What you can learn from inbox analytics

Emily Hackeling

Emily Hackeling,

Content Marketing at Front

17 April 20200 min read

How many emails do you receive each week? What’s your average response time? Which customers email you most often? There’s a good chance you have no clue.

How many emails do you receive each week? What’s your average response time? Which customers email you most often?

There’s a good chance you have no clue. That’s because traditional email clients like Gmail and Microsoft Outlook don’t offer much when it comes to inbox analytics.

We spend a ton of time tracking other tools we use at work, but somehow, email flies under the radar. Email takes up nearly half our day at work, but we don’t put much thought into what we’re actually doing when we open up our inboxes each day.

That means there’s a big opportunity for improvement. For individual teammates, a few simple tweaks to your emailing habits could make a significant impact on day-to-day productivity. For teams as a whole, you can make more educated business decisions and be more proactive.

Basic email insights you can gather for your team in Front

Access email insights like your busiest time of day, how much time you spend on a project, topic, or customer, or how many emails you receive each day with Front’s analytics dashboard.

Front lets you access email insights directly in your inbox. Here are a few of the questions Front’s Analytics can help you answer:

Email analytics for time management

  • How many emails are you receiving each day? This is a bit like starting to track your budget for groceries. You might be horrified when you see the average monthly total. But once you know the number, you can take action to get better control over it. The same goes for email.

  • How many new emails do you receive each day? What portion of the emails you receive each day are brand new, versus continued conversations from the day before?

  • Which day of the week do you receive the most emails? If you know your team is regularly inundated with emails on Tuesdays, you can schedule your team meetings another day to eliminate stress.

  • What’s the busiest time of day? If you know there’s a lull from 3–5pm, that could be a great time for 1-on-1 meetings. Or if your busiest time is in the middle of the night, you can use that information to help influence your next office location.

Email analytics for team dynamics

  • Who’s answering what on group email addresses? With group email aliases and distribution lists like team@ and support@, it’s hard to know which teammates are actually replying to those emails. When you know who’s responding, you can better distribute the load. If certain teammates never end up replying, maybe they don’t actually need to be a part of the email list (you can free up their time with fewer emails to read!)

  • How long does it take to act on an email, whether that means deleting it, replying, or passing it along to someone else? If you’re often forwarding messages to other teammates, tracking this initial reaction time helps you work on getting things to the right person more efficiently.

  • When is it time to hire another teammate? If the entire team is slammed with email around the clock, having statistics behind it can help you feel confident about when you should hire a new teammate.

Email insights about customer experience

  • How long does it take to respond? When you know your average response time, you can make goals to work more efficiently, or give yourselves a pat on the back for those speedy replies. This is useful for teams with SLAs who contractually agree to reply within a certain window of time.

  • Which customers require more of my time? If you tag your messages by customer name, like Bob’s Auto Garage, for instance, you can get insight into how many hours each one needs, and how much time you should allocate for new customers who are similar. (Learn how to set up a rule to tag emails by customer name automatically.)

  • Which customers could I communicate with more? The customers you email the least could be the ones you aim to engage with more next quarter!

  • How well are we answering customer questions? Track resolve on first reply to see how often you’re able to solve a customer’s problem with your first response. If all your emails have long threads back and forth, maybe there’s a way you can respond more clearly the first time.

Email analytics on features and projects

  • What features are customers requesting most often? By tagging emails by feature or bug, you can see which features are in high demand. That way you can use that information to prioritize your product roadmap.

  • How much time did a certain project take? If you tag your messages by the project it’s related to, like Fall Press Release or Al’s Cleaning Service, for instance, it’s easy to gauge how much time each one will require. This is particularly helpful for consultants or those who work with a book of clients. You can look back and see who you emailed that day to fill out your timesheet, or use that information to inform your planning for future clients who are similar.

Email analytics lead to increased productivity

We track everything we do at work. When you’re spending a hefty portion of your day on email, making every second of that time more efficient can go a long way in boosting your overall productivity. Want a deeper look into your email habits? Plug your Gmail address into our Inbox Checkup Tool to see if you’re mastering your inbox, or if it’s mastering you.

Not using Front to manage your email yet? Try Front free.

Access analytics with Front’s Pro or Enterprise plans. You can upgrade directly from your Settings in Front! Just have an Admin on your account go to Settings > Billing, and click Change Plan.

Written by Emily Hackeling

Originally Published: 17 April 2020

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