Email analytics: Use data to write better emails

Writing emails can be an emotionally-draining process – you spend hours crafting a masterpiece, then send your work into the void with no certainty that it will be read.

With email analytics you can bring your email results to the light of day. When you know what percentage of recipients opened your message and how much time on average they spent looking at it, you can make better decisions. If the read rate isn’t as high as you’d like, you can try rewriting with different body copy and a clearer call-to-action, then resend to make sure you get the message across to your audience.

This email has only a 50% read rate – this user might want to resend the message to get the response they’re looking for.

Understand how much time you spend reading and writing emails

Ever feel like you spend so much time reading and writing emails that you can’t get any other work done? You’re not alone – research1 shows that the average knowledge worker spends 28% of their time just managing email.

Personal email analytics can give you visibility into how much of your time is taken up by reading and sending emails. If your email hours are too high, you can make plans to cut back. Often the easiest way to do this is to switch to chat tools like Microsoft Teams that allow you to send shorter, more informal messages.

For serious email overload cases, the problem could lie in your organizational structure or your work style – you may have too many responsibilities, or you may be hoarding decision-making authority. With personal email analytics in hand, you can make a better case for delegating some of your work, which will help your team make better and faster decisions.

This user spent almost 11 hours the prior week reading and sending email – below their goal of 12 hours, but still a significant chunk of their limited time.

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From email grazing to email batching

Many knowledge workers keep their email inbox open all day, allowing them to check incoming messages as soon as they arrive – a habit known as ‘email grazing.’ This habit can break your focus and make it harder to get your top-priority projects out of the way – some research suggests that it can take over 15 minutes to refocus on the task at hand after you check even just a single email.²

With personal email analytics, you can better understand your email behavioral patterns, then course correct if necessary. For example, you can schedule time in your calendar to go through emails all at once then go into ‘do not disturb’ mode the rest of the day.

This user is a classic email grazer – they tend to read and send emails throughout the day rather than batch processing.

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Business Insights and Ideas does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation..