Email has grown to consume our daily professional lives. We use it to relay instructions to team members, hash out team-related problems, send files, and provide updates. In fact, the average person spends 28 percent of their time every week on email, amounting to more than 11 hours.
In other words, more than a quarter of your job probably amounts to dealing with email, in one way or another. This is why we need email management software tools more than ever.
Reasons to Use Email Management Software Tools
Email management software tools are designated apps or programs that allow you to manage email better, in one way or another. In the sections that follow, I distinguish these tools in two separate categories: those that attempt to improve how you email in the context of regular conversations or work, and those that attempt to improve your email marketing.
However, the ground-level intentions of these apps generally try to do one or more of the following:
- Improve your productivity. How much could you get done in a day if, say, the number of emails you sent and received was cut in half, with no loss of meaning? The right email management tools can greatly increase the amount of work you can do, as well as the efficiency of each message you send and receive.
- Help you analyze your behavior and results. How can you tell if the emails you send to your colleagues are communicating your intended messages effectively? How can you tell if your marketing emails are reaching and influencing your target audience? You’ll need some way to measure your results and analyze them, and the right email management software can help you do this.
- Organize and filter your messages. When you’re overloaded with emails, it can be difficult to tell what’s important, or to find that one important message that got buried in your inbox. Email management tools give you the power to successfully organize and filter your messages appropriately, so this becomes a non-issue.
Given the number of hours you already spend on email, any measurable improvement to your productivity or effectiveness could dramatically improve your overall efficiency.
So what are the best email management software tools available today?
Email Management Software Tools for Analytics and Organization
Let’s start by looking at email management software tools designed to help you analyze how you use email on a regular basis and those that help you stay organized:
First up, we have our very own flagship tool, EmailAnalytics, an all-in-one Gmail analytics platform for your entire team. Designed to be both simple and thorough, EmailAnalytics integrates with your Gmail account and the accounts of all your team members or employees. Once integrated, you’ll be able to visualize important metrics related to your team’s email performance, including how many emails they’re sending and receiving, how their inboxes are organized, their busiest times of day and days of the week, average email response time, and more. It’s perfect for taking a snapshot of your current productivity, highlighting where things might be going wrong, and analyzing how your team improves when you institute new changes designed to boost their email-related productivity. It’s the perfect team email management software.
2. Microsoft MyAnalytics
If you don’t use Gmail, you may not be able to use EmailAnalytics to analyze your team’s productivity and time usage. If you use Outlook and Microsoft products, you can use MyAnalytics instead. It isn’t as robust as EmailAnalytics, and it doesn’t offer the same kinds of visuals, but you can use it to evaluate how much time your employees are spending on emails, and analyze how they’re using their calendar. It also integrates with other Microsoft products, so you can gauge how much time your employees spend on email versus how much time they spend on spreadsheets.
SaneBox works with any email platform, and is designed to help you prioritize and categorize your emails properly. With it, you can quickly identify the emails that don’t require your immediate attention and group them together in a custom “SaneLater” inbox, where you can review them whenever you have time. This email management software tool is also useful because it allows you to create custom folders and tabs for many kinds of emails, like newsletters or platform notifications, so you can stay organized indefinitely.
4. Clean Email
If your inbox is cluttered with unread and unnecessary emails, Clean Email bulk email cleaner is here to make your overwhelmed mailbox clean and organized. It sorts all your emails into relevant bundles, making it easy to manage hundreds or even thousands of messages with a few clicks. Its Smart Unsubscriber feature collects all your newsletters in one place and allows you to opt out from any of them you no longer want to receive. Clean Email is a privacy-oriented email management solution that doesn’t keep, sell, or analyze user data for the purposes beyond the app’s public features.
Next up, there’s Hiver, an email management software tool designed to help you create and manage collaborative email inboxes. With it, you can create new group email names, like “support” or “info” and assign the appropriate team members to those group headings. Within the tool, you can have someone assign emails to specific individuals, collaborate on messages when appropriate, and completely eliminate the need for CC and BCC lines, which can get hectic fast.
6. Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang is an email management software tool that’s been around for some time, helping email users keep track of the emails they’ve sent (but have yet to get a response) and send emails at just the right time. For example, you can schedule automatic reminders to hit your inbox if and when your recipients don’t respond to your messages, or schedule your own emails to go out at a specific time (like if you want to hit your client’s inbox at 9:10 am). Boomerang also has a ton of extra features designed to make email easier and more effective, like automatic suggestions on how to improve your writing.
If your Gmail inbox is constantly cluttered, and you can never seem to find the message you need when you need it, you need an email management tool like Sortd. With Sortd, you can organize all your emails based on custom categories, then use a project management-style organization table to keep track of your progress on each available message. For example, you might shift your email from “read” to “started,” and eventually to “completed.” Think of it as a highly interactive task list.
If you’re less interested in turning your email management into a task management system and more interested in scrubbing your inbox from top to bottom, Mailstrom might be the best email management tool for you. When you use Mailstrom, you’ll have full control over several different filters, which allow you to sort your inbox messages by factors like time sent, attachment size, sender, recipient, and more. After batching these inbox messages, you can quickly delete the ones that aren’t relevant, and sort the relevant ones into proper folders.
FollowUpThen has a simple formula to help you remember when to follow up with a client, prospect, or teammate; all you have to do is put the length of time you’d like to wait in the address field, followed by “@followupthen.com,” and you’ll get a reminder to follow up when that amount of time has elapsed. For example, you could send an email with a BCC of [email protected] and get a reminder 3 days later. You can also use this to batch and forward some of your messages so you can read them the next day, or after lunch.
You could also consider using Nudgemail for your automated notification needs. Nudgemail works mostly the same way, allowing you to specify periods of time or specific times and days in your address lines. Nudgemail will prompt you with a reminder to follow up at the time and date of your choosing.
Front allows you to connect your team members together, and centralize your communications via email. You’ll be able to set up unique group email addresses, like “team” or “customerservice,” and coordinate individual team members to take action by tagging them in a separate thread. You can also integrate your social media platforms, SMS, and web chat apps so that all incoming and outgoing communications remain in the same place—and handled by the same skilled team members.
ActiveInbox is another great tool if you like the idea of converting your email inbox into an interactive task list. With it, you’ll be able to convert each message into a kind of task, setting your own due date and sub-tasks as appropriate. When finished, you can cross off the task, and if you don’t get a task done by your specified due date, you’ll get an automatic notification.
Email is a great communication medium, but it has enormous power to distract us. If you’re like most workers, you’re getting hundreds of notifications every day, many of which don’t matter, and they all have the potential to pull you away from whatever you’re working on. With BatchedInbox, you’ll be able to set time parameters so you only get those notifications when you choose; it’s a fantastic way to remain focused on your most important, heads-down work—especially if you have coworkers who frequently send you time-consuming messages.
Email Management Software Tools for Email Marketing
Now let’s turn our attention to email campaign management software tools that specifically help you with email marketing. Ultimately, email marketers want to do two things: reduce the amount of time they have to spend on email and improve their bottom-line results. These email management tools can help you do it:
One of the leaders of the email marketing world, MailChimp has earned its status in the marketing industry. With it, you can get started for free, sending up to a few hundred emails with your business account. The platform is highly intuitive, offering pre-built templates and the ability to customize your own designs. You can also use it to import subscribers, manage your lists, and of course, track and analyze how effective your campaigns have been in the past.
15. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a tool for email marketing campaign management. You start with customer segmentation and create different email templates to target customers according to your chosen criteria. Then, you add dynamic content to save on your manual efforts while you personalize messages to each individual. A convenient drag-and-drop editing tool makes the process easy. Emails are then sent automatically as scheduled. Finally, A/B testing and embedded analytics will help you evaluate the campaign results and experiment with emails continuously for higher customer engagement.
16. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor gives you tons of tools you can use to tweak every element of your email newsletter; while there are several core templates available, you’ll be able to adjust these so much, you might as well be designing emails from scratch. This platform also gives you the ability to measure countless metrics, including open rates and click-through rates (CTRs), so you can gauge the effectiveness of each newsletter, and constantly improve your approach.
SendPulse began as a bulk email marketing startup that turned into a multichannel marketing automation platform. SendPulse now helps marketers create and manage automated email campaigns, send marketing SMS and Web Push notifications, or build a Messenger chatbot. Friendly UI and affordable pricing make the platform a compelling alternative to already well-established competitors.
18. Dynamics 365 Marketing
Dynamics 365 Marketing is a marketing automation solution that’s particularly good for email marketing. This is a great choice if you want to target customers personally, but without huge manual and time resources invested. It enables you to choose segmentation criteria, so you can reach your audience with messages suiting their purchasing preferences, shopping behavioral patterns, lifestyle, etc.
If you’re new to email marketing, but you’re serious about making your email campaign a success, try using SendX. It has tools for email marketers of all levels of experience, so you can use this platform to build a list from scratch, manage multiple lists, create a newsletter based on a template, or fully customize your own designs. You’ll also be able to automate emails to be sent under certain conditions, reducing the demand for manual action (and thus, saving you time).
ActiveCampaign is an email management tool that’s all about email marketing automation—meaning it’s trying to save you as much time and effort as possible. With automated workflows, automatic responses, and other tools that trigger based on conditional prompts, you can spend less time actively working on your email marketing campaigns, and more time studying their results and making high-level tweaks.
As you might have guessed from the name, Drip is all about helping business owners plan, coordinate, and automate their drip email campaigns. This email management software tools helps you customize emails for first-time customers, loyal customers, people who leave their shopping carts, and more. If you’re looking for a tool to reduce the manual effort involved in your ongoing email campaigns, Drip is ideal.
Other Email Management Tools to Know
These aren’t the only email management tools that can help you improve your email habits, but they are some of the best standalone software tools. For example, there are also dozens of browser plugins you could use, designed to help you catch grammatical errors, have access to more shortcuts, or improve your phrasing as you type. There are countless built-in Gmail tools that can help you stay organized, integrate with other Google tools, and create tasks based on the emails you receive. And of course, there are thousands of project management, task management, and CRM software tools that feature Gmail integrations as well. The more you understand your own email habits and needs, the better you’ll be able to customize your unique Gmail experience.
If you’re interested in starting a new campaign to improve your email habits, the best app to get first is one focused on behavioral analytics, so you can get a high-level perspective on your productivity and effectiveness. For this, we recommend EmailAnalytics. After you integrate your Gmail account(s), you’ll be able to see countless metrics covering your email habits, and you can watch as they begin to improve when you integrate new productivity tools and better habits. Sign up for a free trial today!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.