What is Email Response Management (ERM) Software?
A Statista report for 2020 showed that the average number of SaaS applications used by companies jumped from 16 in 2017 to a whopping 80 in 2020.
We think that’s too many. We don’t want to sell you yet another SaaS productivity app. Instead, we believe you can work smarter right from your existing Gmail account.
To do this, you integrate a piece of software called ERM - an Email Response Management tool. Put simply, this is a suite of automation tools that streamlines the process of responding to email at high volume. ERM tools are most commonly used by customer support departments, operations and sales teams, e-commerce, and anyone else who deals with a high volume of email inquiries arriving into one or more generic email accounts.
They improve the response times of any department that handles a high volume of email inquiries, helping you close deals, turn complaints into happy customers and build your brand’s reputation for efficiency and responsiveness. No more emails slipping through the cracks.
What is Wrong with Traditional Email?
Working straight from a traditional email inbox makes it hard for managers to see how individuals are faring. It becomes possible for individual work assignments to be missed as they sit in personal inboxes, unattended.
However different problems occur when you try to add a brand new piece of productivity software:
- Communications on one channel can’t easily be viewed or ported across to another.
- If management dictates one modality of working, some staff may find this unhelpful. For instance, while some like to work from Trello boards, others use their Gmail inboxes as “to do” lists.
- Nobody wants to learn yet another software tool to better integrate their work. A survey showed that 75% of respondents felt their productivity was damaged by tool overload.
This is where an ERM system like Gmelius comes in. Let’s look at some of the benefits that adopting a more joined-up methodology can bring.
Benefits of an Email Response Management Tool
Of course, the primary reason to employ an ERM system is to manage and monitor email flow more effectively. Gmelius is designed to supplement the functionality of Gmail and integrate it with other tools. It takes the tasks which would ordinarily prove repetitive and slow and makes them easy and instantaneous.
Let’s imagine you have an email that someone else should ideally handle. Simply select that team member from a drop-down list and it’s two clicks to assign it to their workload. You can quickly send an explanatory internal note with an @mention. Best of all, it’s now gone from your stack, and accountability is clear and obvious to both parties.
While Gmail ordinarily comes with some facility to see a board-based task list, by adding Gmelius, you can transform inboxes into clear kanban boards showing each member’s work stack.
Gmelius improves the collaborative possibilities of Gmail. It does this by creating more accessible shared inboxes, which team leaders can easily assign from. Managers can see individual workloads and monitor progress moment by moment.
In Gmelius there’s also the facility to create filters and labels to either automatically route emails into specific folders, or mark key conversations to be seen by select subsets of your team. These conversations will then appear as single, clearly marked items in all the respective inboxes.
Rather than the basic set of automated rules provided by Gmail, an expanded set is available with an ERM system like Gmelius. From auto-replies to the automatic assignment of work, your ERM should take care of the mundane and repetitive tasks, allowing you to concentrate on the fine substance of each task.
It will even initiate whole cascading sequences of replies, such as running a drip campaign for you, with minimal required input. Gmelius can also apply SLA rules, to ensure you adhere to corporate policy.
Integration for Workflow Flexibility
Another major benefit is that Gmelius isn’t a new tool you have to learn from scratch. Instead, it sits on top of Gmail and integrates other tools you commonly use. It lets you work from whichever tool suits your preferences.
CASE 1: Jay likes to work from Trello. She thinks visually and likes to see her work laid out before her in cards she can move from column to column. Gmelius can quickly transform an email into one such Trello card and assign it to Jay’s workload, without delays caused by waiting for access rights or responses to queries.
CASE 2: John prefers to use his inbox as a guide to today’s workload. He likes to tick off and delete items from his Gmail as he completes his daily tasks. With Gmelius, John can notify his team when jobs are complete and provide quick status updates. He can turn his emails into a labeled Trello card if the task needs to be shared with others.
Integration is key to how Gmelius simplifies work. Conversations that take place on your Slack channel can also be appended to work tasks. Managers can assign tasks in a Trello card from their inbox or reply to emails in their Trello with the beauty of two-way integrations.
What to Consider when Choosing an ERM Tool
Particularly for new or early-stage businesses, time management and budget allocation are vital. Therefore, when you add an Email Response Management platform like Gmelius, you want to be assured that it will reduce workload and make everyone’s lives easier, rather than the opposite.
When comparing options, here are some considerations to bear in mind:
- How many integrations does it feature? Do you use those tools frequently?
- How easy is it to use and is support provided?
- What features does it include? You want your ERM tool to add to the functionality of the systems you use the most. It should be able to address some of the usability and productivity gaps in your systems. Ideally, this will include automation, improved collaboration, analytics, and integrations with other tools you use frequently.
- Can I try it for free? Hopefully, a free trial period is available (at least 14 days) for the tier that you think you’ll use. Don’t commit until you’ve done a trial run with all the relevant features you need.
These questions are the main ones to ask, regardless of which email management solution you’re considering.
Managing Email Responses with Gmelius: What You Can Accomplish
We’re proud of the productivity tool we’ve created, so we hope you’ll forgive us for blowing our own trumpet a little. Here are just three examples of great productivity hacks we’ve built into the Gmail infrastructure:
Create Workflow Rules for Automated Replies
There are tasks you’ll regularly need to handle. Emails that simply require forwarding to the same team, with the same instructions, or responses to clients who have FAQs.
Gmelius allows you to create sequences of response actions, using logical operators like “if this - then that”. For example, IF an email subject contains the word “budget” THEN you might reply with a prepared reply template AND assign it to a certain team member as a Trello task in one automated process, accessible from a single click.
Share Email Templates
Let’s say you want your sales team to adopt the same strategy. With a suite of templates set up, you can ensure each team member is sending the same kind of response, with instant personalization to increase customer engagement and lead conversion.
You can create new email templates and add them to the library, accessible from your Gmelius dashboard. Save time and energy, ensure consistent communications and amplify your outreach.
Measure Email Response Times
Accountability is all well and good, but you want to be able to produce actionable performance metrics as well, so you can keep on top of those KPIs.
Fortunately, Gmelius has thought of that too. We have built an analytics dashboard that enumerates and graphs key indicators including response time, number of closed tickets per user and the average time it takes to close tickets per user. As well as, the average time it takes to close a conversation in a specific workspace (Shared inbox, shared label or kanban board). This will help senior management remain confident that you’re hitting the appropriate targets, as well as provide metrics to demonstrate service improvement.
You can also track team performance on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. You’ll soon be able to discern trends in efficiency and performance, providing invaluable insights into overall productivity.
Do I Need an Email Response Management Tool?
We hope we’ve shown that you do. Gmelius helps you unlock the full potential of the systems you already use and does so from your familiar Gmail inbox. It’s easy to install, intuitive, cost-effective and a game-changer in terms of productivity.
Get Started with Gmelius - start a free trial here.