Productivity blog 43Folders went on a hunt today to find the best tools to help categorize, respond to and manage the email deluge.
One key feature: the ability to route emails and create a form of "trouble ticket" that can be assigned to others and tracked to completion.
To make this work for a small business, we put a few caveats into our own screening process. The tool couldn't be a full-blown CRM suite -- if you need customer relationship management, that's a different story. Also, in the same spirit, we tried to stay away from full-blown help-desk solutions. Again, that's a market onto itself. And ideally, the tools would be Web-based, meaning a small business could get started with them without any IT help.
What's left are a series of e-mail aggregation and management tools that could make your smart biz much more customer-friendly.
Read the original 43Folders story
But first, peruse our SmartBiz-vetted list:
Heap: Heap is a Web-based, CRM-light product that handles email very well. Simply forward emails into Heap (into the heap) and the application provides tools for sorting, assigning and follow-up tracking. See an example email flow here.
HighRise: Like Heap, email management is just one of many things HighRise does, but it does it with style.
Zoho CRM: We covered Zoho in our recent roundup of Web office suites. Zoho CRM provides online access to a nice set of incoming email management tools.
SproutIt Mailroom: Mailroom provides Web-based single inbox into which you can dump and then manage incoming emails.
MailTank: Forward in your emails and go. MailTank focuses on tools to simplify email management including RapidReply, ChainedTemplates and Tags.
Cerebrus: More of a pure help-desk application, Cerebrus was the tool that kicked off this application on 43Folders so merits a look.
DayLite: Like several of the tools on this list, more a fuller productivity/CRM environment but includes tools specifically for managing incoming company email. Mac OS-specific.