How to make raving fans out of random people who email you

One surprising downside to building an email list is how crazy your own personal inbox gets.

As I’m writing this I have 110 unread messages in my inbox. I’ve processed 125 emails just today and have responded to over 300 emails this week so far.

I’m 1,000,000% honored that people care enough about what we’re doing at VF to email asking questions and, frankly, giving us the time of day.

So this isn’t a complaint. It’s a reality.

It takes me multiple days to respond to my own wife and close friends.

Earlier this week I noticed that I had over 300 unread support messages about our free app ListGoal. Total fail on my part: it just got buried under all the other emails.


Today I wanted to share a quick hack that’s helped me do a better job with email. Obviously it isn’t a complete cure (thus the 100+ emails in my inbox), but it’s made a SUBSTANTIAL difference in how we process email at VF and my ability to give time to the people who matter most.

This is how it works:

Step #1: You receive an email that looks like it’ll take decent chunk of mental bandwidth to process.

Step #2: Instead of procrastinating on responding, hit a button in your browser to start recording your webcam and screen. (I highly recommend Screencastify for this.)

Step #3: Start reading through the email out loud and answer their question as you talk through the email.

Step #4: Copy the link to the video and paste it into an email for them.

Here is a quick example of this in action:

This is an email I got the other day. Typically I would read an email list this and think… “Hmm, that’s a weird question,” then archive it and move on.

But instead of putting off ignoring it and letting it site there, I recorded this quick video reply:

Cool part is this:

  1. It takes much less time and mental bandwidth to shoot a quick video response as opposed to writing out a response.
  2. The perceived value and personal touch of a video response is much higher than with a written email.

Here is one last example:

Meghan responded to a 10ksubs launch email with a question. I responded to her with a video.

Then look at what happened….

Instead of buying the $300 Rapid List Building program from us, she upgraded to the $3,000 10ksubs program.

Video FTW!