify their own appointments. But people want to know where they can schedule in the website so sometimes I would have a canned response that would say “Yes go to this link. Thank you.” Sometimes, it was payment. Sometimes it was “You guys accept insurance? Do you treat this or that?” So, it is limitless like Dr. Debell here was saying figure out what emails are you sending more than one times a week and that should just be a canned response. If you type one email, you should not have to type 2 emails.
Ryan Right. Exactly. And think about this too. Let’s say you have a link to your schedule that you commonly have to email to people and you don’t have a canned response, that means every time someone sends you this question, you have to type it out, you have to go find the link, you have to copy the link, paste the link. That’s so time consuming. Like if you could just click one button and it’s just take two minutes to send that out.
Anthony And if you are doing that over and over and over again, and you’re wasting an hour of your day, sending emails that you could have automated or have canned responses for you’re not seeing people one on one, you’re not working on a program that could help 10,000 people.
Ryan You’re not resting your brain.
Anthony Yeah and so…
Ryan So why are you doing it?
Anthony This comes back to, if you have specialized knowledge that could help a lot of people, you should be using that knowledge not sending emails.
Ryan This is true example of working smarter not harder like we talked about this before when we were walking around at the games or something, chatting. What you mentioned was the idea that you have to grind and work so hard that you’re so tired. Well, you can work so hard that you are tired sending by doing this emails but you are doing it inefficiently. If you can cut that down and you can have time to recover and be more energetic, you can be working on bigger projects, you can be working better with people one on one. There’s really no reason not to do this. It’s free. It’s easy. Most of people don’t know that you can do this. That’s why we’re doing this.
Anthony Typically sending an email is not something that provides a massive amount of value that help people fix a problem. They may answer a question and that’s fine, but you’re not helping someone get fit, you are not helping someone get out of pain, and those are the problems that you should be solving.
Ryan Exactly. So, email certainly a requirement but there are easy tools you can use to respond to people’s email and do it quickly. Last time, when we talked about blocking out your time, you have an email block. Well, your email block is not you typing out emails, your email block is just essentially clicking canned responses so that you can do fifty of them, hundreds of then in a much faster, shorter period of time. It’s also condensed because it’s blocked out and each email is faster because you are using canned responses.
Anthony Right and so we’ll go over in tons of different episodes, different techniques like that you can use or even things you can outsource to and how you can for instance how your people that are not in your office or personal locations can take a lot on your plates so you don’t have to click canned response. But for this week, I think the challenge is like we said, identifying any emails you have and saying “Can I put this in FAQ that people can read?” or “Can I make a canned response?” so I don’t write this email again.
Ryan Yeah and do install the canned response in your Gmail or in whatever.
Anthony This is like a google thing in Gmail and we’re not like trying to sell you a canned response business, the best tool that you can have.
Ryan That’s free in Gmail. So, set it up, find the most common email that you send out more than once that could just be generic and then put those in canned responses. That’s the challenge for this week.
Anthony If you don’t have Gmail, if you can’t use canned responses, I’m sure there’s ton of different ways where you can implement this in Outlook, whatever.
Ryan Find the solution specific to your email host then. That’s your challenge in that case.
Anthony The easiest way to do this like lowest energy use is have a file on your list, copy and pasting emails instead of having to write the whole thing over and over again.
Ryan Alright. So, that covers up for this week as well as your challenge. Next week, we’ll have a whole new topic with another challenge to help you free up your time so you can do 10 and 10,000.
Anthony See yah.
Ryan, Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you find it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to healthfit.biz and sign up for the email notification to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog post sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.