Back in April, we released a feature called (internally) “Good News”. It’s quite simple: we give you an insight into how each summary metric is doing vs. the previous period, and then, we highlight the one that we think is good news for you. Why?
- Well, because we could. Email Meter analyzes email data in real-time, so it was technically possible to compare any period to the previous period.
- Because it was useful. A lot of our users are using the tool to improve several key productivity metrics (such as response time).
- It also made a lot of sense. It allows us to connect data to real improvements: data is cold, being more productive is a tangible thing.
While implementing this feature, a list of questions appeared in all our meetings:
- What is good news?
- Do people want to reply faster or slower?
- Is receiving more emails better?
- Is sending more emails better?
So we had to decide, and that led the team to some really interesting reflections about email habits and productivity:
❓⏱ Do people want to reply faster or slower?
Most of the users I speak with want to respond faster to emails. They’re mostly sales agents, customer specialists… According to Forbes, if you’re able to reply within the first 5 minutes to a lead, your chances to close the deal grow by 20%. On the other hand, I remember having a meeting with HR specialists from different enterprises, and they all agreed that low response times meant more time spent on email. That goes against any GTD philosophy, so they actually wanted to increase their employees’ response time.
Since our tool is widely used by sales and customer teams, this was easier to decide. We went with lowering response times.
📈📤 Is sending more emails better?
This question is quite interesting. How is your work measured? If your work depends on creating meaningful external connections (IE: Sales, CEOs, Founders, Marketing directors, PR, Business Development, etc…) then that’s great! You can use emails sent as a KPI. And the more, the better. Again, however, the HR team would complain because sending more emails is less productive for people that just need to get work done.
Email Meter is more helpful for the first group, so we decided to include more emails sent as our good news. More emails, more connections.
➕📥 Is receiving more emails better?
Oh, the trickiest one. What would you say? Receiving more emails usually means that your inbox gets clogged, you suddenly realize you’re looking at several tasks at the same time and completing none. Even though for some this could be positive (again, let’s imagine all those new emails are meaningful connections or leads), it’s not obvious, it greatly depends on the quality of those emails. In this case, I also like the “Founder” example. If I open a new account for my startup, I’d wish I could receive more and more external emails, because that’s a sign that my startup is getting some buzz from customers and others.
What we decided was to put this at the bottom of our list, meaning that the system will choose this insight only if there’s no other good insight. If it does, we considered that receiving more emails is more relevant than receiving less. It:
- a) can greatly improve your number of connections.
- b) encourages the user to take action, even if it’s just being prepared to reply to all those emails in the next month.
We’d like to know your opinion on these!
What’s better for you? Receiving more emails or fewer emails? Drop us an answer via Twitter: @emailmeter