Email By the Numbers: Part 2

In our previous post, we started looking at some basic email volume statistics and began to think about how we can use that info to become more effective in working with email.  We also looked at how the Thanksgiving holiday impacted email activity.  In this post we’ll take another look at those statistics to see how consistent they really are in terms of baselines to evaluate our own email activity levels against, as well as see what kind of impact the holiday season had on email volumes.

First we’ll take another look at received email volumes.  The average stays around 110 per weekday before and after the holidays, but email volumes are drastically lower for two entire weeks.  Not a surprise, but it’s still interesting to see the rapid declines approaching both Christmas and New Year’s, and then the quick return back to business as usual right after.


Now, does that mean people’s overall workload is going down at those levels?  Well, there are a number of factors to take into account, but one of the most basic measures is to simply look at how many messages people are replying to.  As the graph below shows, the number of replies people are sending tracks quite closely with the reduced volume of emails being received, so it does appear that overall email workload was reduced over the holiday season.  It’s good to know that at least everyone wasn’t just at home catching up with all of their overdue email replies!


OK, now we’ve established some baseline metrics in terms of inbound email volumes and outbound email reply volumes.  So what do we do with that and how can we help people and companies use that information to get better at handling email effectively?

In the next post we’ll discuss some of the ways all of this information can be used to measure the level of email workload people are facing, identify key sources of email strain, measure effectiveness levels in dealing with the email, and provide suggestions so people and companies are able to get better at managing all of this email.