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In the GTD spirit I find it helps me to have a project for each major friend and then one task "reply to email(s)" for each.

Then, when I read the emails from that person, I will put a short sentence or a few keywords for each thing I want to reply to, in bullet form in the action's notes. Sometimes I will copy-paste the paragraph. Similarly, if I think "oh, I should tell this to John", I will add anither bullet.

I also sometimes use a group of actions if it feels like a better way.

This way, i can file the emails away and it is clear what I have to write about, making it less of a "big amorphous blob" and much less scary. I even sometimes expand my short notes to an actual full paragraph without noticing it.

Then I use my periodic review to flag one email task at a time and rotate or go based on circumstances or inspiration.

I hope this helps!