Improve Replies with Inline Reply
Email mistakes are hard to avoid
We've all done it. Sent an email to the wrong person. Forgotten to add an attachment. Hit "Reply All" to a large email chain…the list goes on and on.
Considering an employee receives an average of 121 emails per day, accidents will happen. People are generally understanding when they do, but wouldn't it be great if you could just avoid those email mistakes altogether?
Fortunately, many big mistakes can be prevented by effective use of inline reply. Some email clients, like Mailbird, have an inline reply feature built in. Your responses are automatically noted as yours when typing inline. Not sure what I mean by inline reply? Here's a video showing you how it works.
So how can inline reply help you? For more efficient email management, here are the five big email mistakes you can avoid if you use this feature effectively.
#5 Wait… Which email am I responding to?
Most people have multiple email accounts, and "121 emails a day" is no joke! How does one person keep track of all that information? If you've ever started typing out an email, only to realize you're responding to the wrong email chain, it's time to start using inline reply. Pronto.
Avoid the confusion of multiple email accounts and the flood of daily emails by responding to the sender in the body of the original message.
#4 But you approved it via email!
Email has a lot of advantages as a communication method. It's fast, it's easy, and it's instant. And while some things are best done face-to-face or over the phone, it's becoming acceptable to conduct most business activities via email. Like soliciting approvals for projects, work, etc.
What if someone asks for multiple approvals in one email? Or maybe you'd like to provide a conditional approval (like "Change X, then it's good to go")? How do you do that without confusing everyone?
Inline reply allows you to respond to each item individually. That way, you clearly communicate your inputs, while ensuring the recipient fully understands your reply.
#3 You ALMOST got it all…
On that same note, inline reply can help you avoid the unfortunate email mistake of forgetting to respond to the entire message. Sometimes people discuss multiple subjects or pose several questions in one email (guilty!). You want to respond to everything, but might forget something or find it difficult to organize the information in a reply. Using inline reply after each topic or question ensures clear, efficient communication.
#2 Who said what?
If you've ever been part of a mass email chain, you know the struggle of scrolling through tons of replies to get the information you need. Luckily, when a mass email requires responses from most, if not all, recipients, each person can reply inline.
This prevents a number of email mistakes—attributing answers to the wrong person, accidently asking someone for a response twice, and wasting time sifting through multiple replies. Talk about effective email management!
#1 Did I miss something?
Email has become a key form of communication. Especially if you work remotely! Oftentimes, a group or team will have full conversations in one email chain. What happens if you miss something important? You have to scroll through email after email until you find what you missed.
Responding inline keeps everything short, sweet, and to the point, without all that "Original Message" fluff.
Clearly, if you aren't using inline reply, it's time to start. At the very least, it'll help you more efficiently communicate via email. Granted not every email conversation is best done via inline reply, but used in the right situations, it will save you time and avoid confusion.
What do you think of the inline reply feature? Do you think you'll be using it? Let us know in the comments!