What is email management software?
Email management software helps users sort, organize and reply to huge volumes of inbound customer emails. But it is by no means limited to providing support; email management software can be utilized for any situation that involves bulk incoming emails, such as campaign feedback or internal service desk of multinational companies.
Although it typically handles customer queries, email management software overlaps in function with helpdesk solutions. The former may also feature a ticketing system or is part of a larger customer support system. Perhaps the best way to answer, “What is email management software?” is to focus on the category’s core functionality: managing emails. Any helpdesk or service desk solution with this module can be considered under this niche.
The purpose of email management software came on the heels of our realization that checking work emails eats up four hours a day of our time. That’s more than two days a week lost to this activity.
Email management software aims to cut down this work wastage. In this article, we will discuss how and we’ll go beyond the definition of email management software including highlighting these key points:
Email management skills
What is email management software but a tool to help you address tons of emails. But it is not a magic pill that will act on its own – you need to practice email management housekeeping to take full advantage of this solution. Consider these best practices:
- Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails. It’s easy to pile up promotional emails if you’re not careful. For every free trial offer or whitepaper you download, there’s a persistent email you’ll be receiving. Worse, some of these might be spammy or will sell your email address to third parties. After opting in for a value offer, evaluate if you really need the emails you’ll be receiving thereafter. Keep the valuable ones and unsubscribe from persistent or repetitive emails.
- Separate personal from work emails. Do not ever use work emails for personal communication. Not only will you quickly inundate the inbox with confusing emails, but, remember, your work email belongs to the company and it’s not private to you alone. Plus, personal emails can distract you during work hours.
- Learn proper indexing. Many email management solutions have a ticketing system that excels in automation and process streamlining, but you still need to provide the rules. Indexing is proper tagging, labeling and folder grouping of emails based on categories that make sense to your workflows. You can categorize emails in many ways: by contacts, location, date, deals and demographics.
- Set a fixed time and routine for emails. Assign a specific time daily to answer emails. Having this routine disciplines you, not only to address emails on a regular basis, but not to address them outside of the allotted time. This means you don’t push back other important everyday tasks.
- Act on urgent emails now. Emails can quickly pile up if you miss a day or two addressing them. Avoid procrastination so your daily inbound email volume is kept to a minimum. Imagine if you’re receiving ten emails per day; ignore these for two days and on the third day you’ll be answering thirty emails! MindTools has some really good tips on how to avoid procrastination.
Examples of Email Management Software
What does email management software do? It depends on the app. Here are top examples of email management software with their unique value features:
- Mailparser.io. As its name suggests, it parses emails for transferring to third-party apps like Google Sheets, Excel, your CRM and other productivity apps. It can parse messages, filter data and adapt to different languages. It can also turn PDFs into Excel, JSON, CSV and XML.
- Notion AI. It adds an intelligence layer that learns your priorities and habits in managing emails. Leveraging smart notifications, it brings to surface your most important emails so you can address these fast. Likewise, it can bring up urgent questions based on your rules and historical emails, thus, allowing you to address important emails at once.
- Parserr. It’s also an email parsing app that extracts important data in your emails and export them to third-party apps. The app can manage huge volumes of emails. One useful application of this software is sorting high-priority leads that are likely to convert.
- Front. It is the definition of a built-in email management feature in a customer support solution. If features a unified inbox, auto reminders, autoresponders and other support features. One key email management tool is its activity audit and tracking tool that lets you track email actions and updates by your agents.
- Zoho Mail. It’s a web-based email client with a freemium. The app features an ad-free, clean interface with extensive integration with Zoho apps and other third-party business apps. Key features include multiple domain, calendar and tasks, multiple account and CRM.
- MailPro+. An email exporter and extractor solution that allows you to migrate, convert, archive, and recover emails, all data within including attachments.
- SysTools Mail Migration Wizard. A comprehensive migration tool that lets users export and convert NSF files. This software allows businesses to recover emails and other data from Lotus Notes and Domino Server to MS Exchange, Office 365, and Outlook. It makes the process an easy one and ensures that no relevant data is missed during the file transfer.
- Hiver. A shared inbox collaboration and team email management software that allows businesses to manage their shared mailboxes straight from a Gmail account, transforming Gmail into a fully functional help desk platform. With Hiver, you can perform a plethora of functions including customer support, sales, task management, and HR management using a Gmail account.
Front lets you have multiple inboxes categorized to your requirements.
Benefits of Email Management Software
Why use email management software? There are plenty of benefits and here are the most obvious ones.
- Manage multiple accounts. You can shift from different email accounts in one interface. There’s no need to sign in and out of email accounts, which is not only cumbersome, but wastes a lot of your time. Multiple accounts are useful for small teams that need to assume different roles like support, sales and editorial, for instance
- Customize. These solutions are highly configurable, not only in UI design, but in matching your workflows. You can prioritize folders, create signatures, generate templates and other process-driven customization.
- Advanced search. You get to use smart tagging and filtering to drill down to specific items in emails. Today’s email management apps go beyond searching by names, companies and email address; they can filter through messages and surface detailed conversations from tons of emails.
- Eliminate spam. The solution automatically sorts emails by your rules. You can define what constitute a spam and the system will segregate these from your important emails. This alone can increase productivity by a mile.
- Secure data. Many email management systems have security in place to protect sensitive data in your emails. These include login credentials, bank account details and customer data. A solution may feature security features like data encryption or two-factor authentication and certifications such as SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 and SOC 2.
- Neat interface. Most email management apps are ad-free and feature clean, familiar UI. It has folders and labels, flags, filters and thread-based conversations. New users with limited technical background will find these apps easy to learn and use daily.
- Templates. Many of these apps provide email templates – or you can create your own – and save them in a library that can be quickly accessed inside the system. You can organize templates for sales and support replies and automate the entire process. This gives you more time on unique or urgent cases.
You can group emails in myriad ways in Zoho Mail.
Types of Email Management Software
We can classify email management software in two major categories:
- Desktop email clients. They require you to download the app and install it in your computer. The app connects to the internet to send/receive emails or retrieve records from a cloud-hosted server. These apps may also include analytics that is accessed from the vendor’s server.
- Web-based email apps. These are SaaS products whose features are accessed via cloud. Your data is likewise stored in the cloud (vendor’s server). There’s no need to install an app, instead, a quick setup gets the app up and running.
Example: Zoho Mail
Features of Email Management Software
How does email management software work? It consists of many different parts. Some have all the features built in, while others integrate with other apps for more functionalities. Others still may be a part of a bigger help desk or service desk system.
- Ticketing system. Legitimate inbound emails are assigned a reference number each. This number is used to track each ticket, group related emails or retrieve archived conversations. Labels and tags. These tools can be set to automatically sort legitimate emails from spam or even segregate high-priority emails from the rest. Or, you can manually tag and label emails and they’ll be automatically grouped or indexed for future reference. Labels and tags are useful also for search filtering.
- Antivirus. More advanced email management apps have a built-in antivirus feature or they come bundled with a reliable antivirus tool. This protects you from compromising your local server or computer or getting your emails hacked while in transit.
- Multiple account personas. For some this may be the main purpose of email management software. It allows them to play various roles without leaving a single interface. For example, you can reply to one email as a support agent and to another email as content editor. For small teams, this ability helps them project a more professional and “bigger” image.
- Business intelligence. Some sophisticated email management apps feature BI that can analyze subject, message and attached files and auto-tag them based on your specifications. This feature is useful in analyzing campaign feedback or customer feedback, and help marketers make strategic decisions.
- Dynamic forms. A solution may include this tool that allows you to send forms via email. Recipients can fill in a form and the data is sent back to you. This is one of the advantages of email management software, where your recipients don’t have to leave their inbox to sign up a form; thus, increasing their rate of compliance.
- Chats. Depending on the solution or package, a live chat may be built in right in the email interface. This tool is useful to communicate urgent messages if by chance you and the recipient are both inside your respective inboxes.
Buying Factors to Consider
Free is nice but it shouldn’t be your main reason for choosing an email management app. There are plenty of factors to consider, including these main ones:
- Scalability. Even if you only need a basic plan now, check the higher plans and what they have in store for you. This gives you an idea how the app can scale to your future needs. Features to look for include more storage, more functionalities, higher attachment limit and advanced features like custom domain, collaboration tools and custom branding.
- Multiple accounts. If you need to play different roles when replying to emails, make sure to get an app that allows domain aliases, multiple domain hosting or multiple accounts. These give you the flexibility to shift from one persona to another using a drop-down menu, for example, as a support agent, a sale rep or a content editor, without leaving the inbox.
- Security. While most email management apps feature security, some have a more sophisticated set. If you send confidential data or want utmost data protection for your email conversations, make sure the app has two-way authentication process or features certifications like SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 and SOC 2. At the least, the app should have data encryption not only for resting data, but also for emails in transit.
- Integration. The email management software does not exist in a vacuum; it needs to integrate with other key business systems like document management, CRM, helpdesk and, to an extent, G Suite if you’re already using Google apps.
- Mobile apps. To enable you to take full advantage of cloud computing, go for a solution with Android and iOS apps. This gives you the flexibility to manage your emails on the go using your smartphone. If you can’t leave your inbox, at least you can put it in your pocket and take it anywhere, anytime.
Pricing of Email Management Software
The cost of email management software usually depends on the email volume, storage, file attachment limit and, of course, feature set. Here’s how the top solutions stack up against each other when it comes to pricing.
- Mailparser.io. It has four price plans starting from $25 per month. All plans have unlimited parsing rules, unlimited integrations and unlimited downloads. Features that scale include number of inboxes and monthly volume of emails.
- Notion AI. Vendors like Notion AI requires a price quote to match your specific needs.
- Parserr. It goes by the standard 3-plan packages for personal, growing needs and business requirements. Price starts at $22.99 per month.
- Front. It has four packages starting from $45 per month. The higher plans have advanced features like API/plugins, analytics and reports, SAML-based SSO and IP access restrictions.
- Zoho Mail. Some vendors offer a free app to hook you to its paid plans. Zoho Mail’s freemium include 25 users, 5GB storage and 20MB file attachment cap.
- Volume of emails. Do you have a huge volume of inbound emails daily? If you’re just starting out you may not need an email management app yet. A free web email client like Gmail may meet your needs. Better yet, you can test drive a freemium like Zoho Mail. Once you need to scale you can subscribe to its paid plans without having to learn a new app.
- Mismatched platform requirements. Email management software should be compatible with your existing email platform. These include the email client you’re using, its protocols, server environment and your operating system. Any one of these that do not support the email management app will greatly undermine its potential.
- Problems with exporting. Emails are building blocks of many a system like CRM and support solutions. If your email management app does not support one of these key systems, it can self-defeat the promise of automation and analytics.