Read and response rates for e-mails alarmingly low

A recent survey has found that employees hardly open their e-mails and even if they do, they rarely reply to them.

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It is not uncommon for employees to find their mail boxes cluttered with e-mails each morning. Apparently, on an average, an employee receives about 180 e-mails per day. Of these, she/he opens only about 40 per cent. A recent report by Hiver, on the ‘State of E-mail’, reveals that the reply rate for e-mails is merely 16 per cent. Is the e-mail really designed to work as an ideal collaboration tool?

The survey covered about 1,000 e-mail accounts of employees across organisations. The reason for excessive mails was found to be group e-mails sent to shared inboxes or distribution lists. In fact, a significant 51 per cent of the mails are part of group mails.

The inboxes of employees were full of forwards and copied mails.

While 13 per cent are forwarded, about 8 per cent are cc mails. Even if employees do open 84 per cent of the mails they are copied on, they only reply to about 19 per cent of them. They open only about 70 per cent of the forwarded mails and reply to about 20 per cent of them.

The group e-mails fare no better. Only about 50 per cent of them are opened and replies are sent to hardly 14 per cent of them.

Clearly, the e-mail is not designed to be a collaboration tool even though people do wish to use it to collaborate.

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