Automated Email Classification & Processing
Every 24 hours, more than 3 billion business emails are sent and received worldwide.
How many emails does your team receive each day? Hundreds? Maybe thousands? How many emails include attachments of unstructured documents, such as PDFs, or even images of handwritten text? If emails continue growing steadily at a 4% rate yearly, global data experts forecast daily email traffic will grow to over 4.5 billion emails in 2025.
For many businesses, the volume of emails to manually read and sort gums up internal systems and leads to losses in productivity and revenue. As a result, an effective email processing system is more important than ever.
What is email processing automation?
Email processing automation reads and handles emails just like a human would. It uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to automatically process incoming and outgoing emails — helping companies respond quickly with the right message at the right time.
This specific type of business process automation (BPA) leverages natural language processing (NLP) and other AI technologies to automate the routine tasks of email management. Some common examples of this automation are:
- Reading, classifying, and routing emails to the appropriate individual or team
- Extracting data from the body of emails or their attachments
- Automating responses and pulling in additional information if needed
- Any combination of the above
Automating email processing can help teams manage large volumes of incoming emails — streamlining communication and workflows — but what about the essential information locked away in attachments containing hard-to-reach unstructured data?
How does email processing automation work?
These days, email attachments run the gamut of unstructured documents. They include critical information stuck inside unstructured PDFs, semi-structured forms, attached spreadsheets, infographics, presentation slides, text files, and even photos of handwritten text. So how do businesses extract essential data from these unstructured email attachments?
A well-designed email processing platform can help companies completely automate these emails, so employees are free to focus on more mission-critical opportunities. Automated email processing consists of several parts:
- Unlocks critical data in emails and attachments
- Streamlines email triaging
- Understands intent and classifies emails
- Transforms business data into action
Why is automated email processing more efficient?
Let’s say you’re a shipping company receiving hundreds of customer emails daily with requests — from price quotes to package statuses. Those emails may come in with attached jpegs or even relevant information that could be related to multiple requests — making it hard to build rules that sort things reliably.
Figuring out who should see each type of information and responding with the right message takes hours of precious time from the shipping company’s staff. Furthermore, it slows down response times when customers know their requests can be answered quickly by the competition with first-class round-the-clock, 24/7 support.
Streamlines internal processes
Email overload significantly reduces productivity, morale, and company revenue. Industries worldwide are dealing with new complicating factors that have sent email volumes soaring, and the rapid growth in email traffic is far-reaching. Freeing employees from these distractions is critical to maintaining high productivity levels. Email processing automation and AI can help you streamline so everyone wins.
Efficiency boost equals more sales
Streamlined business processes directly impact your team’s ability to focus on higher-value tasks — such as generating more revenue. For example, a claims adjuster juggles dozens of insurance claims when a natural disaster strikes. Automatically classifying incoming emails with photos of receipts and other unstructured policyholder data boosts efficiency when time is critical.
Likewise, sending incoming RFP emails to the correct departments during the initial stage of the Request For Proposal process cuts down the work of generating price quotes — improving competitiveness against new industry players who have digital-only processes.
Enhances the customer experience
Customer service teams face an ever-increasing amount of pricing requests, address changes, complaints, and many other inquiries. Automating email classification with intent detection cuts down on the emails your team needs to review and reply to so customers get help faster. The reduced workload also saves time for higher-value tasks that improve the customer experience.
How we can help you with email processing
Automation Hero’s Hero Platform_ is an end-to-end intelligent document processing (IDP) platform with native, next-gen AI and enterprise-grade email processing built-in. Hero Platform_ uses advanced AI models for each step of the automated email process.
Hero Platform_ understands, classifies, and manages any document — including incoming emails and attached files — such as scanned forms with handwritten text locked away inside invoices or pictures of receipts.
Additionally, our platform can even triage emails and extract essential information from the email content directly, along with the data locked inside unstructured email attachments. Here’s how it works:
Say hello to Hero Platform_
When a new email comes in, Hero Platform_ uses a classification AI model to classify the intent of the message. Is the email a quote request, a shipment update, or a request for support? Hero Platform_ detects the intent and intelligently sorts the email into an appropriate category.
Hero Platform_ then automatically collects key information from the message — such as the customer’s name, order details, or key dates mentioned, and generates a summary of the issue.
The captured data is then used to verify the relevant customer account and order information stored in an internal database, saving your team time and effort. The extracted information could then go into a support ticket system that creates a new case — allowing your staff to focus on providing top-notch customer service instead of shuffling digital envelopes.
Industry-leading AI reads, classifies, & extracts data from emails
Hero Platform_ has an advanced AI model that scans and understands the intent of emails. Our platform can automate fast responses or route emails to the proper departments based on intent. Hero Platform_ then automatically sorts and selects emails and can even send an automated response if additional clarification or supporting documents are needed.
Email attachments come in various formats — from PDFs to printed receipts to scanned paper images of handwritten text and jpeg files. Our AI-powered Context-aware OCR extracts the critical information from these documents in seconds.
Powered by industry-leading AI, our all-in-one Hero Platform_ comes equipped with the most accurate OCR on the market that reads documents like a human — especially handwriting.
Hero Platform_ is an end-to-end intelligent document processing platform that reads documents — even handwriting — the same way as humans. It uses advanced AI to extract essential data locked away in emails and transforms it into business value. Once unlocked, Hero Platform_ can even read the data in multiple languages, allowing other departments operating in different countries to reuse it.
Likewise, IDP can enter the data into accounting software or an internal database — such as an ERP, ECM, or CRM system. With the data extracted, Automation Hero can look up information in another system, verify it, and automatically compose and send replies to customers with the appropriate responses.
Accelerate responses — with a human touch
Plus, humans can interact with the automation as needed. Hero Platform_’s attended automation flags all remaining emails for employees to review using a human-in-the-loop interface for quick batch review. Our no-code enviroment is highly configurable and provides all relevant information employees need to make decisions quickly.
With Automation Hero — no more emails can slip through the cracks — so say goodbye to mishandled requests — and say hello to human-in-the-loop.
Email processing automation case study
A large global logistics and shipping company wanted to improve its customer experience when responding to price quote requests. For years, the company previously handled these requests manually, but as requests shifted to fax, email, and other digital communications, the company was swamped.
Due to the variety of unstructured data contained in these requests, the company needed a way to keep up with the volume of inquiries from multiple channels. Using Hero Platform_, the company automated responses for 60% of the incoming inquiries, which reduced the workload by 80% — streamlining faster responses that increased customer satisfaction.
Automation and AI can help you streamline too. For example, see how we helped this global logistics company streamline email processing down to mere seconds in response time — all with Hero Platform_.
Automated Email Processing FAQ
What is email processing automation?
Email processing automation refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI), software, or tools to automate the handling of incoming and outgoing emails. This can include tasks such as sorting and routing emails, responding to emails with predetermined responses, forwarding emails to the appropriate recipients, using optical character recognition (OCR) to extract information from email attachments, and understanding the intent of the email to improve customer service.
How much time does email automation save?
The amount of time that email automation can save will depend on the volume of daily emails, the complexity of the tasks involved in processing those emails, and the efficiency of your email automation tool. Some studies show that using artificial intelligence to automate everyday tasks frees up 20-50% of a single employee’s work time. Additionally, other studies have found that email overload significantly reduces employee productivity, morale, company revenue, and customer satisfaction. If you do not have 24/7 communication support and customers need something while your offices are closed, being able to reply automatically can save days from the customer's perspective. However, email processing automation combined with AI streamlines email processing tasks, so everyone wins.
How much data can email automation handle?
The amount of data that email automation can handle will depend on the specific email automation tool, as well as the hardware and infrastructure that support it. According to www.statista.com, worldwide email traffic is growing 4% annually and is forecasted to grow to over 4.5 billion in 2025. With more than 3 billion emails sent every 24 hours, too many emails clog up internal processes. Freeing employees from these distractions is critical to maintaining high productivity levels. Some email automation tools are designed to handle a high volume of data, while others may be more limited. As a result, an effective email processing system is more important than ever.
What type of business needs email processing automation?
Regardless of your business, email processing automation can be a helpful tool for organizations (large or small) looking to improve customer experience with faster response times. Large companies receiving a higher volume of emails and struggling to keep up with the overflow will immediately see the benefits. However, companies handling large volumes of incoming emails with attached documents, such as handwritten forms, will need more advanced technologies to understand and extract unstructured data. End-to-end intelligent document processing (IDP) platforms like Automation Hero have native, next-gen AI and enterprise-grade email processing to help businesses manage and control data streams from unstructured sources, such as emails. Hero Platform_ understands, classifies, and handles any document — including incoming emails with file attachments.