Mystery shoppers may get dozens, or even hundreds, of daily emails about mystery shopper jobs. How can you handle the flood of email without spending all day at the computer?
A good first step is to set up an email address that is dedicated to mystery shopping. Use that address whenever you apply to a secret shopping company. By keeping shopper emails separate from the rest of your emails you can manage them more easily.
A separate email address does not mean that you have to check email in multiple places. Depending on what you currently use to read email, you may set up your email program (e.g., Outlook, Thunderbird) to retrieve email from the new account, or forward email to your regular email address. Either way, use filters to send the mystery shopper emails to one folder where you can deal with them all at once, or ignore them when you are not actively seeking shop assignments.
You can also use filters to ignore certain types of emails. Let’s say you get a lot of emails with offers for airport shops and you never go to the airport. You can set up a filter to move anything that comes to your mystery shopper email address and has the word “airport” in the body to go directly to trash. (Check your filters carefully, and remember that if a shopper email comes in for a store on Airport Drive, it will land in the trash, too.) You can also use filters to manage other types of assignments you do not even want to see.
Reduce the number of emails you get by setting yourself to “no mail” with certain companies. Many systems (including SASSIE) have a way to stop the emails without deactivating your account. You may find instructions within the shopper emails or by logging in to your account. To get assignments you will need to remember to check the job boards. Stopping email can be a good idea if you are going to be away from shopping for a time, too.
Don’t let emails pile up. Deal with them promptly. Some can be deleted without opening, others can quickly be scanned and deleted, and some you will want to follow up on by going to the provider’s website to get more information and possibly apply for the shop. If you have been too busy to review shopper emails for a few days, just delete the older messages.
It is a good idea to keep some emails. For example, you may want to keep emails about mystery shopper jobs for which you have applied, at least until you know whether you got the assignment or not. It is also a good idea to keep emails offering assignments for which you have been accepted. Once in a while there is an issue about how much pay was offered or a condition of the shop. You may want to have that original email to back you up if there is a problem.
If you have hundreds or thousands of old shopper emails clogging your inbox, declare “email bankruptcy” and clear out anything more than 30 days old. Don’t have the nerve to trash all of those emails? Archive them instead. That way they will not be in your inbox, but can be searched and retrieved if needed.
Set up folders to hold the emails for assignments you have applied for, and those you have been assigned. You can then see everything that is pending with just a glance.
Email can be overwhelming. Take steps to organize and manage it so that your mystery shopper emails do not get out of control.