Email Response Management Software

The benefits of email response management software are a no brainer. It’s the best way to ensure that your company responds to every support customer email, it takes the stress off of your support team who can now focus on more important tasks, and it makes customers happier because they’ll know that their emails weren’t lost or ignored. If you’re still unsure about whether or not this type of software is right for you, then ask yourself this question: what do you have to lose? The truth is there isn’t much risk involved with implementing this type of software because these days there are plenty of free options available online which will give you everything needed without having any upfront costs associated with them either!

In this guide, we review the aspects of Email Response Management Software, email response time tracking, inbound communication management, and How do you manage email correspondence?

Email Response Management Software

At my company, we’ve recently been putting a lot of effort into improving our internal communication systems. We learned that there was a lot of room for improvement when it came to responding to support emails from customers. This is why we decided to take action and implement email response management software. Now all of our customer support emails are automatically routed through this software and sent straight to the support agents who can then respond quickly, which makes everyone happy!

Using email response management software is the best way to ensure that your company responds to every support customer email.

Email response management software is the best way to ensure that your company responds to every support customer email. It also provides a number of other benefits:

  • Ensuring that every email gets a response
  • Responding in a timely manner
  • Ensuring consistency

Email response management software can help take the stress off of your support team.

As the owner of a business, you know how important it is to respond to customer emails quickly. Every second that ticks by without a response is another second when your customers may feel ignored or neglected. But responding quickly can also be stressful for your support team, who are often drowning in emails from customers (especially during busy times like Black Friday). Email response management software can help take some of this stress off of them by allowing them to handle more emails with fewer errors and better empathy.

Some features that can help with this are:

  • Automatic responses based on template rules (can be customized)
  • Automated follow-up reminders if no response received after X days

Support customers will be happier knowing that they will get a response from you, because they’ll know that their email hasn’t been lost.

  • Support customers will be happier knowing that they will get a response from you, because they’ll know that their email hasn’t been lost.
  • They’ll know that your company is taking care of them.

You should be using email response management software for your company as soon as possible!

Email response management software is an essential tool for any business today. Using email response management software will help your company become more efficient, making it easier to handle customer queries and support issues. In addition, using the right email response management software can make your customers happier—a win-win situation for all!

What does this mean for you? It simply means that if you’re not currently using an email response management system at your company (and indeed most businesses aren’t), then it’s time to get on board with one as soon as possible!

email response time tracking

Now that we’re always connected, email response times are more important than ever. The faster, the better. Quick replies set a standard in people’s minds of how much you care about them, and how serious you are.

Picture this scenario: an email sits in your inbox. It’s a little complicated, and you put it off for a while. Time flies and before you know it, it’s been days, and the longer it sits there, the less you want to reply to that email. The person who sent it sits waiting, slowly bubbling up with anger, until they’re tired from waiting and have to follow up. This springs you into action, but their respect for you has dropped to 0.

When we send an email, most of us want an answer yesterday. But do we act the same when looking at our own inboxes?

What’s an appropriate email response time?

“Appropriate” depends on lots of factors including:

When looking at surveys and studies we find that overall, they cover a wide range and every user has different expectations. Surveys conducted by Microsoft and Klaus found that 50% of email senders expect a reply within 24 hours, while a more recent one by HubSpot shows that 90% of customers expect an “immediate” response, that being 10 minutes or less.

As you can see, it’s hard to define a “best practice” when it comes to email response times. One thing is clear: the quicker you are, the more likely you are to meet everyone’s expectations.

You need a standard email response time policy

A standard email response time policy ensures that your customers, leads, and team members are never left waiting hours or days for a reply to an email.

An email response time policy is an internal document setting out the recommended maximum reply time your company should follow. It does not have to be one-size-fits-all for a whole organization. You can set different timeframes for different parts of your email communication, depending on who you are talking to:

How to set a Standard Response Time Policy

You should consider the type of business you’re in—are you a B2B company dealing with a few large enterprise clients? Or are you a B2C company working with a huge number of customers at a much lower price?

Make sure you set realistic goals for your team to aim for. If they’re impossible for anyone on your team to meet, it’s going to discourage everyone. If no one can reach the goal, the responsibility lies with the person who set them.

Why do email response times matter for a business?

The good thing about email response times is that every company has full control of it, while having a clear and measurable impact on their business. Reducing them is a brilliant opportunity for quick teams to engage leads before their competition, make customers happier and reduce their churn.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of improving your company’s email response times.

1. Closing more sales

A research conducted by InsideSales.com shows that 35–50% of sales go to the company who answers first. When a customer is looking for a solution and contacts you, most of the times they’ll also be contacting your competitors. Responding quickly to their questions will leave a professional impression, putting you in the best place to convert them to customers.

A study published by the Lead Response Management shows that sales people don’t have long to contact a lead before it gets “cold”. This research found that “the odds of the lead entering the sales process are 21 times greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after the lead was submitted”. Imagine how much impact a 21x increase in qualification could have on the revenue of your company!

2. Better customer satisfaction

When customers are angry or frustrated, the last thing they want is to be ignored. A 2018 report by Forrester found that a staggering 66% of adults believe that having their time valued by a company was the best thing they can do to provide a good online experience. Understanding that a customer doesn’t have all day and giving them a solution as quickly as possible (without sacrificing quality) is a great way to show them you value their time.

If you provide great customer service by answering fast, your customers are going to stick around for longer. A study published by the University of Pennsylvania shows that even when your response isn’t necessarily what the customer wants to hear, just answering in a quick and professional way manages to retain 30% of those customers.

3. Knowing nothing slips through the cracks

Have you ever made the mistake of missing an important client’s email? If your employees are having trouble answering emails on time, chances are they’re also sitting on a cluttered inbox.An effective email response time policy ensures every received email will be taken care of quickly, and avoids cluttered inboxes where emails are easily missed — never miss another critical email again!

How to calculate your average response time

Email response time is measured by recording the time that passes between when someone sends a message to you and when a response is sent back to that email.

Do you know what your average response time is? Most people hope it’s quick, without actually ever measuring it. Not because they don’t care about it, but simply because they don’t know how to.

Using a free Email Meter account you can easily discover different metrics about your email response times. In your report summary you will find your Average Response Time, while beneath you will find a number of other metrics including Quickest Response Time and First Response Time.

For businesses, we’ve developed Enterprise Dashboards: a feature-rich solution that helps companies understand their business’ email activity. It allows to easily monitor employee performance and productivity metrics such as workload and response times to help companies make informed, data-driven decisions. You can learn more here.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably set about wanting to reduce your response time. That’s great! Keeping up with your inbox and replying more quickly takes effort and dedication, but soon we’ll be posting an article with tips to help you achieve it.

inbound communication management

If you’re a marketer or work in a business, then you’ve most likely heard your coworkers using the terms inbound and outbound marketing. Whilst these may seem like nothing more than corporate buzzwords, it’s important that employees in contemporary business environments understand their meaning and the differences between them. Our article will guide you through inbound and outbound marketing techniques, explain the differences between them, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a term used to describe marketing techniques that employ pull tactics. Rather than broadcasting your message to consumers, inbound marketing involves the creation of online content to attract customers to your business when they search the Internet. The consumer plays an active role in this process by finding and consuming content created by inbound marketers.

Many different forms of content are included under the umbrella of inbound marketing, including company websites, blog posts, and paid ads on search engines. As most businesses utilise a range of these content types, inbound marketing is usually a multi-channel process. Search engine optimisation, blogging, and social media marketing are all encapsulated by the term inbound marketing.

Due to its multi-channel nature, a key difficulty associated with inbound marketing is ensuring that a consistent brand message is communicated across all touchpoints. Bearing in mind the theory of integrated marketing communications (IMC), it is essential that all inbound marketing communications cohere with each other such that a clear, compelling brand proposition is conveyed.

Inbound marketing is also fundamentally data-driven: users can interact with inbound marketing communications by clicking on organic listings or responding on social media, so consumers’ reactions can often be measured and used to optimise future communications. As such, an essential part of inbound marketing is the use of web analytics to measure performance.

What is Outbound Marketing?

By contrast to inbound marketing, outbound marketing is a term used to describe marketing techniques that employ push tactics. Here, information is broadcast to consumers, who are the passive recipients of the marketing message. The consumer cannot directly respond to the message, so outbound marketing can be described as a one-way process.

Outbound marketing can be thought of as old school advertising. It involves the kinds of marketing methods that dominated marketing communications in the twentieth century, such as telemarketing, television ads, and direct mail. The essence of outbound marketing is that mass media are utilised to communicate the brand’s message to as many members of the public as possible.

What are the Differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?

We’ve already touched upon the main difference between inbound and outbound marketing: inbound involves pull tactics whilst outbound involves push tactics. The two approaches entail fundamentally different modes of communication. Inbound marketing communications are two-way, empowering the consumer by enabling them to participate through a response; outbound marketing communications are one-way, allowing a message to be conveyed to potential customers but not facilitating any direct form of reaction.

This guide has already hinted at another key distinction between the two forms of marketing – the tools used in inbound marketing differ from those used in outbound marketing. Inbound marketing relies on modern, digital marketing communications tools, whilst outbound marketing utilises more traditional, offline methods of reaching potential customers.

Outbound marketing techniques are gradually decreasing in popularity and being replaced by inbound marketing techniques, with digital marketing methods overtaking traditional forms of advertising. This is not to say, however, that there are no advantages to outbound marketing.

The differences between inbound and outbound marketing can be summarised as follows:

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing methods are useful for reaching a large volume of consumers. When using outbound tools such as direct mail, it’s easy to communicate a consistent marketing proposition and avoid confusing any potential customers. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, requires careful planning and implementation to ensure that a coherent message is conveyed.

As a result of the fact that outbound marketing broadcasts your message to a mass audience, however, the tools associated with this approach are usually expensive. Conversely, inbound marketing techniques are often used to target a specific audience and are cheaper or even free. Search engine optimisation, for example, enables firms to reach prospects through organic search engine results without spending resources on ads.

A key benefit of inbound marketing is that the effectiveness of communication can be measured directly, particularly with blogs and organic search engine listings. Inbound communications are consumed by users who are seeking information about your brand, whilst outbound communications are pushed on consumers who are not necessarily interested. Outbound marketing methods like television ads are often ignored by consumers and the performance of campaigns is difficult to measure.

Connected to the measurement of performance, inbound marketing provides better ROI than outbound marketing: according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 Report, 53% of marketers see higher ROI from inbound than outbound marketing. This is partly due to the fact that inbound efforts can be monitored and subsequently optimised using web analytics.

How do you manage email correspondence?

Bringing structure and organization to how you manage emails will allow more time for yourself, and will give you a greater ability to produce more impactful work.

Managing emails is a time-consuming task. 

For most working people, as much as 28% of their workweek is spent simply reading and responding to emails. 

It’s no surprise then that we are constantly overwhelmed by emails — and as a result, we become less productive at work.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

If you’re able to bring structure and organization to how you manage emails, life becomes easier. 

You’ll have more time for yourself and will have a greater ability to produce more impactful work.

Let’s take a look at some proven email management tactics and strategies.

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1. Allocate Email Time in Your Calendar

Just as you make time for yourself, set aside structured time for your emails in your schedule.

It’s important to do this because an average worker checks their email close to 74 times daily! 

That’s a LOT of time, energy, and effort used up in doing something that doesn’t necessarily need so much mental bandwidth.  

But here’s the thing: emails might not seem as intrusive as a phone call, but they end up creating far more stress. 

As working professionals, we often worry about them, keep checking our inbox, and end up losing focus on things that actually matter.

So, that brings us to the most fundamental strategy: allocate a fixed time every day to deal with email. 

You could do this at one stretch or schedule blocks of time throughout the day just for email. 

Ideally, avoid multitasking when you’re checking emails. That’s because when you minimize distractions and stay focused, it becomes easier to run through everything.

“Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to email twice daily at 12:00 pm ET [or your time zone] and 4:00 pm ET. If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12:00 pm or 4:00 pm, please contact me via phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX.”

The takeaways here are pretty simple yet profound. 

First, emails can wait. Second, if it’s super urgent, DO NOT send an email. Instead, pick up the phone.

2. Create Labels, Folders, and Categories

One way to simplify email management is through organization. This involves setting up labels, folders and categories.

Keep in mind that there’s no standard rule that applies to the creation of categories. 

It would totally depend on the person, the emails they receive, and how they’d best want to segregate their messages.

For example, someone in finance might need multiple folders. One for invoices, one for reimbursements, and so on. 

An employee in marketing could have folders such as inbound, guest post requests, advertising, etc.

The key is to prioritize, group, and sort emails into categories. 

The greatest benefit to organizing your emails in this manner is that it becomes very easy to locate specific emails in just a few clicks. 

In addition to creating basic folders, you can also set up parent categories and create subcategories under them. 

To do this in Gmail, for instance, head to your inbox and look at the left sidebar menu in full view. 

Under the “categories” tab, you’ll find “manage labels”. Click on “create a new label” here.

Every label you create is basically a folder. So give it an appropriate (search-friendly) name. 

Gmail also allows you to assign different colors to your labels.

3. Touch It Once

The touch-it-once principle is based on making quick decisions in handling emails. 

It is also known as the Only Handle It Once (OHIO) method.

The idea here is that revisiting an email over and over again is a waste of time. 

So, you touch it once, take action on it, file it away and then move on to the next email.

The touch it once principle may seem like it’s easy, but it can get a little hard to follow when it comes to email because we have a tendency to defer replying to emails.

But having this mindset is important since most of us deal with large volumes of email every day. 

This will keep you from constantly getting distracted by the thought of unanswered emails, which can dramatically lower your productivity.

4. Follow the 1-minute Rule

The one-minute rule helps you manage both your emails and time better.

Here’s what it entails: if it takes just a minute to respond to an email, do it immediately. 

This way, you don’t sit on emails that can be acted upon instantly and filed away. Doing this also clears up your inbox faster. 

A variation of this is the two-minute rule — introduced by David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done. 

The concept here remains the same: if it only takes 2 minutes to reply to an email, get it done right away.

5. Read Top Down, Write Bottom Up

Atish Davda, CEO of EquityZen, proposes a unique way to get through your inbox.

Read emails by threads in reverse chronological order and respond to them in chronological order.

According to Atish Davda:

“This nuanced hack takes advantage of the fact that some folks respond to emails immediately, sometimes triggering an email ‘tennis match’, eating up that hour you set aside to tackle your whole inbox, and leaving you feeling behind. If you respond to emails in chronological order, you’re less likely to get caught up in back-and-forth emails, and more likely to stay on track.”

6. Knowing When to Send Emails 

Email management is as much about the kind and volume of emails you send as it is about the kind and volume of emails you receive.

There’s a famous saying: If you want to receive fewer emails, send fewer emails.

When it comes to sending them, it would depend on the nature of your work. 

That’s because there are certain functions where employees do most of their daily work on emails.

Those working in customer success, for instance, have to reach out to existing clients on a regular basis. And usually, email is the preferred channel for this. 

In such a role, make sure that you keep your communications crisp and clear. 

One of the ways you can send fewer emails is to choose what conversations you want to have through email and which you’d want to have over a call. 

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