I get a few e-mails tagged as high priority or urgent, e.g. tagged with that red exclamation mark. I’m not sure how many end users even know what means. If someone e-mailing me thinks it is urgent, they usually begin the subject line with URGENT!!! That usually gets my attention, especially if they fall into the category of boss, spouse, person who helps me when I need it or OBA member needing help. But for me, the red mark works as good as the word in the subject line, even if it is used infrequently.
Now when is the last time you received an e-mail tagged with the low priority tag? That’s a downward pointing blue arrow (in Outlook at least.) While there may be some firms that use this, I think generally it is unused. We all probably think that our e-mail is important or we wouldn’t be sending it, right? So why would we tag it as a low priority? This is particularly true these days. Considering the amount of e-mail that many of us receive, low priority may equate to "never read." So try this experiment. The next time you are sending someone a link to an article they should read or some truly low priority item, tag it with the blue arrow. I’ll bet that many of you find that the e-mail is read more quickly and that you get a reply commenting on the blue arrow. But I could be wrong. Maybe it is just that everyone I know truly has no low priorities where e-mail is concerned.