Of all the tech challenges that marketing and research professionals wrestle with, none is as ubiquitous as email. On the one hand, it's this very ubiquity that makes email so irresistible: social networks may come and go, but almost everybody reads email - which is why it's still the primary channel for reaching your customers with everything from special offers to survey invitations.
But when it comes to receiving and replying to email, marketers are in the same boat as every other professional - a boat that often feels like it's sinking. If your feelings about email are less than positive, you're not alone: in a recent survey of people who use email at work, we found that email seems to be associated to more negative terms than positive terms. For instance, negative words like "boring", "annoying" and "hostile" were used much more than positive words such as "friendly", "manageable" and "interesting".
How often do people check work email?
What explains all this email checking? For the majority of respondents, it's about avoiding the dreaded fate of missing an urgent email - followed by a desire to stay current, or simply force of habit:
You merely have to google email overload to realize that many people are looking for a better way to handle their email. Interestingly, however, there are few strategies that are used by more than a handful of respondents:
- Giving their assistant or support staff direct access to their inbox (74% say they rarely or never do this)
- Delegating some or all of their email responses to colleagues (66%)
- Using auto-responders other than out-of-office messages (71%)
- Turning off their mobile device of computer during a certain time of day (57%)
- Using email rules/filters that automatically sort, label, file, or delete incoming messages (46%)