From the number of times they log into to check their email to what they do with messages, 4,000 users were surveyed by AOL. While such a low number can’t really tell us the practices of the vast majority of email users, it does tell some rather compelling stories. There are mistakes from which we can learn.The Fourth Annual Email Addiction Survey results have been released, saying nearly 46% of users are hooked on email, checking it several times a day and on weekends. That’s no surprise.
While I can’t lend full weight to the results from such a small number of users overall (the survey covers only 4,000 people), their “messages” should be heavily considered when it comes to determining marketing campaigns and business practices.
- 27% said they’re so overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive that they’ve either deleted them all or signed up for new accounts.
Keep this in mind when sending email marketing. Sending email blasts for the sake of keeping your name out there doesn’t always work. You need to have something to say, and the subject of the email needs to entice the recipient to open it and read.
- 68% said punctuation and spelling errors annoy them.
The less professional the email, the more apt it is to be deleted. I’m not talking about Woot! – which prides itself on using witty commentary to promote its daily deals. I’m talking about poor writing skills in general. Spell-check, grammar-check and more than one set of eyes is key.
- 32% have forwarded email to the wrong person.
Years ago, I made this mistake and learned from it quickly. You need to take a moment to double check what you wrote and whose name is in the recipient box.
Another good practice? Letting emails go to an “outbox” for temporary holding instead of using “send now” methods. This will give you a chance to stop an email if you think of a problem right after you hit the send button.
- 12% have used email to ask someone on a date; 7% have broken up with someone via email.
This says two things: 1) We’re getting very impersonal with our methods of communication, and 2) We’re either too scared to face our own mistakes or don’t care about how our actions make other people feel.
In business, we need to determine what’s appropriate and what is best for our relationships with partners, vendors, customers and potential customers. Personal communication via phone can play a key role in solidifying deals, just as it can save a relationship when you’ve made a mistake.
That mistake I made years ago? While working for a company, I forwarded a customer’s email to my boss, complaining about the customer’s antics. Unfortunately, instead of forwarding, I hit reply. I had to own up to my mistake and sent the customer a sincere letter of apology. I not only learned that I needed to take time to double-check all content before hitting send, but that I also needed to consider my entire wording. Nothing can stop someone from forwarding your email to another, possibly more influential person.