Many organizations retain all their emails. This increases storage cost, and very often, the required email lies hidden among the millions of junk, spam, and irrelevant emails, making retention an arduous, stressful, and productivity busting activity.
A good email policy provides users with guidelines on which email to achieve and which email to delete. Allowing individual users to make retention and classification decisions however run the risk of each user classifying differently, leading to mismatch and inconsistencies.
The best practice is to allow the user to sort emails into broad and easily identifiable categories such as Business, Personal, Junk, and Spam. Report spam, delete junk straightaway, leave it to the individual user on what to do with personal mail, and subject business mail to automated classification tools. Automated tools scan the metadata of the e-mail message and categorize the mail according to a predefined list, with the user only having to choose from a subset of classifications when the system fails to do so. Such a system allows consistency across users and departments, and improves productivity.