The Bulging Inbox: Consumers Are Overwhelmed By Email Clutter, Study Finds

Maybe your own metrics don’t support this. But 68% of consumers say they unsubscribe from emails at least somewhat often, and 22% frequently do so, according to "What’s Lurking In Your Inbox," a study by Zipwhip.  

The reason is that people are overwhelmed by inbox clutter. Of the individuals surveyed, 39% have over 100 or more unread emails in their inboxes and 20% have over 1,000.

But 29% say they’ve achieved the elusive inbox zero.  

In addition, 62% have a dedicated email address for online accounts with brands, or for promotions/offers for which they have signed up. The remainder don’t.

Zipwhip, a texting provider, surveyed over 500 consumers, using a panel sample purchased from SurveyMonkey.

The company found, among other things, that if people ever had any love for email, the thrill is gone. Look at these stats: 

  • I am less excited to receive emails than I used to be—51%
  • My level of excitement around email has not changed—36%
  • I am more excited to receive emails than I used to be—14% 



Don’t count on people checking their junk email folders for your emails—43% never do, and 12% never. Another 22% often check and 23% somewhat often.  

Worse, 51% trust text most for receiving important messages, while only 35% choose email and 14% phone calls. 

Where are people getting their emails? The most popular services are: 

  • Gmail—48%
  • Outlook/Hotmail—21% 
  • Yahoo Mail—20%
  • Other—6%
  • AOL Mail—5% 

Gmail is first with Generation Z consumers, people born after 1996—69% have their primary accounts there. Gen Y, the so-called Millennials, is next, with 50%.

Gmail is utilized by 44% of Gen Xers, 42% of baby boomers and 42% of those in the silent generation—born before 1945.

Of all these, 100% have personal email accounts and 59% have work emails. Another 28% have school addresses, and 5% maintain some other kind of account. 

Meanwhile, 58% rarely miss important emails because they’re burred between other messages or classified as spam. Another 10% never do, and 32% do at least somewhat often. 

Overall, the study shows that “there is a time for email but it’s not the catch-all communication medium it used to be, “states John Lauer, CEO at Zipwhip 

Well, what do you expect the CEO of a texting company to say?  

And let’s keep that staggering unsubscribe number in context. A June study by OPTiZMO Technologies found that the unsubscribe rate for commercial emailers was 0.073% in April and May. 

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