...understand how to use it and what to retain and, conversely, what to destroy.
3. Email etiquette will be increasingly important in retaining clients
In a second a poorly written email can destroy a valuable relationship built over many years. In this highly competitive environment, as businesses strive to differentiate themselves, reinforce brand image and build customer satisfaction, outstanding email etiquette will play an increasingly important role.
4. Effective personal email management will become increasingly important
This issue includes both how you manage your inbox and how you use the email software to help you. Many people still do not use their email software to full advantage.
Software upgrades - for example, Outlook 2003 to 2010 - can be a major change for users. For those less technically inclined, valuable time can be wasted in trying to fathom where once-familiar functions are to be found in the new version.
5. Compliance and security will continue to dominate agendas
First, as computer crime rises, so too will the cost of cleaning up. Secondly, email evidence is playing an increasingly important part in any enquiry into wrongdoing, be it in the public or private sector.
Thirdly, the proliferation of personal mobile devices at work will continue unabated, posing security issues.
How can you help your organisation and your users make more effective use of email in 2012? Here are four challenges for you and for directors of HR and corporate communications.
- Does your organisation have an email charter that lays out concisely what is acceptable email behaviour?
- Do you have a suitable email best practice training programme to help users save time and use the email systems properly - from the basic email client to more sophisticated archiving and encryption applications?
- Are your users absolutely clear about what emails to retain and for how long, and which to destroy?
- Is your email and social networking acceptable usage policy up to date?
Dr Monica Seeley is an international expert on email management. She is a visiting fellow at Cass Business School, City University, and has just written her third book Brilliant Email published by Pearson. You can follow her daily email tips and hints on Twitter.
Dr Monica Seeley is an international expert on email management and runs the Mesmo Consultancy. She is a visiting fellow at Cass Business School, City University, London, and has just written her third book, Brilliant Email, published by Pearson.