Email communication is the most popular form of business communication worldwide. It has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s a powerful business tool when used correctly.
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Email is a widely used business communication tool that enables employers, employees, clients, and others to share information. When used correctly, email is fast, effective, and lets you target specific people or groups of people.
However, email communication also has its downsides. Security can be a problem, and it’s not as personal as in-person or even instant messenger communication.
With this in mind, let’s look closer at the advantages and disadvantages of email communication in business. We also offer some tips and tricks to help you use email more effectively.
- Using email for business communication has advantages—including excellent accessibility, targeted communication, and engagement tracking.
- It’s also fast and easy to use, free for basic use, and enables you to access historical messages almost instantly.
- Some disadvantages of email for business include poor security and potential misunderstandings.
- You can boost the effectiveness of your business emails by using descriptive subject lines, removing ambiguity, ensuring all relevant information is included, and adjusting your tone according to your recipients.
Advantages of Using Email for Business Communication
Email communication is a tried and tested business communication method that has been used by businesses across the world for decades. There are also a number of noteworthy advantages of email, detailed below.
One of the best things about email is how accessible it is. It’s used by billions of people in every corner of the planet, and you can send email messages anywhere at any time of the day or night. This makes email particularly useful for dispersed teams and those working in different time zones.
What’s more, email is accessible on virtually any device with an internet connection. You can check your business emails from your smartphone or other mobile device, enabling you to maintain communication while on the go.
Fast and efficient
Another advantage of email communication is how fast and efficient it is. Emails are sent virtually instantly, which means that your recipient can read and respond to your message immediately. What’s more, you can send mass emails to thousands of people at once.
This is particularly useful for sending marketing or promotional emails to your customers. Large companies can also use it to send out policy updates and other important information to their entire workforce instantly.
Many business communication options, including instant messaging software and physical “snail mail” communication, can become quite expensive. Email communication, on the other hand, can be used for free, forever. There are numerous free email clients out there, including platforms like Gmail, Hotmail, and Outlook.
In addition, there are several premium business email programs with paid plans that can help you organize your contacts and save time on your communications.
Allows for targeted communication
With email, it’s easy to send a message to a specific group of people. For example, you might have a policy update that applies only to your sales team. By tagging or categorizing your contacts when you enter them into your email system, you can ensure messages are sent only to the relevant people in your business.
What’s more, email can be used to target specific customers or groups of customers. For instance, you could send different marketing emails to people based on their age, gender, location, or even their interests.
This feature is also useful for targeting existing customers. By sending them deals or other promotional information, you can encourage them to make another purchase.
Serves as a record
Your email communication history is instantly searchable and essentially acts as an archive of your historical messages. This means you can return to your emails at any time to look up specific communications. Furthermore, you can categorize important emails to ensure they’re even easier to find and reference later.
Although email communication can be used for free, it’s often worth paying for a business email suite. These come with features like advanced analytics, contact targeting, and smart email templates that will help you use email as effectively as possible.
Disadvantages of Using Email for Business Communication
There are plenty of pros to using email for business communication, but there are also a few potential issues you should be aware of. Here are the biggest disadvantages of email:
Security can be an issue
One of the main disadvantages of email is that it isn’t the most secure communication method out there. Even with decent security measures in place, email can be hacked and accessed by malicious third parties. You need to be particularly careful sending emails over public Wi-Fi networks, as they are much more vulnerable to hacking.
Fortunately, you can reduce security risks by using two-factor authentication, up-to-date antivirus software, and encrypted internet connections. You can also use specialized email security tools to protect more sensitive information.
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Less personal and can be misinterpreted
Another downside of email is that it’s less personal than face-to-face communication. Conversational cues like body language, facial expressions, and tone are absent, which means emails can easily be misunderstood.
Because of this, it’s extremely important to ensure your emails are well-written and clear. Make sure there’s no ambiguity, and invite the recipients to contact you if they have any questions.
Can be too accessible
The accessible nature of email is a major advantage, but it can also be a disadvantage for some. This is because you may find yourself checking your email constantly, even when you’re supposed to be relaxing or taking time off work.
This can impact your work-life balance and lead to stress, anxiety, and general unhappiness. You can reduce the risk of this happening by setting specific times to check your emails. You can even include your contact hours in your business communications so that your colleagues know when you can be reached.
🧠 Did You Know?
Connecteam’s company directory can store contact information for your employees, clients, suppliers, and any other relevant parties. You can add your preferred contact hours and communication channels for streamlined internal comms.
Email management can be time-consuming
On one hand, email can save you time by enabling you to send a single message to thousands of people at once. However, you might also find yourself spending a significant amount of time replying to emails and organizing your inbox. In turn, this can affect productivity and output.
There are a few ways to reduce the amount of time you spend on your emails. Consider using an inbox management program to sort important messages from unimportant ones. Don’t waste time on messages that don’t require action or a reply, and try to allocate a specific block of time each day to email management.
Spam and phishing can be an issue
A major downside to email is that it’s susceptible to spam and phishing. Spam emails often contain links to dodgy websites or unwanted promotional or marketing material, and they can quickly clog up your inbox. Phishing emails go one step further by imitating a reputable sender in an attempt to steal personal or payment information.
How to Use Email to Communicate Effectively in Business
Write a descriptive subject line
Writing a descriptive subject line that lets recipients know what’s in your email will make them more likely to open and read it. If your email is time-sensitive, you can include words and phrases like “Urgent” or “Please Respond” at the start of the subject line.
For example, a subject line like “Important Information” is very nondescriptive and doesn’t really say much about what the email contains. Instead, you could use something like “Important Information About [Topic].”
Use the right tone
It’s important to review your emails to ensure you’re using an appropriate tone. In all cases, you should be professional, and in most cases, you should be authoritative. However, your tone will vary according to your recipients.
For example, you might want to come across as more jovial and easygoing in a marketing or promotional email. Similarly, you might want to sound more serious and keep everything by the book for a more formal message.
Include all of the necessary information
Once you’ve written your email, spend a little time reading through it to ensure you’ve included all of the necessary information. Is there anything that the recipient may not understand? Will they have to message you back for clarification?
Ideally, you want to reduce the chance of this happening as much as possible. Ensure that your message covers all the basics, and include links to more information if relevant.
Remove any ambiguity
Since emails can be easily misunderstood, you need to ensure that your messages are clear and unambiguous. Don’t use terminology or phrasing that could be interpreted in different ways, and encourage recipients to give you a call or email back if they have any questions.
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Email communication has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s a super useful tool for businesses when it’s used right. Ensure you use appropriate security measures to reduce the risk of information leaks and work on writing clear, information-rich email messages for maximum success.
For more information on improving communication across your organization, read our in-depth guide on common workplace communication problems and how to fix them.
What is business email communication?
Email is a widely used method of business communication that enables streamlined internal and external comms. You can use it to send marketing, promotional, and information emails to your customers. It’s also useful for sending updates to employees and delivering important information like pay slips or performance reviews.
What is the best alternative to business email communication?
Connecteam is the leading alternative to business email. It boasts a streamlined instant messaging feature that enables you to chat with your employees in real time. You can create group and one-on-one conversations, and conversations are ultra-secure. There’s even a company newsfeed feature that’s useful for mass communication.