Emails are totally fine.
No, emails are killed off.
Wait a minute, emails are alive and kicking.
There are the continuous disputes about the role of emails in the business world: alive or dead, effective or counterproductive, replaceable or unexpendable. Meanwhile, despite being discussed and doubted, emails seem to continue ruling the world of business communication: their use is only increasing among companies of all sizes and industries.
So, emails are still a crucial part of the way we communicate at work and for the sake of work. At the same time, emails can often be cumbersome and overwhelming. You probably know that stressful feeling when you are bombarded by dozens of new emails, scared to miss something important and waste hours to look through and answer them.
Let’s face it: there are many unsolved challenges in today’s business communication. But luckily, there are many ways and tools to keep it productive and organized as well. In this article, we’ve put together the most reliable approaches to avoid plunging into talkative chaos at work.
Benefit from team messengers
It is generally claimed that team messengers are up-and-coming alternatives to email business communication, and there’s no mystery why they are.
Team messengers are irreplaceable when it comes to quick, right-at-the-moment responses, file sharing, discussions on a hot topic and collaboration on the fly. In other words, these days they are much more than just chat apps and leave far behind traditional communication tools like Skype and its alternatives. Team messengers are empowered by capable features that keep your business communication streamlined and uncluttered. Among other capabilities these tools can:
- Be integrated with hundreds of third-party platforms like Salesforce, Stripe or Dropbox and notify everybody when there is a crucial issue or update
- Add the human yet efficient element to team collaboration with the help of video meetings and audio calls
- Keep all needed information on the fingertips and allow every team member to reach it from a single, centralized place
The nowadays instant messaging market offers an ocean of options for you to consider. The good news is that the majority of business messengers offer a free trial so you will be able to experience their value (or lack of value) for your company before purchasing. Among the most favored options you can find Flock, Slack and its competitors, Stride, Chanty, Yammer, etc.
Being promoted as ‘email killers’, in fact, team messengers haven’t defeated emails. For instance, Slack promised significantly reduce the a number of business emails. And what happened next? Slack sends dozens of various emails to its users, from onboarding to promotional ones. However, its benefits for team productivity, collaboration and communication are significant.
The reality is that emails serve a specific area of business communication and are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Nevertheless, while team messengers may not entirely kill emails, they can be a productive addition to an organization’s workflow.
Make use of email management software
Teams of all sizes often need various communication channels for different occasions, depending on the type of needed communication and its urgency. Emails are great when you:
- Interact with customers or teammates without a need of immediate response
- Keep crucial conversations and documents safe and recorded
- Communicate with prospects and potential partners
To keep the email workflow (both internal and external one) productive and streamlined, most businesses adopt email management software. This kind of software has many features that may help you easily manage large volumes of emails, refine customer support at your company, clarify negotiation process, etc. With email management tools you are able to:
- Receive important information about unfamiliar email’s authors
- Mass unsubscribe from all the newsletters you don’t read with one click
- Minimize spam with advanced filtering algorithms
- Archive already unnecessary emails
- Optimize follow-up process and track replies by being notified when here comes the time to write the next letter
- Send email reminders to inform you about important events in the future
- Clear up storage space and improve the organization of your attachments by moving them to your cloud storage
- Turn your inbox into a single command center: assign tasks for the week, keep important assets safe and structured, schedule and prioritize your workflow with inbuilt calendar
- Manage multiple email accounts at once from a single place so you don’t have to switch between all your inboxes
Speaking of email management software, here is a list of tools that allows you to make your business communication super productive without letting anything slip through the cracks:
SaneBox, Unroll.me, FollowUpThen, HubSpot Sales, Google Inbox, Sordt, Checker Plus for Gmail, Mailbird and many others.
Adopt online project management tools
What do team messengers and email clients have, or rather not have, in common? In fact, they both lack a built-in sterling workflow. And if your company often deals with complex, multi-level tasks, you definitely need an online project management tool to get all things done in time. This type of software was designed to:
- Break a project workflow into small, achievable steps
- Make sure each project milestone is completed on time and according to all requirements
- Enable everyone to see the larger context of each task and know what is left to be done
- Provide your team with central cloud storage where everyone can share, save, edit and collaborate files and documents
- Search needed assets quickly and access them remotely
If you’ve got interested in the potential productivity perks of project management platforms for your business, there are the most popular and reliable solutions listed below:
To sum up, the key to running a project in a productive way is to understand when it is necessary to switch to collaboration software project management for more in-depth issues. In other words, online project management tools, in contrast to emails and team messengers, provide a wider, more sophisticated range of features to those who collaborate on complex tasks.
Generally speaking, business communication is a complex and diverse phenomenon that should be treated in different ways to stay productive.
Need quick as a flash response or real-time brainstorming? Drop a line to your colleague via a team messenger.
Want to create a collaborative hub around complex projects? Sure, get started with an online project management tool.
Lack order and velocity in your follow-up process? No problem, you are welcome to choose and adopt email management software.
In today’s highly competitive business world none of the methods that improve communication and productivity, can be overlooked. It’s not about how to get rid of one or the other communication channels. Therefore don’t swallow the marketing bait of those who convince you to give up emails. It’s all about how to make every business communication channel as productive as possible. And you have all the tools needed to achieve it.
Which methods do you employ to streamline business communication at your company? Share your findings in the comments below.
Julia Samoilenko is a Marketing Manager at Chanty – a simple AI powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 5-year experience in digital marketing field, Julia is responsible for Chanty’s online social media presence and public relations. Follow Julia on Twitter @juliasam111 or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.
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