Email Management Best Practices from Ross Phillips

By the time email celebrated its thirtieth birthday in 2001, it had become a staple of business communication across the world. Office workers currently send or receive an average of over 120 emails each day. Implementing email management best practices can help to increase productivity, reduce storage and bandwidth demands and improve data security.

Despite the growth of group chats and various conferencing options, email continues to dominate daily business communication. Email allows users to easily contact both individuals and groups, share files and schedule meetings, bridging distances in a matter of seconds.

At the same time, email chips away at business productivity and eats up bandwidth. Consider that, according to multiple surveys, most American workers spend about three hours each day in email. Left unchecked, inboxes quickly expand out of control.

Incorporating email management best practices can help organizations harness the benefits of email and strengthen information governance while reducing information overload.

1. Email Retention

Tailor archiving and deletion policies to ensure that your organization is compliant with industry regulations. Seven years is often considered a safe retention period. However, regulations vary widely from industry to industry. Set the default retention policy to the common minimum for your industry.

Of course, not all emails are equal. You can vary retention policies by content type or by use. For instance, human resources emails probably need to be retained longer than general customer correspondence.

2. Smart Approach to Size Limits

As you design your email management policies, carefully consider restrictions for email size limits. While some users in your organization may need to send large attachments of over 10 MB, most will not. Vary email size limits appropriately by user.

In addition, look at the total impact of the emails sent and set size limits accordingly. A large attachment sent to a single person has less of an impact than a 5 MB file sent to 100 recipients, for example.

Email Management Best Practices

3. Educate High Impact Email Users

Save email training for the employees who need it the most. Chances are that a small segment of your users have the highest impact on email usage. Educate them on individual email management best practices like the following:

  • Email is not always the best tool to use – Consider sharing documents through the cloud instead of sending via email. Use group chat to communicate with multiple people at once.
  • Use Reply All sparingly – Do the 20 people copied on the email all need to know that you received the communiqué?
  • Avoid using email as a file storage utility – Store documents on your hard drive or in the cloud. Not only do attachments bloat your inbox, but it is also difficult to manage version control when you have multiple copies of a file in email.

4. Filter Incoming Emails

Email remains a favorite target for cyber attackers. Make sure that your email system includes comprehensive, multi-layered security. It is no longer enough to deal with threats once they have already impacted your system. A robust security solution will filter out malware and spam before they enter employee inboxes.

Email filters not only help protect your organization’s data. They also improve employee productivity by reducing the number of irrelevant emails that users must wade through.

Benefits of Email Management Best Practices

Efficiently-managed email helps to ensure smooth communication. Information goes where it needs to go. Collaboration is easier. Well-designed retention policies facilitate regulatory compliance. And effective email security protects critical information assets.

The experts at Messaging Architects can help your organization define email policies that keep information flowing smoothly and allow you to focus on the business at hand. They can also work with you to implement the right email solution for your organization, whether upgrading to Microsoft Office 365 or optimizing your current solution.

An 11-year Messaging Architects veteran, Ross Phillips excels as a solutions architect and implementation consultant. Enjoying problem solving and helping customers succeed, he manages email migrations for companies of all sizes and across multiple industries.

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