Using rules in your email client and why it’s important
Modern businesses rely on emails for communication, marketing and customer service. This means our inboxes are very busy places, which can easily get out of control. Without proper organisation it’s difficult to see what you’ve dealt with and what is outstanding, as well as leading to lost opportunities or unhappy customers.
If you can relate to this situation, and I’d say most business people can, then you need rules! Not only in your organization but also in your email client.
Rules in business emails are great because they make it easy to manage incoming mail and ensure it gets stored effectively based on the RULES you set.
How do Rules work?
It will differ slightly depending on which email client you’re using (e.g. Mail on Mac, Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird on PC), however the basic logic is the same – rules are set up by each user to manage what happens when particular emails come into your inbox.
There are different things you can do with them such as moving, flagging and responding to email messages automatically. This can save you time, make you more efficient and ensure those emails are logically stored and organised so you can find them when you need to. What’s not to like?
How to set up Rules?
There are different processes for each email client and at the end of this section we have links to the help and user guides for each of the top three. They are easy to set up and created with usability in mind, plus the guides are well written and clear, so don’t panic! Let’s go through a nice simple example with a rule that most business email users would find useful.
A really simple rule is to receive an email and have it go to a folder you have dedicated for a person, group, business or department.
Let’s do one on a Mac as a simple example.
- Firstly in your email client, create a new folder under your Inbox. Let’s call it “Accounts”
- Next you open your Rules (on Mac its File -> Preferences)
- Select the email account you want to apply the rule too.
- Click Rules and a new window will appear.
- Give your new Rule an easy-to-understand title, like “Manage email@example.com”
- Then set the first condition e.g.
- IF ANY of the following conditions are met:
- FROM | CONTAINS – and put in the email account you want to apply the rule too, in this case firstname.lastname@example.org
- Then in the next section perform the following actions:
- MOVE MESSAGE to mailbox – and in the dropdown select the folder you created earlier (called “Accounts”)
- It will then look like this:
- IF ANY of the following conditions are met:
Click OK and that’s it! Any email you receive from then, that matches that rule, will be moved to the new Accounts folder. Easy right? It is just as simple to setup on all the main email clients and you can start getting more complex from there.
For example, you can see on the image above that there are + signs at the end of each line. These allow you to add more addresses or more rules. So, you could have the same rule send all emails from:
To the same mailbox or folder.
More advanced users may want the email to be flagged, automatically send a copy to another email address, automatically send a reply or a wealth of other options as you can see here:
You can make it as complex or as automated as you like but we recommend you keep it simple to avoid rules clashing with each other or complications.
Mail on your Mac has a great function called SMART MAILBOXES that helps with management and works on the same principles. Read about them here
Microsoft Outlook has a handy Rules Wizard with three key types of objectives for applying the rules –
- Stay Organized: Rules which help you to filter, file and follow-up
- Stay Up-To-Date: Rules which ensure you are notified when a specific type of message comes in. These are great if you’re trying to have a super quick enquiry response time for example.
- Custom: Rules which don’t use a template and are great for more advanced users wanting to personalise and customise their rules.
For most users simply moving it to a proper folder where it can be found and referenced easily is more than enough.
So go make some rules! Here are the official guides for more detail:
How JUCRA can help you optimise your business email
We provide a dedicated business email service without the stress and maintenance of in-house mail servers. You will have complete peace of mind that everything will work when you need it with our triple redundant, state of the art server infrastructure which offers 100% uptime assurance. Businesses love the huge 25GB email storage, premium AntiSpam and AntiVirus protection, secure webmail environment and the fact they can send and receive up to 50MB attachments. In addition to the rule functions, we also have custom email filtering and routing options which will help your team manage their emails and ensure the best possible service to your clients.