Email has become the mode of communication of choice over the last couple of decades for business.
But because it’s such a new form of communication (relatively speaking), it’s also thrown up a bunch of issues. Company bosses complain that email makes their employees less productive, more prone to overload, and puts the firm at risk of cyber attack.
For these reasons, it’s essential to develop an email strategy: something that will help everyone in your workplace understand how to use email effectively, getting the best out of the technology while avoiding the worst.
What does an effective email strategy look like?
Emails Must Be The Best Choice For The Situation
One of the problems many companies encounter is the phenomenon of email overload. Each person in an organisation believes that the email that they’re sending is essential, leading to an avalanche of emails to and from practically every person. The effect is cluttered inboxes full of messages that are difficult to read and process within the time constraints of the day.
So what can be done about it? A good email strategy helps employees decide whether what they’re communicating is best done through email or some other medium. Not all communication should occur in email form: it’s often much more useful to talk in person or through a chat messenger.
Your email strategy document should detail the situations in which sending an email is appropriate, and when it’s not.
Email Must Be Secure
Emails are not only a drain on employee time, but could also be putting your company at risk. It’s a good idea, therefore, to put phishing protection best practices in place. These strategies will help people in your organisation protect your firm against computer shutdown, data theft, and ransomware.
Encourage Specific And Helpful Subject Lines
People in your organisation are unlikely to read emails if the subject line doesn’t tell them much about the content of the email. Simply typing the word “work” into the subject heading helps nobody.
Train employees to give a brief description of the content in the heading. Also, tell them that it’s important to think about how the email will be received by the person at the other end. What information would they like to know before opening the email and reading the full content inside?
Finally, many employees struggle with clarity in emails. It may be better for these workers to speak to their colleagues in person. However, if this isn’t possible, help put strategies in place that will help them communicate their ideas effectively.
Content should be clear and concise. It should also be organised in a way that’s easy for the person at the other end to understand. You can encourage colleague who struggles to arrange the written word logically to communicate in bullet form. You can also teach them about the benefits of including paragraph headings in the content to not only direct the reader but to help them manage their own content.
Does your business need an effective email strategy?