Whether we’re writing, reading, or complaining about them, one thing remains true: Email is a central part of many of our professional lives. And though each day seems to bring a new tool ready to reduce the number of emails we receive, they hardly ever seem to make a dent.
Though completely eliminating email is probably out of the question, there are tools we can use to make email more manageable. In fact, there’s a whole category called email management software that’s dedicated to just that.
What is email management software?
Email management software is a tool that helps you manage, sort, organize, and send email. Generally speaking, email management tools tends to focus on a few different areas:
Received email — Tools in this category are mainly focused on managing incoming emails from your audience, be they customers, clients, students, patients, sales leads, or employees from other departments. These tools are mostly focused on one-to-one interactions.
Bulk email — Tools in this category are mainly focused on sending emails. These tools are used for one-to-many communication. You also have expanded capabilities to see things like open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics that a tool focused on received email wouldn’t include.
Personal email — Tools in this category are mainly focused on managing a personal email inbox. They generally help automate sorting and sending and can even unsubscribe you from certain emails to make managing your own inbox less of a hassle.
Rarely, if ever, do tools cover multiple use cases. They’re too disparate and generally lack any amount of crossover. However, they may be used in conjunction with one another.
The 11 best email management software
Since email management software covers a few different use cases, we’ve put together a diverse list of tools that cover each of them.
1. Help Scout
Best email management software for small and mid-sized organizations.
Help Scout is email management software built specifically to help teams expertly manage their email communication. With Help Scout, you get access to powerful collaboration tools like private notes to help keep everyone informed and collision detection to eliminate duplicate work.
Productivity tools like workflows let you automatically assign conversations to specific employees or custom folders based on criteria you set. AI features like AI assist and AI summarize help your team get caught up on cases and respond to them faster. And saved replies make responding to routine requests a breeze.
Finally, access to customer profiles helps you stay in the loop. You’re able to see past conversations and other basic information to help interactions go smoothly and limit hassle for both the sender and your team alike.
Best of all, email management software is just one of the entire suite of tools you get access to when signing up for Help Scout. A couple other notable tools are Docs, which allows you to build out a knowledge base, and Beacon, which lets you provide live chat and in-app messaging.
Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $20 per user/month.
Best personal email management software.
Though lots of email management software focuses on business needs, there are also tools to help manage personal inboxes. One of the best we’ve found is SaneBox. Their powerful AI learns your different email habits and then automatically sorts emails right when they hit your inbox.
High-priority messages are shown in your main inbox, while lower priority ones are moved to a separate folder.
They also offer features like SaneNoReplies, which shows any message you’ve sent that’s yet to get a response, and Do Not Disturb, which stops any new incoming emails from showing to help keep your focus on the task at hand.
Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $7 per month.
Best email management software for those who prefer the Google ecosystem.
Gmail is arguably the most popular email client on the market, and that’s for good reason. It has a customizable interface, an easy to use editor for composing emails, labels that can help you organize and filter your messages, and a powerful search feature that makes locating rogue emails a snap.
Those features, however, are just the beginning. Gmail lets you schedule messages to be sent in the future, snooze messages you’re not ready to handle, and create templates for frequently sent emails. You can even send something in confidential mode to add an extra layer of security for sensitive messages. Those who subscribe to Google Workspace — Google’s business offering — can create beautiful emails through the use of pre-made templates and use multi-send mode to personalize outgoing communications.
Another big plus for Gmail is that it’s part of the Google ecosystem. This means that when you sign up for Gmail, you also have access to Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Drive, and the rest of Google’s suite of productivity software. This makes it easy to share documents and collaborate with other people.
While good for individual email, Gmail does fall short when it comes to team email. Though there are ways to set up a shared email solution in Gmail, other options on this list do a better job.
Price: Free for individual use. Google Workspace plans start at $6/user per month; free trial available.
Best email management software for one-to-many communication.
Sometimes you need to communicate with a lot of people at once: Maybe you’re announcing a new service or you have a company or product update. Since you can only Bcc so many people from your Gmail account — around 500 if you were wondering — you’ll need a specialized tool.
One of the best is Sendinblue. Their marketing tool lets you build beautiful emails using their easy-to-use editor and also includes top-notch automation to make sure messages are sent right when you want. You’re also able to do A/B tests and track metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and even see a heat map for your emails.
Sendinblue can also help you use SMS, WhatsApp messaging, and push notifications to reach your customers using their preferred communication channels. Separate from the marketing platform, Sendinblue also has live chat, CRM, and transactional email products. All of the company’s offerings include a free plan, allowing your team to give them a try before making a monetary commitment.
Price: Free plan available. Paid marketing platform plans start at $25 per month.
Best email management software for managing team and personal emails together.
Email management software is often used to manage a group email address (i.e., email@example.com). However, if your team wants to use both personal and shared email addresses to interact with your audience, Front could be a great option.
Front offers some collaborative features like internal comments, shared drafts, and message templates, and they also have more advanced features like analytics and automation on their higher-cost plans. You can even use the software’s personal rules feature to automate actions in your personal inbox.
While Front is most often thought of as a shared email platform, it is also capable of managing additional channels from its shared workspace. The service offers native live chat as well as integrations with other tools to allow you to handle Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, voice, and SMS messaging.
Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $19/person per month (two user minimum).
Best email management software for those who prefer the Microsoft ecosystem.
Outlook is Microsoft’s email offering, and its functionality is almost identical to Gmail’s. It has a customizable workspace, clean user interface for easy message composition, the ability to snooze messages and schedule replies, categories and rules to keep you organized, and decent search functionality.
Also similar to Gmail, Outlook users have access to its parent company’s suite of productivity applications — Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Teams, Skype, and calendar and to-do list tools. Both platforms have free individual plans and paid business plans, though Microsoft also has paid individual tiers. For $1.99 per month, Outlook users can remove ads from their inbox and get extra OneDrive storage; for $6.99 per month, users get premium features for the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite.
Price: Free plan available for individual use. Paid individual plans start at $1.99 per month. Business plans start at $6/user per month; free trial available.
Best free email management software for team collaboration.
Missive is a shared inbox tool that can be a great choice for companies that want to manage email collaboratively. Assign conversations to specific employees or teams, label emails for better organization, and create rules to automate tasks and improve your workflow.
The platform has a lot of tools that can help foster collaboration, such as canned replies, collaborative drafts, internal comments, and workload balancing to ensure that work is being distributed equally across your team. Missive also offers internal chat rooms where your team can discuss ideas as a team or even one-on-one.
For those who need to manage additional channels beyond email, Missive offers integrations with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (the latter for an additional fee). You can also handle live chat, SMS, and WhatsApp messaging through your Missive workspace, but it will require a subscription to a third-party service (Twilio, Dialpad, or SignalWire).
Price: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $14/user per month.
Best team email management software for Gmail users.
Many of the tools on this list are standalone offerings, but Hiver is a little different. Basically, it acts as an extension to your existing Gmail account. You’re able to assign emails to specific people, store shared email templates, add internal notes, set email statuses, and receive collision alerts — all things you can’t do from a standard Gmail account.
You also can’t manage additional channels using traditional Gmail, but Hiver can handle live chat, WhatsApp messaging, and even voice for those with an Aircall subscription. For teams interested in self-service support, Hiver offers a knowledge base builder, which can help reduce the burden on your support team and improve your customer experience.
The software also offers task automation, an AI bot, analytics, and customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey features, but they are only offered on higher-cost plans.
Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $15/user per month.
Best email management software for email marketing.
Moosend is another tool meant for one-to-many communication. They offer features like a no-code editor to easily create beautiful emails and newsletters. You’re also able to segment audiences, A/B test, and track metrics like opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes.
Best of all, you’re able to do all of the above on their free plan. There are some limitations — like only one person can access the account. But it’s a lot of value for no cost. For those looking to get expanded functionality with additional user seats, they also offer paid plans starting at $9 per month.
Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $9 per month.
Best team email management software for Outlook users.
Emailigistics is similar to Hiver, but instead of working with Gmail, it’s an overlay for Outlook. It provides similar functionality and light collaboration features such as internal notes and assigning capabilities
You’re also able to do some automations like routing emails to specific people based on certain conditions to improve productivity and response times. You can turn off agent availability to prevent messages from going unanswered when agents are away with the user schedules feature, and you can even set up recurring schedules to set availability automatically.
Rounding things out, they offer access to message templates, analytics to see how your team is performing, conversation histories to better understand a sender’s previous contacts, and the ability to categorize emails for better organization.
For teams that are fond of the Microsoft platform but need more functionality than Outlook can provide, Emailigistics can be a good solution. However, prospective customers should be aware that some features are only available as part of the software’s higher-cost plan.
Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $10/user per month.
Best email management software for ecommerce marketing campaigns.
Omnisend is an email marketing, SMS, and marketing automation platform designed for ecommerce companies. It boasts a drag and drop email builder that comes preloaded with tons of ready made templates. Once you upload your brand assets, the system remembers them, automatically customizing each email that you create.
For those interested in incorporating SMS into their strategy, Omnisend makes it easy to create and launch one off text campaigns or to incorporate SMS messages into automatic workflows for things like abandoned carts and shipping notifications. In addition to SMS messaging, you can also integrate landing pages as well as targeted push notifications, pop-ups, and teasers into your strategy using Omnisend.
Enjoy pre-built automation flows for things like welcome campaigns and order confirmations, and for those who prefer to create their own automations, the platform offers an easy to use automation editor. Lastly, Omnisend comes with the reporting, segmenting, and A/B testing tools necessary to measure results and make more informed decisions.
Pricing is based on volume, but if Omnisend sounds like what you’re looking for, there is a free plan to get you started.
Price: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $16 per month.
Must-have email management software features
If you're specifically looking for team email management tools that focus on received email, make sure to look for these features when comparing the above.
It's frustrating for the recipient and time-wasting for your team when multiple people send replies to the same conversation. Collision detection helps prevent this by providing real-time indicators when another team member has already replied to a conversation — or is actively writing a reply.
Saved replies are shared responses that your team can add to an email response in just a couple of clicks and personalize when needed.
Well-organized, pre-written saved replies save time for team members and yield faster results for customers. They also create continuity with easy-to-apply language that keeps a team on the same page, especially if there’s a significant issue like an outage or a new product release.
The best email management software empowers team members with data that paints a vivid picture of the person who sent the email and their unique challenges. With this important information, your team can help people more effectively and efficiently without requiring much effort on the part of the sender.
When your email management software can integrate with the apps your team and organization use, it can break down silos and facilitate collaboration. Just as people need to talk to each other for a company to work, these different tools need to connect for a seamless workflow.
Workflows are a form of supercharged filters or rules that automate processes to organize tasks and bring efficiency to teams. Instead of manually tagging emails and assigning conversations to different people on your team, you can automate those actions based on specific conditions.
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools
Many email management platforms are starting to integrate AI features into their product. While the technology isn't quite ready to handle all of your correspondence unattended, it can help with things like spelling and grammar, translating messages, or even drafting a preliminary response.
Trying to complete any analysis within a shared Gmail or Outlook mailbox takes more time than it’s worth. The right email management software can do the work for you, giving you data that adds up to powerful business insights relevant to every aspect of your company.
The right solution
For most of us, email is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you’re responding to customer emails, sending out a mass message about a new feature, or just cleaning up your own inbox, email management software can help make your life easier.