Email is one of the best forms of communication we have today, as messages can be sent and received within minutes. Yes, smartphones with chat applications can do the job as well, but for business communications, emailing is the most popular and effective method.
However, emailing may not be the only formal way of communicating, as it isn’t without its own downsides. From the cluttered inbox to spam and trash, what about its susceptibility to being hacked?
Emails are no longer safe with various IT geeks around, looking for a way to manipulate passwords to get into our emails and steal very important and confidential information. But, here is the great news; we managed to pick out seven useful alternatives to email communication for business purposes.
The truth that it is not a smart move to communicate via one channel, just like it’s un-wise to store files on desktop or smartphones ONLY, without a backup, utilizing other alternatives to email in business makes for a versatile, more interesting and interactive business communication. So, without further ado, take a look at the list of alternatives to email we carefully curated below.
6 Alternatives to Email ~ Make Your Choice
Skype has been with us since sliced bread, ok maybe not sliced bread but it’s been around for a while and it's one of the best alternatives to email. Before it was bought over by Microsoft, it had its business communication features, but now, they have added greater improvements, with more authenticity for business use.
With a free Skype call, colleagues can talk on and on about projects, rather than send lengthy emails. With Skype for business, the sky is only the beginning. Screens can be shared when on call, making joint projects easier. Using Skype and all its features with the exception is such a great way to ensure that team members and subordinates are in sync with duties, tasks and projects. It is a great alternative to email and is perfect for time-sensitive conversations, screen sharing and online meetings.
Slack is an extremely useful messaging app. Great for team members, managers and other employees. With this application, you can create various channels for different topics. If select team members are assigned a task with the exception of others, those concerned with each channel discussion will be the members allowed to join the particular thread. When a team member’s name is mentioned, a notification is sent, informing the named member of his or her presence in the conversation. Another great advantage of slack is its most direct messaging feature, one which can be used with social media apps such as Twitter, allowing you to share information when and how you want. In a nutshell, if you seek a group conversation tool where you can communicate flawlessly, with a direct receipt of messages and agendas, then, your best bet is Slack.
Rather than shout a colleague’s name to come over to your workstation or sending an email to communicate few words, chat apps help you pass messages across immediately. Aside from other messaging apps such as ‘Skype’ and ‘Slack’ with instant messaging access but no direct email, hangout is an attachment to Gmail, which many organisations use as their email provider, so your chat is right next to your email. That way, you can have a quick chat regarding an email you just received. So, if you desire fast responses or the need to send a quick informal message, then, an instant messaging app is your best bet. Other instant messaging apps include Yahoo chat, Zoom, MobileMe, GoToMeeting and MeetMeNow, all of which can be used to plan a video conferencing session.
Unlike other alternatives to email, Whatsapp is useful within and outside office hours. Whatsapp has prooved to be a useful communication tool. Talk about instant group messages, you only need to set up a group using every team member’s mobile number. With Whatsapp, there is an administrative person (usually the same one who set up the group) and he or she is the only one allowed to make fundamental changes to group members, icons and topics. A Whatsapp messaging app can be used to send urgent messages during weekends and after normal office hours. If a team member does not use a smartphone, then, he can also access Whatsapp on PC, so he stays in the loop. You get the best of both worlds with Whatsapp, if you haven’t tried it, you should.
Among other alternatives to email, the telephone has been at the helm of affairs. Most organisations provide intercoms within the office environment. You will agree that usually, picking the phone to speak with the concerned person proves easier than typing a long email.
You can elaborate on points while the other person takes down notes, and voila, you got your message across, easy peasy. What about when there are no intercoms, then, you can use the Skype application which provides a call option, you get the same result; the only difference being that, one is over the internet while the other is offline.
Usually, we are reluctant to have that quick five minutes meeting or see face-to-face, especially when there are deadlines on projects we are handling. However, it may be inevitable when for instance, the ISP gave up on you and the IT guy is battling to restore the connection but you also need to communicate with your team members on an urgent project. The only way will be to schedule a meeting and move over to their workspace or meet in a different room altogether. The most important thing is that, the job is done and if this requires a quick face-to-face meeting, then so be it.
These alternatives to email have not made email communication obsolete; rather, it’s a way to enhance email communications. For clients and communication with managers, you should start with an email, then follow up via any of the listed alternatives. Alternatives to email only make communication more fluid, but, emails remain the most formal way of sending messages, so, stick to your emails but also utilize other channels that are alternatives to email.
Have you used other alternatives to email not listed here? Please list them in the comment section below.