Email doesn’t get much respect these days.
After all, it is the new snail mail.
It takes up too much of most people’s time.
It gets abused. It piles up. It wastes time.
Yet, most businesses still live and die by email.
So, it has to be good for something, right?
The Power of Email
I spend a lot of time helping people deal with their email issues.
In fact, some of TMN’s most popular posts have been about email dangers:
9 Ways Email is Destroying Your Company
7 Ways to Be Ruthless with Your Email
Email is a part of almost everyone’s daily life.
It gets work done. It keeps business flowing.
The truth is that email is extremely powerful… when used for the right purposes.
What Is It Good For?
Email arrives near instantaneously. It can be accessed from almost anywhere. It brings not just text, but pictures, documents, links, and more.
Here are “9 Things That Email Is Good For…”
- Non-Urgent Communication – Email is great for non-urgent communication. Things that don’t require an immediate response that others can deal with on their schedule.
- Follow-up – Email can be a powerful documentation trail. Unlike text messages or phone calls, email provides a very concrete audit trail of past communication. It is hard to deny past actions and messages when there is a clear history.
- Praise – We all know that it can be dangerous to send a negative email. They often get misinterpreted for tone or meaning. However, emailing praise is very powerful. Almost everyone enjoys opening an email to find an encouraging or motivational note.
- Timeshifting – Email is one of the best mediums for “timeshifting” of communication. It allows people on different schedules, or even time zones, to communicate at their leisure.
- Filtering – Phone calls and text messages are difficult to screen. However, this is an area where email excels. You can set up filters to prevent unwanted email from even reaching you.
- One-to-Many Communications – I am not referring to spam here. (That is always bad.) But rather, email is a great way to communicate non-urgent items to large amounts of people on your team. You wouldn’t send a text to 30 people, would you?
- Sending Documents/Pictures – With the advance of scanners and other technology, there is very little reason to send physical documents. Email is very powerful for sending documents, pictures, and more.
- Mobility – This can be a double-edged sword, but if used correctly, email can actually be a liberator. With mobile access to email we are no longer tied to a physical desk or location. I can work from the local cafe or the beach.
Email For Good
Email is still a very powerful medium that often gets a bad reputation.
When used correctly, email is a a very powerful tool.
It is a lifeline for many businesses.
Let’s use it for good, not evil.
What other positive uses of email can you name?
8 thoughts on “8 Things Email Is Good For”
“Praise – We all know that it can be dangerous to send a negative e-mail. They often get misinterpreted for tone or meaning. However, emailing praise is very powerful. Almost everyone enjoys opening an email to find an encouraging or motivational note.”
You bet. That’s definitely something I’ve always enjoyed giving and receiving. It’s a real motivator and morale booster, as well as a great way to build genuine and mutually beneficial relationships.
I think you covered everything I can think of except possibly subscriptions to blogs. Personally, though, I like to put the blogs in my Reader and enjoy them when I have time.
Another thing I like about email is the sound alerts you can set up for emails from different groups. For instance, when we receive orders from our site (another GOOD thing about email!!!) I have set it up to sound a “Ta Da!” sound! I have others set up for different sources – lets me know if I should take time to go over and check right away, or if I can wait until later to check.
You got me thinking, thanks!
P.S. Oh yeah, what @JMattHicks said – relationship building! Of the slow, thoughtful-response kind!
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