While organizing emails can take up hours of the workday, it ensures company success. Since success is vital for company profit, implementing best practices for your team’s inbox is crucial. This article will explore the top email management best practices at work and how you can implement these solutions for your team.
Email Management Best Practices at Work
According to a McKinsey Global Analysis, the average professional spends 28% of their workweek reading and answering emails. In addition, professionals spend 19% of the workweek gathering and searching for information and 14% communicating and collaborating internally, leaving only 39% for role-specific tasks.
With less than half of the workweek left for important assignments, implementing new email practices for your team becomes necessary. Managing email is a part of most jobs, but finding solutions to expedite the process can reduce wasted time and help your team focus on other tasks.
Here are five email management best practices you can implement for your team.
1. Use a Shared or Collaborative Inbox
If your company works remotely or relies on email, a shared inbox may be the perfect collaboration tool for you. A shared inbox is used to handle a high volume of incoming emails. This type of inbox may have an address such as support@, contact@, or sales@. Email management requires organizing, capturing, and responding to a high amount of inbound emails. This can quickly get out of hand if not managed properly.
A shared inbox allows teams to invite relevant team members to manage emails to know who is working on what. This eliminates confusion regarding responsibility and accountability and reduces the need for Cc’ing and forwarding emails.
A shared inbox can be taken one step further when implemented with a collaboration tool that allows team members to work together inside the shared inbox. While a shared inbox can provide better management opportunities, emails can overflow, and tasks can get lost.
Collaborating within a shared inbox can help teams manage email by turning emails into tasks. This process allows each team member to see what needs addressing, who handles the task, and who completed it. Team members can:
- assign incoming emails as tasks
- avoid sending duplicate responses
- collaborate using notes and tagging
- provide context to eliminate confusion
- spread workload amongst team members
Both Google and Outlook provide shared or collaborative inbox options that can be very effective. Additionally, many integration tools fit right into a platform you are familiar with to elevate your inbox and take a shared inbox one step further.
2. Utilize Email Templates
Email templates can provide a fast and effective solution to help your team better manage email copy. Drafting emails takes time but creating a range of templates, catering to different situations your company faces, saves you time. Using the same email template across your team can also implement policies and procedures for responding to inquiries, coordinating interviews, and troubleshooting. Templates reduce stress and can help to improve customer satisfaction.
Imagine that you have three customer support inquiries coming in at once. Your team can better accommodate these emails if a formal template is used. Each response can be personalized quickly while also being able to offer support for each request. Templates can also automate responses when your team members are out of office or working on other assignments.
3. Keep Your Inbox Organized
Keeping an inbox organized is easier said than done, but it can be possible if an organization uses the right tools. Applying filters and using labels and notes can help separate emails into the appropriate categories to declutter your inbox.
For example, creating an “important” or “contracts” folder can help identify emails. Filters allow you to set criteria based on where you want your emails to end up. With Gmail, labels are located on the left-hand side of the interface. They can even be color coordinated to your preference.
Gmail labels are used instead of folders but offer the same functionality, but with more flexibility to handle your inbox. Emails can also be set to automatically forward to another team member if the email does not apply to you, but you need it addressed.
For a law firm, if you work with multiple clients, each client email can be sent to an appropriate label and automatically marked as “important” or “never send to spam.” This process ensures that all the critical client information is sent to a secure location in your Gmail. Filters also allow you to block spam messages and email addresses that will crowd your inbox. In addition, labels can always be added to outgoing messages to record sent emails.
4. Add Notes for Context
When using Gmail, notes can be added to emails to provide more context and allows team members to set reminders to ensure each email is addressed. Let’s say your logistics team receives an inquiry regarding a shipment status update. Gmail allows you to add a note (such as “get status update”) by clicking on “keep” in the right sidebar.
The email note is then kept in your inbox for your records and will have a link to lead right back to the email that contains the inquiry. These email notes are intended for personal use in Gmail. While they are a great tool, they are not nearly as collaborative or effective as using Gmail collaboration tools like Gmelius.
Imagine that same email note, but with more features. A collaboration tool can provide more options to ensure the right team member can see the note. For example, the shipment coordinator can be tagged by their email to add a note to communicate the status by adding “shipped on this date” or “pending delivery” in the note. Email notes in Gmail can help teams:
- reduce internal emails
- provide one-on-one communication
- add context to emails
- delegate email inquiries
- collaborate within an email
Communication is vital for project and client management. Email is the perfect place to start eliminating the need for endless email forwards and Cc-ing and creating an efficient way to manage and build your team’s productivity system.
5. Automate Workflow
If you are looking for a faster way to manage your inbox at work, then automation is the key. Whether you work in person or as a remote or hybrid team, distractions are common in the workplace. And, unfortunately, email can be one of those distractions. While it is important to ensure emails receive responses in a timely manner, designating certain time frames throughout the day to address email is key. Gmail offers automation features such as sending emails at a later date. Instead of sending an email late Friday afternoon, schedule an email to be sent first thing, Monday morning. This will help avoid a response coming in over the weekend, while you're away from your desk.
Automation can also come in handy for automatic replies with an email collaboration tool. This is where email templates can be particularly useful. Automating responses with an already formatted template can improve response times and allow your team to focus on important tasks while still addressing emails at the same time. As discussed above, filters and Gmail labels can be automated to sort, organize, and label incoming emails while automatically deleting unwanted emails, so you don’t have to.
Email Management With Gmelius
If the basic features of email management are not enough for your company, invest in a better solution. Gmelius is an all-inclusive email management tool that helps team members control their inboxes, improve communication, and effectively distribute their workloads—all within the Gmail ecosystem. In addition, finding an email management tool that integrates with your company's existing platform brings you one step closer to managing your inbox.
There is no need to learn another organizational tool. Gmelius fits right into your current workflow without leaving your inbox. Once installed, every incoming email will require team communication and collaboration. Collaborating via one platform can help transform how your team manages incoming and outgoing emails. Not only does it provide a way for team members to collaborate better, but Gmelius also offers many features that can contribute to better email management. These include:
✓ A shared inbox for Gmail
✓ Shared Gmail labels
✓ Shared email drafts
✓ Email notes
✓ Gmail templates
✓ Workflow automation
These are only some of the many features offered to help your team communicate and collaborate at work to produce better management results. Tackling an inbox can seem daunting at first, but with these email management best practices at work, your team can be on a better path to an organized inbox and a more productive workday.
Are you ready to utilize our email management best practices at work? Check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!