Email may not appear to have the vast reach of social media, but it remains one of the most vital tools for digital communication. Hubspot notes that while email gained mass popularity with Gen-X, more than 70% of today’s young workforce still prefer to conduct their business communications through email.
The Radicati Group forecasts that by the year 2021, companies and consumers alike will be sending each other a whopping 319.6 billion emails a day. By that same year, the number of email users globally will grow to 4.1 billion. In order to take advantage of this continuous growth, and get the most out of email communication, you’ll need to embrace email management software.
You’ll need to embrace email management software
Email can be overwhelming and inefficient, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilizing shared inbox platforms that help you and your team manage, organize, tag, and track can help alleviate many of the common issues associated with email communication.
It can even help your team effectively transition to remote work without skipping a beat. For some teams, they may even find that they’re more productive when utilizing collaborative email, even if they never see their coworkers in-person.
While utilizing email management software is incredibly beneficial, it still takes work to get the most out of your chosen platform. But if you take into account the following tips, you and your team can easily optimize your team’s internal and external communications.
1. Organize your inbox
Your inbox is the heart of your email management software. Every message, chat thread, customer service inquiry and so much more funnels into your inbox.
But most of us make the common mistake of leaving it unattended and allowing it to become disorganized. For a personal email, it’s something you may be willing to live with, but with a shared inbox, it just complicates your team’s ability to manage inbound email.
A messy inbox means that you can’t find that thread where your client outlines vital project details. Or a simple question from a customer turns into a bad review when they don’t receive a response. You or someone else on your team may even accidentally delete emails from potential customers, mistaking them for spam.
A disorganized inbox leads to lost customers, wasted time, and poor communication. And while the task of organizing your inbox may seem daunting, with an email management platform it can be fairly simple.
Utilize routing rules and tagging to sort incoming email into appropriate inboxes. Tag team members to ensure conversations are picked up in a timely manner. Set outdated messages to archive after a certain number of days to keep your inbox clear, or favorite them to be sure you keep track of important messages.
Make your inbox work for you. Find the best organizational method that fits you and your team’s needs, and try to automate as much as possible.
2. Organize your company inbox accounts in one place
These days, it’s almost necessary for a team to work within multiple business email accounts. Maybe you have a general companywide email address, another for customer service, and a handful of additional department-specific inboxes. Add each employee’s company email into the mix and depending on the size of your company, you’re easily juggling up to 50+ email addresses at the least.
While each email address is dedicated to specific types of communication, it’s an incredible inconvenience to log in and out of several accounts. Not only are you wasting time switching between them, but you’re also potentially missing out on important communications within each inbox. And if it’s a general inbox like @info or @customerservice you may be kicking other team members out without even knowing it.
Fortunately, email management software can link up all of your email accounts, making them accessible within a singular dashboard. Through the dashboard, you can view all of your incoming messages as one inbox or click separately into each account.
It’s an efficient method of email organization that ensures you have insight into email communications and can help you and your team avoid wasting time juggling separate inboxes.
3. Establish roles and responsibilities
A shared inbox receives and manages all the emails intended for one group, team, or department of an organization. But what if you don’t want an intern to have full access to each inbox? Or you need someone to just screen emails and send them along to the appropriate member of your team?
Luckily, you can establish specific roles and limitations within your email management software. The simplest version of this is only allowing specific employees to have access to general inboxes. Additionally, you can set up routing rules that we mentioned earlier to hit specific employee inboxes if specific criteria are met.
For screening emails, you can tag employees to assign them to various threads to get them involved. You can even add an internal note if you need insight without giving the other team member full access to the thread your working on.
By setting up specific workflows, tags, and roles within your shared inbox, you can keep your team fully involved without worrying about employees clashing on responses or accidentally answering email they’re not supposed to.
4. Customize your email templates
One of the biggest productivity wasters you likely experience is having to answer general “FAQ” email. “What’s the pricing on this?” “How do I reset my password?” “What’s your return policy?” Just a few examples that unfortunately take a lot of time and usually lead to a pretty small ROI.
One solution to help mitigate these questions is to improve your FAQ page. The other is to set up various email templates within your shared inbox to help quickly answer these common questions. Setting up templates eliminates the need to retype the same repetitive response.
All you need to change is the name and other identifying information of the recipient, and even that process can be automated. You can even categorize your email templates based on the topic, inbox type, and a number of other parameters. Having multiple types of responses that vary in tone, information, and length can help even templated responses feel personalized.
Taking advantage of email templates will help your team become more productive, ensure faster response times, and that each answer reflects the tone of the overall company. And if you need to explain a bit more or add a few personal touches, you can easily edit or alter each template as needed.
5. Utilize analytics to track email performance
One benefit that most social media platforms have over traditional email is the ability to track and analyze performance. You can see how often someone took an action, liked your posts, or even how long they viewed a video. But did you know you can do the same thing with email management software?
The best shared inbox platforms provide direct insight into the performance of your team and email types. You can track response times based on user, as a collective team and even over the course of various periods of time. Understanding how quickly your team is responding and identifying potential weak points is a simple way to provide better customer service.
If you’ve set up templates or are pushing out regular email campaigns, you can even organize and track the success or response rate for each email. Combine these insights with improved response times and you’ll be able to narrow down your communications to the most effective messaging for your customers.
Email management simplified
Email can no longer be treated as a lesser form of communication and instead needs to be viewed as a channel that could benefit from a few upgrades. Luckily if you invest in the right email management system it can be fairly easy to do just that.
Email management software is one of the most important and necessary productivity tools for modern businesses. It streamlines your team’s ability to communicate, ensures that each inbound message receives a response, and helps you track and optimize performance. It may take a bit of work to make the platform work for you and your team, but the productivity, efficiency, and cost-saving benefits are worth the investment.
Editor’s Note: This article is brought to you by the team at Finances Online.
Posted in: Email