you’re like most people, you’ve given the notion a fleeting thought, but you’ve never taken the time to fully consider how your email habits (and the habits of your team) affect the rest of your job and your company.
But why not? After all, the average worker receives 121 emails every day. Wouldn’t you like to know how well you’re handling those emails?
Part of the problem is that up until now, there hasn’t been a comprehensive tool that allows you to measure and understand the metrics most likely to affect your email productivity. Email Analytics is a new email analytics app for Gmail and G Suite that changes this by letting users visualize their email activity for the first time, similar to other employee monitoring tools.
The Email Conundrum
Time tracking software has been helping organizations understand and improve employee productivity for the past several years, but email presents an especially difficult problem; it’s a task that occupies employee attention throughout the day, it’s both a cause and a symptom of productivity problems, it’s very hard to track, and it can cause distractions from other tasks and responsibilities—especially when you’re monitoring your inbox 24/7.
Plus, the significant volume of emails exchanged every day means that even a small productivity lag in each email could add up to several wasted hours a week.
How Analytics Can Help
So how can email analytics tools help the situation?
- Identifying root causes
First, you’ll be able to identify some points of lost productivity, as well as their root causes. For example, you might notice that you spend far more time drafting emails than some of your peers, meaning if you want to improve your email productivity, you should start with writing more concise emails, or improving your confidence in your writing skills.
- Pinpointing possible solutions
Depending on what data you observe, you may be able to pinpoint potential solutions within the graphs. For example, if you notice that one of your employees is sending you far too many emails, and you also notice they spend virtually no time writing or reading emails, you might surmise that they aren’t thinking through their communications—which is a potentially easy fix.
- Tracking improvement over time
Measuring your performance consistently also gives you the means to observe your progress. If your strategies are working, you’ll see your productivity improve. If not, it means it’s time to try a different set of strategies.
The Visualization Advantage
Email Analytics is also unique because it doesn’t just give you the numbers and hope you can sort them out on your own. It presents the numbers in an interactive visual format, which helps you intuitively understand the meaning behind the numbers at a glance.
It’s one thing to note that one of your contacts sends you 37 percent of all emails you receive, and another to see that represented on a graph in front of you. Plus, the charts are easy to use and manipulate, adding a degree of customization to the platform—and good UX design is hard to find in the analytics field.
Key Metrics to Watch
So what metrics should you be watching for specifically?
- Email totals
Pay close attention to how many emails you’re sending, how many you’re receiving, and how many you’ve got stored in various categories (including your inbox and sub-folders). Anything too high or too low could be a sign you aren’t managing your email loads properly, which can prevent you from responding efficiently or keeping yourself organized.
- Time spent
Of course, you’ll also want to see how much time you’re spending reading and writing emails. Some estimates illustrate the average worker spending 3 hours a day checking email, but even if you’re only spending half that, it’s worth knowing exactly how you’re spending that time (and how you might improve).
- Email conversation metrics
Finally, you’ll want to take a look at how your conversations (or email “threads”) tend to unfold. Are you the one who usually initiates them? How many people are usually involved? How long do they last? These are big chains that involve lots of people, so they can be massive time savers—or massive time wasters.
There are many ways to use email analytics such as those made possible by EmailAnalytics, but nearly all of them can help you gain mastery over your email habits. With email playing such a significant role in your daily productivity, any increase in transparency you can achieve will be worth the effort.