In a previous article, I shared with you four situations in which you should never use email, and we got a lot of great comments. So today I want to share with you five times that you should use email instead of an alternative. Because in today's fast-paced remote workplace, there is still a time and a place for email. Here are some examples.
1. A Quick Written Message
Let's say you have back-to-back meetings all day and you don't have time to pick up the phone to ask your assistant for a certain piece of information or to ask your marketing director a quick question about your latest pay-per-click campaign. It is super simple to shoot off an email in between Zoom meetings to get the message to its intended recipient. Email is great if you just need a quick answer and you don't have the time to set up a meeting or pick up the phone.
2. To Share Information or Data or a Quick Report
I like to use email to aid in the delivery of structured reports to prompt somebody to look at it or act upon the data within. So, for example, let's say you have a dashboard that has your marketing stats and you just don't get on there regularly to look at it. Well, you can set it up to automatically send an email to you or other key employees each week or every two weeks or every month that shows you your KPI's. It's a great way to stay on top of the data that matters to you. Beware of doing this too often, however; if you receive an email every time someone visits your website or fills out a lead capture form, you may start to ignore the data within and miss valuable opportunities to act on key pieces of information.
3. To Document Something
You just had a great meeting with a vendor, and there were a lot of things that were shared during your meeting. Perhaps there were specific deliverables that the vendor promised. Perhaps there were deadlines set that need to be followed up on? Maybe there was a guarantee of results. You want to put that in writing immediately after the meeting and send it off to all parties involved to get their written approval and make sure that you are all on the same page. It is much easier to clear up a miscommunication 20 minutes after a meeting than six months down the road.
4. When the Conversation Is Asynchronous
When it comes to asynchronous conversations, email is really quite good. You can share an email with someone at 3 p.m., but, let's say, they're working on a project and they take a look at it the very next morning. They get back with you the next morning, and you get back to them when you have a chance. When it isn't time sensitive and you don't want to interrupt someone's flow, email is a good option.
5. When You Need to Share Something With a Group
Email is great for communicating with a group of people. Maybe it's about an upcoming sale that will be companywide. Maybe you want to highlight a companywide victory or share a report of particular interest to an entire department. Email can be great for that.
What are your favorite ways to use email?