74% of Consumers Overwhelmed By Email Overload, Says Survey

Three-quarters of Americans admit to feeling overwhelmed by the number and frequency of emails they receive, according to a study released Wednesday by Edison Software.

The survey of 1,068 U.S. adults suggests that email is a constant companion and stress-inducer in American lives. Nearly half of respondents admitted to worrying about missing important emails due to inbox overload, and 33% of respondents said they felt stressed when they receive too many emails.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they spend hours deleting emails they don’t want, and 32% of Americans said they receive as many as 100 emails a day.

“Consumers struggling to impose order on mailboxes have more options than they think to rein in the digital chaos that is email overload,” says Hetal Pandya, co-founder and VP Marketing at Edison.

Pandya suggests consumers review the fine print whenever creating a new account online, as many websites asking for email addresses will automatically add new accounts to email distribution lists. She advises consumers to be mindful of the information they want to receive on a daily basis, and recommends unchecking the email notification option to stay off of future lists.

“Another tip to ensure you get done with responding to your emails quickly is to open them once and then either delete them, file them, or respond to them right away,” says Pandya. “This way you will not spend the time re-reading emails second and third times before taking action on them.”

Edison Software is the maker of Edison Mail (previously EasilyDo), an intelligent email application for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Managing inbox overload is not solely a consumer issue, as email marketers are often the perpetrators of email fatigue.  

Marketers should give their customers an opportunity to personalize their communications preferences, says Pandya -- "such as letting customers set their desired frequency and type of news they prefer to receive,” says Pandya, and they should follow through with those preferences.  “There’s nothing more frustrating than repeating the same action with no results. Marketers should always ensure their lists are updated and current with consumer settings.”

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