Email Threading & Suppression: The Basics

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Email threading when utilized correctly can not only dramatically save you time and cut costs. Threading also allows you to scale your process through giving you access to information that is relevant to you without having to search endless data. An email thread is a group of several emails all linked through one origin email, this is also commonly known as a email chain.

Naturally, when you are in your inbox and open a long email chain you will see that some messages may be hidden. This is due to thread suppression which aims to only show you the information that is relevant. Without the thread linking these different messages together you would be left with a mass unstructured database of emails. So by theory an email account with 10,000 emails could be suppressed down to 1,000 email threads. Which you can then filter and identify the most relevant threads to review cutting down your review set drastically.

The reason this is important is because commonly when people get access into large volumes of data, all they see is a big stockpile of documents. Email threading is a simple and easy to use tool to tackle the email area of this data. Here are a few ways you can implement threading and suppression.


At base level, culling in email threading is the process of finding and removing irrelevant email chains that is are relevant to review.

Determine Context

It is important to determine the nature of the case at hand and the relationship the custodian has with the matter. With context you will be able to identify email threads that may have otherwise been hidden. The context will help greater define the search terms needed during review.

Clustering and Classification

Clustering & Classification takes the concept of email threading and applies it to across the rest of the data without being limited to the confines of one email chain. Once you have determined context and culled out unnecessary information, you can use clustering to identify and group emails based on filters you set. This could include but isn’t limited to search terms, contacts, time periods, file attachments and more.


Visualization allows you a new perspective into the data you are assessing. Through utilizing graphs, charts, flow, clusters, diagrams and more you can begin to see trends that were previously hidden. Now a days most review tools are enabled to support visualization and analytics.

Benefits of implementing Email Threading & Suppression

  • Cost-saving in documentation review.
  • Increased efficiency and relevance of email content through removing duplicates, and irrelevant content while aggregating relevant content.
  • Quality control through management and monitoring all documents included.
  • Improving the digital utility and ease of use when managing multiple threads simultaneously.


[1] Identifying Conversational Message Threads by Integrating Classification and Data Clustering (15 May 2020),

[2] Clustering and Classification of Email Contents (15 May 2020),

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