For a business, email is more than just a means of communication. It’s a lifeline to the world. While platforms like Slack can facilitate interoffice communications, email is still the heavy lifter when it comes to communications between staff and outside partners, and e-mail is even one of the most critical components in digital marketing. But there are so many email management tools on the market that it can be hard to know which are best. Personal preference will play some part in finding the tool that’s right for you, but the three management tools below are some of the best in the business.
If you’re looking for a dedicated workhorse of an email client that’s able to meet the needs of business consumers, it’s hard to compete with the range of features offered through Shift. Shift’s most common, but also most useful, the function is its ability to hold all of your email addresses into a single interface. While this has become an increasingly common standard for email clients, Shift has one of the cleanest layouts around, and you’d be hard pressed to find a client that’s easier or more intuitive to navigate. Also worthy of note is this client’s search functionality. It’s lightning quick and functions across all of your different accounts, so that makes it easy to track down long buried conversations even if you can’t remember which email you used for them. That makes it a top choice for marketing or sales teams who often have to juggle multiple different leads at a time. Its integration with third-party apps and services is also impressive. Grammarly, Boomerang, and Asana are just a few of the integrations available. That high level of customization can transform Shift from a simple email client into an all-in-one communications management tool.
Airmail is one of the most popular third-party email clients for Mac, and though its initial release came with some slightly obnoxious quirks, the client has since grown greatly in terms of functionality and today offers a number of smart features you won’t find anywhere else. What’s especially impressive is the incredibly high level of customization options that users possess. You can set the parameters for notifications both in terms of what emails trigger an alert and when you receive them, and the swipe gestures for email users are similarly versatile and subject to some creative uses by smart users. It also makes use of templates that adjust to the sort of conversations you have and can speed up the process of typing out your most commonly used phrases. Integration with a number of productivity tools like Evernote, Dropbox, and OmniFocus round of this impressive package.
3. Microsoft Office 365
Users who haven’t been back to the Microsoft Office well in a while will likely be surprised by how much has been added. There are countless new features that improve ease of use, and the update has allowed the venerable but aging email client stay competitive with its younger and flashier competitors. Once known as Outlook, the email tool has been rebranded with the more simple name of Microsoft Mail and Calendar. Its functionality is slimmed down and minimalist, making it a great choice for users who just want a solid email client that isn’t overloaded with unnecessary features and integrations. But the value of a client that integrates with your Microsoft Calendar and with other components of the larger Microsoft Office suite is a huge boon for any companies that have bought into the Office ecosystem. Windows’ mail client is notable for its touchscreen support, and it also supports threaded conversations, flags, and notifications.
IFTTT stands for “If This Then That”, and while it’s not exclusively an email management tool, it can be a huge convenience for managing your messages. IFTTT makes use of customized “recipes” that allow you to automate simple processes like integrating text message alerts when you receive emails from designated senders, archiving email receipts, and backing up attachments in your cloud storage. The possibilities are practically limitless, and the interface is surprisingly easy to understand, but getting the most out of IFTTT does require some heavy lifting. You’ll need to have some idea of what you want to do and take the time to set up the right recipes for your client.
If IFTTT is notable for its versatility, FollowUpThen is quite the opposite. This handy tool does just one thing, but it does it well. By adding an email address with the “@followupthen.com” domain, you can set up designated notifications for when you receive notifications to follow up. These can be assigned to a specific day, a specific time, or a recurring schedule. Whether you tag this address to Send, BCC, or CC determines what format this notification takes.