Constantly checking email throughout the day can be a huge productivity drain (I can talk to you at length about this if you're curious). The best way I've found to deal with it is to banish email (as much as I can) from where I do my other work.
I mainly only check and respond to email during a daily visit to a neighborhood coffee shop. I've crunched a bunch of data on it, and it actually works out best for both of us. Also, coffee is delicious. For more on how this helps my productivity, see this blog post.
WHY IT'S GREAT FOR ME
No office-distractions: I can get totally into a communications-oriented mindset.
Switching gears is a breeze: When I'm done, the change of location makes it easy to switch focus to other things, like designing new features for RescueTime.
It's delicious! Lately I've been really into a caffè medici with soy milk.
WHY IT'S AWESOME FOR YOU
You get my undivided attention: I'm focused, well-caffinated, and I'm fully engaged with your email.
Less chance of things slipping through the cracks: You'll usually get a response faster that you otherwise would.
If I'm working on a project that impacts you, it's going to get finished way faster.
If you can, you should try it out yourself. It's done wonders for my productivity. Also, give the soy medici a shot, it's magic.