Updated: Sep 10, 2019
You should set up some e-mail addresses so that learners can contact you. You should set up 2, in fact. Gmail is super easy to set up. Why 2? Because most people who first contact you will ask the same questions. What’s your schedule like? What books do I need? How much do you charge? And you can set up an automated reply, so you don’t have to write the answers to these questions again and again. Remember, e-mailing is working for free, so you want to limit that.
Automated e-mail 1
You should set up one e-mail that is completely automated. You set it up and then you activate a ‘vacation settings’. You then write a reply where you say:
‘Hello and welcome, thank you for your e-mail, I offer lessons blah blah They cost blah blah, you can view my schedule here…., some common questions that learners often ask are blah blah, here is how you book, here is how you pay, here is how you add me to Skype', and so on.
And right at the bottom, you add 'If you have further questions, please contact me on my teacher e-mail …….., this is an automated reply’.
This will filter out probably 80% of all the first time learner questions, and you can focus on answering the more specific ones that come through to your second email address. Most learners will not need to send you another e-mail, and will go straight through to booking.
This is the first e-mail you give out, and it’s the one that should be visible on your website/facebook page/business card etc. And you should (ideally) never check this e-mail account.
If you want to see an example of this, flick an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Automated e-mail 2
You should set up a second e-mail, which is actually the e-mail that you check. Still here, you should active vacation settings. Here you could write something a bit shorter, that you are checking your email only once or twice a day but you'll get back to them as soon as possible.
If you want to download a template (this is the one I use), so you can just fill in your own details and then copy and paste into your email vacation settings, just download it here.
This is great, because your students will get an immediate response and they will know their e-mail has been received. They will also be a bit more patient with you for not replying straight away. Which means you can check your e-mails less often, so you will waste less time. I think I have only been contacted via phone once or twice during the last couple of years. Trust me, most people are very respectful.