eBay Tips 2008: Email Efficiency

One of the big sinks of time for any seller is dealing with emails from potential buyers and also dealing with the comms from buyers. It seems to me that there isn’t really a way of escaping from these (sometimes peculiar and moronic missives) so there is real merit in minimising the impact on your working day.

When it comes to email enquiries from potential buyers, I’m curious as to how many result is successful sales. You may know. But even if it’s a low percentage, as you’re now scored and rated with the Detailed Seller ratings in Feedback, you can’t really escape from this chore. Even if it is, as I suspect, often fruitless and unprofitable, it has to be done.

Automate Everything You Can
If you’re using Seller Manager Pro, or indeed any other tool, make sure that everything that can be automated has been. Payment Received and automatic Despatch Notifications put buyers at ease and help you get good grades with the DSRs.

Work the Templates
The vast majority of your emails will have identical, or near identical, content. Once all yours are set up it’s important to review and optimise them over time. You have almost complete freedom so you can tweak them to match the needs of your business. A few moments today working out what many of your emails regard, crafting the text, saving the template and using it again and again will cumulatively save you loads of time over the course of the year.

What are your FAQs?
Are you often being asked the same questions by potential bidders and buyers? Shame on you. Address your FAQs in your listings and also using the FAQ feature to save time. Look back over what you’ve been asked over the past month or two to assess what you could be adding to listings. Needless to say, even a comprehensive listing will still attract questions that you answer very clearly in your published text. But there’s not much we can do about that.

Set Times for Emails
The urge to provide ultimate customer service is a strong one for sellers on eBay. But don’t let the best be the enemy of the good. It’s tempting to ‘just log on for a second and do the emails’ but it is rather inefficient. And if your inbox is empty, it’s a complete waste of time. Have fixed times, stick to your schedule and don’t waste time poring over My Messages. The chances are that it can wait.

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