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article imageQ&A: How businesses can strategize email management better Special

By Tim Sandle     Jul 7, 2019 in Business
It's estimated there are 269 billion emails sent every day, signalling that this workplace tool isn’t going away anytime soon despite the rise of apps like Slack. How can businesses create a productive way to simplify tasks completed via email?
Based on the high volume of email traffic, it is estimated that one third of the average worker’s in-office time is spent managing their email. However, by automating email processes, companies can ensure all employees can effortlessly stay on-brand, mitigate compliance issues, and so on.
To explain how this can be done, Elena Nazzi, product owner at Templafy provides insight to how executives can streamline email processes to reduce the amount of time their employees spend in email, leaving more room for actual work.
Digital Journal: How important does email remain for businesses?
Elena Nazzi: Email is still a large communication tool for businesses. As I see it, it’s a great tool to coordinate and share information across businesses and customers. It has evolved from a primary communication tool, to a medium to share content available on other channels. In emails we share links to images, online videos, dropbox files and links to other online tools on which collaboration can start or continue. The emails we write are often summaries or introductions to content available online, publicly available or often with restricted access. I do not send a document, I send the link to a document or a file in the cloud to work with my colleagues on it – for example: Onedrive/sharepoint/google docs/.., or to my customers and other partners to sign it and to follow its journey.
DJ: Is email more important as an internal communication tool or as a marketing tool?
Nazzi: Internal communication has immensely evolved in the recent years with the growth of tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and now Workplace by Facebook and similar. But email still plays a role in internal communication for internal official communications, and for coordination across businesses. As a marketing tool, emails, email campaign services and analytics tools have evolved to offer a more direct engagement channel for businesses, as companion communication tools to social media channels, where the audience is broader by definition.
Marketing is where the commercial value of emails is higher, but marketing doesn’t only happen with automated campaigns, but also in the direct emails that employees write to engage with customers, and other businesses. Marketing can be explicit in the content of the email or as a byproduct of the email signature used in the email.
DJ: Do businesses become overwhelmed by email?
Nazzi: Yes, managing emails can be overwhelming. Apps, software and add-on stores are full of tools that promise to help manage and organize emails and tasks related to email conversations. So, what is happening is that the problem is also moving to team collaboration software (Slack and similar). The challenges are the same - how to keep up with all ongoing communication, filter out what is important, and determine what communication is relevant to overcome the fear of missing out on important communication.
Office worker using a desktop computer.
Office worker using a desktop computer.
DJ: What can the average worker do to manage their inbox?
Nazzi: Some dedicate specific times of the day to go through emails, others organize dedicated inboxes and subfolders, and categorize emails by sender or domain, search terms or type. All require dedicated actions and consistency in maintaining these practices and categorization.
DJ: How effectively can email be automated?
Nazzi: Automation can be achieved in many ways and with many tools. Scheduling tools helps salespeople manage touch points with potential customers and organize automated replies. Email templates, together with predefined and approved content, can become handy when promoting products, sending out quotes, or providing instructions in email communication. With automation we can simplify repetitive tasks, but we can also ease the employees’ struggle for brand and legal compliance, helping them be more productive in their daily work.
But all these tools become effective only if available right where the employee is working, within their inbox and where they compose the message, or where they create the content they want to share. If resources remain contained in branding websites or network shares they hardly get used. Templafy helps the average employee where she works.
DJ: How can spam emails be managed better?
Nazzi: Many businesses have global rules in place to prevent spam to reach the average worker inbox. Spammers, however, are always evolving. The rules grow often tighter and tighter making the life of legitimate marketing people to reach their audience, or just to share a file harder and harder.
Governance over these anti spam and phishing rules, together with educating employees to recognize and report spam and phishing is the direction to go.
DJ: What are the cybersecurity risks with email?
Nazzi: Email is a classic tool for cyber attacks, as the average worker is the easiest entry point to breach piles of security measures in place within the business. A few of the largest concerns are downloading and installing malicious files and sharing passwords in unprotected email conversations.
DJ: Can email be developed any further, in terms of functionality?
Nazzi: Yes, for example Microsoft is building entire new team collaboration systems based on emails as background e.g. Teams, and Planner. They include functionalities that offer an alternative/modern view to email threads. There has also been a push for technology to enhance email experience to embed interactive functionalities within email with adaptive cards.
More about Emails, Messaging, business email, slack
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