5 Types of Email Contact Groups to Help You Email Better

Closeup of Skittles candies lined up in rows by color

Sorting through an enormous contact list is not only difficult but time-consuming and frustrating. While you can use tools like Scrubly to clean up your contacts so you don’t have to deal with duplicates, your final, de-duplicated list can still be a royal pain in the ass to sort well.

Most email clients come with some form of categories or groups you can place your contacts into. Contacts can live within multiple categories while still remaining a part of your full contact list.

Believe it or not, you can use these lists as a sort of search feature to make finding and emailing contacts much simpler. While you probably already have email contact groups like “Business” or “Family,” why not kick your use of categories up a notch to make your life easier?

Here are five of the best ways to get started.

1. Location

Map of the world showing several continents

If you email large groups of people at one time, knowing what region of the world those people are in can help you know the best time to send your email, and when to expect a response.

For example, if you want to catch someone in India at the office, you’d have to send them an email at a very different time from your coworker in the Pittsburgh office. This is even more important if you’re sending out mass emails and want to customize the greeting based on time and location. This can also be a huge help when it comes to different languages.

For this category, you just have to determine the major locations for your contacts and make a category for each. This depends on your needs; you might include groups like “Europe,” “Africa” and “South America,” or just time zones like “Eastern,” “Mountain,” and “GMT.”

2. Company

If you deal with a few key companies, it’s probably common to include a few people at the company when you send correspondence.

By making a category for each major company you deal with, you can easily see those employees and contacts with one click. You can email the entire category, or pick and choose. Either way, it’s far easier than doing a search and hoping you didn’t forget to add someone’s company to their contact info.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

3. Job Title

Closeup of printed list of various job titles

This is a big one. While categories for location and company are both great, if you really want to make an impact, create email contact groups for specific job titles. For example, make a “Senior Manager” category and add all your contacts that fit this criterion into it. Better yet, make a “CEO” category and keep these important contacts all together.

Now when you want to contact all the managers you work with, it’s as simple as emailing the entire category. You could even go a step further and make categories for both internal and external positions, so you can email only managers or staff at your company as well as only outside contacts.

4. Skills

Along with a person’s position at a company, having categories for what they can do is pretty useful. Say you’re in the building industry; this would mean categories for plumbers, contractors, bricklayers, and electricians. If you’re in the computer dev world, you’d have categories for things like C Programmers, Java Experts, and IIS Skills.

By making a category for each of these skill groups, you can easily send emails to all parties that can help with an issue, as well as find someone specific without trying to do a search or using the Notes field.

5. Value

With the basic categories out of the way, it’s time to get a little existential to wrap things up. While knowing someone’s position with a category is useful, being able to easily see people grouped by the value you place on them is incredible.

You could create a category for “Trusted Advice” and send emails to those folks when you need help with something. Or how about “Dedicated to Job”? Imagine how useful it would be to send an email to a group of people and know they’ll all do whatever it takes to get things done.

This is a true jumping-off point for this concept. By making email contact groups like this, the sky is the limit. Best of all, when you receive emails from people in categories, you’ll see what category they’re in, which helps you know how to handle the email. If you get a suggestion from someone in the “Advice” category, you should listen. If someone in the “Technically Challenged” category tells you how to fix a computer issue, it’s probably best to ask someone else.

These are our top suggestions, but don’t stop here. Think of how else you’d like to sort your contacts and make your own categories, too. Once you really start using them, you may never want to email the old way again!

Scrubly social-sharing menu.

Scrubly sign-up.