Businesses have a problem on their hands – email.
While electronic mail seemed like a panacea in the 1990s, it produced a lot of unintended consequences: spam, interruptions in workflow, and the death of the regular conversation. What’s more, these effects combined to give most workers a sense of dread on a Monday morning as they open their inboxes. People just don’t want to look at the mountains of emails that lurk inside. You probably know the feeling yourself.
Email stress is also hampering productivity, as pointed out by members of www.quora.com. Some estimates suggest that people spend around 40% of their time reading and responding to emails.
That’s two full days a week –which is way too much!
So, what’s the solution? Can technology – the thing that caused the problem in the first place – ride to the rescue with better tools?
Let’s take a look…
The Return to Text Messaging
For some people, teams are unwilling to pick up the phone and actually talk to each other. It’s a part of our culture, and it’s not about to go anywhere anytime soon.
For that reason, a lot of companies are now considering returning to text messaging – a form factor that their colleagues feel comfortable using.
We’re not talking about the SMS messages you used to send on your Nokia cell phone. Instead, we’re talking about team-wide apps that offer practically every feature under the sun.
Text message apps are an essential component of modern business life. The reason for this has to do with the type of conversations that they facilitate. In a regular email exchange, you’re essentially texting back and forth, but doing so in a form that developers designed to be more like the post. Text messaging apps offer real-time communication, like a telephone call, but without the need to go into an inbox, click open, or fiddle about with formatting.
According to www.textbetter.com, we’re also now seeing the integration of text with email. The idea here is to bring text and phone inside the email platform and make the service more usable. There’s the facade that you’re using an “email” service whereas, in reality, you get all of the features of other communication tools. It’s an exciting concept.
The Growth of Spam Blockers
Email services are also becoming increasingly adept at blocking spam. It is now much harder for marketers to randomly send out emails and for them not to pingback to their inbox.
The reason for this comes down to two things: blocking specific unrecognised domains and deep learning. The blocking part is easy. If you have a list of accepted email addresses, then nothing else can get through.
But if you want to receive emails from people outside of the list, that can create problems. Here’s where deep learning can help. It looks for patterns in emails that denote them as spam and then automatically filters them so that they don’t clog up your inbox. You’re free to periodically check your spam folder, of course, just in case something valuable did come through, but it doesn’t clutter your inbox.