If your inbox is flooded with emails and you find yourself regularly losing updates from your team or missing new emails from sales leads, you need an Email Response Management System.
They help you and your team organize your emails to help you extract value from your emails, rather than being a consistent worry and drain on your productivity.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- What is an Email Response Management System?
- Why Does Your Business Need an ERMS?
- Key Features to Look For in Your ERMS
- Should You Use a Free or Paid ERMS?
By the end, you’ll know if an Email Response Management System (ERMS) is something you need to invest in to help free up your team’s time and improve productivity.
Let’s jump in.
What is an Email Response Management System?
An Email Response Management System, or ERMS, is a system that helps a company manage and organize their email activity to improve the value email delivers as an internal and external communication channel.
An ERMS can help with things like filtering emails, analyzing email activity, and logging email threads to ensure that important replies are never missed.
Email response management systems are also known as:
- Email response management services
- Email response management software
Why Does Your Business Need an ERMS?
Email is an essential channel of communication for every business.
It’s the first point of communication with customers, sales leads, and even internal communication if you’re not using Slack or Teams.
Unfortunately, what makes email so useful also limits its effectiveness.
Here are some ways an ERMS can improve your day-to-day email usage:
1. Save Time on Routine Activities
Email is a huge time drain, even if you’re using it to communicate important information with your team and customers.
However, using technology like a collaborative EMRS can make that time spent on email 25-30% more productive.
An ERMS can help as most will enable you to create rules and filters to get your inbox organized, bring important importation to the top, and hide non-urgent emails until you need them.
For example, emails from sales leads get surfaced and prioritized, or company-wide updates are tagged so your team remembers to check them.
2. Boost Productivity with Smart Asset Management
Attention switching kills productivity. Studies have found it can take up to 25 minutes to regain concentration after an interruption.
An ERMS can help you reduce attention switching and keep your team on task by bringing key information into one place.
But, how does an ERMS actually help with this?
Well, your team won’t have to jump between your main inbox, Slack, Dropbox, or Google Drive to find shared assets.
Everything that your team needs to know about can be stored in one place, and surfaced as needed, cutting out wasted time.
3. Close More Deals with Fast Follow-Ups
Email is the main sales channel for nearly every B2B business.
Even if you don’t use cold email to reach out to prospective customers, you’ll communicate with them over email once they’re in your sales process.
Email responsiveness is vital if you expect to close deals over email.
A good EMRS will help your team stay on top of incoming emails from your sales leads, quickly check the message history, and share useful sales assets with them.
Key Features to Look For in Your ERMS
All email response management systems will have slightly different core features, and it’s worth shopping around to find one that fits your business case.
That said, here are a few features to look out for:
Average Email Response Times
This is useful for tracking how well your sales and customer support teams respond to customer queries. If your average reply time is trending downwards, you can start to fix the problem by improving your processes or hiring a new team member.
Logging Past Messages
Find a tool that makes it easy to resurface past message threads. This will come in handy for when you’re chatting to customers, leads, and your own team.
Set Reply Time Goals
If you’re just ramping up your customer support function, or want to find ways to improve existing procedures, find an ERMS that allows you to set reply time goals.
These will help your team track their productivity and improve how quickly your team get back to customers and leads.
If you’re sending important information over email, make sure your ERMS allows for data backups. These will have you covered in case of accidental deletions, or security issues, and you’ll never lose a key piece of information.
Advanced Security Settings
With so much confidential information sent over email, you need advanced security settings.
Make sure your ERMS complies with all of your local, and preferably, international laws around security. Check if it’s GDPR compliant, and has certifications proving the company is committed to data security, such as an ISO 27001 Certification.
Make sure your ERMS complies with all of your local, and preferably, international laws around security. Make sure your ERMS is GDPR compliant and have certifications proving their commitment to data security, such as an ISO 27001 Certification.
If you’re regularly sending attachments over email to your team, or to people outside of your company, consider looking for email response management software with attachment management.
Attachment management will help you see all assets sent from your team, and quickly find relevant information when you need it.
If you ever want to change tools, you’ll need to be able to export all of your data and import it into another tool. If the email management software you choose doesn’t let you import data, it may not be ideal for the long-term.
Should You Use a Free or Paid ERMS?
As you would expect, there is a range of email response management services at a variety of price points.
In general, we’d recommend using paid tools over free ones.
When dealing with important company information, it doesn’t make business sense to cut corners with a free tool. You need a tool with strong security features combined with all the tools to improve your email reply management.
Using timetoreply to Boost Email Productivity
If you’re looking for an email management tool to help improve your team productivity, timetoreply can help.
Our email software gives you real-time insights to help your team, whether you’re on-site or remote, gain back time previously wasted in your inbox.
You can create reports on average reply time across individual inboxes or shared inboxes, and find ways to improve those times.
Custom rules can help you surface conversations that never received a reply, so you can get in touch with lost leads, and win back their business.
An email response management system will help your business claw back time previously lost to cluttered, busy inboxes.
Your team will be able to cut through the noise and find the information they need, whenever they need it.
An ERMS is particularly useful for teams who have regular communication over email and need replies to happen quickly.
If you’re considering investing in an ERMS, look for one that contains features that will help your team be more productive and use email to its potential with features like:
- Target reply times
- Asset management
- Conversation logs
These will all help your team surface the information they need quickly and respond to customers faster than ever.
Finally, look for tools with strong security practices that you can trust your email data inside.