So I was thinking over the weekend about how often our autopilot engages itself and does things we don't really notice. This manifests itself in many ways over the course of a normal day. Everything from the pockets we use for various things to the route we walk to the bus stop; from the sandwich we usually head straight for to the emails we delete instantly.
And it's the emails we delete instantly that got me thinking.
On a day when I'm working I have a pretty standard system regarding emails:
- When I'm travelling to work I'll check my emails on my iPhone;
- I'll read the important ones and split these into two categories:
1) Ones I reply to instantly;
2) Ones that are important that I'll read when I'm sat down so I press 'Mark Unread' as a reminder;
- The vast majority, however, I'll simply go down the list and delete.
These are the newsletters I've signed up to and the daily offers like Groupon.
I thought for one day only I wouldn't delete any of them (besides the ones that go to the spam folder), and I'd carry out a normal day and look at the emails at the end of the day to see if there's anything interesting. This is what I found.
Total number of emails sent to me on February 8th 2011:
Total number of emails sent to me by brands:
55 (57% of all emails)
Total number of emails sent to me by people:
41 (43% of all emails)
Number of emails replying to an email I sent first:
14 (15% of all emails)
Number of emails that were sent to me without me sending first:
82 (85% of all emails)
Number of brand emails where they used my name to greet me:
4 (5% of all emails)
Number of brand emails where they didn't use my name to greet me:
51 (54% of all emails)
Number of brand emails that want me to spend money:
26 (27% of all emails)
Number of brand emails that are brand building, but not asking for money:
29 (30% of all emails)
Number of brand emails where they couldn't be bothered to call me by my name, but asked me to spend my money with them:
19 (21% of all emails)
Wordle of Email subjects from brands:
So there you go.
A bog standard bloke and over one fifth of my emails in one single day are from brands that can't even be bothered to use my name even though they are asking me to spend money with them.
Some brands will never get it will they...