If you’ve ever spent any time using Google Analytics, you know how much it redefined how online marketers and entrepreneurs defined online success. Though many competitors have emerged, it remains the most comprehensive, or at least the easiest to use tool for monitoring and analyzing web traffic. This is likely due in part to the fact that it features customizable visual reports, helping you to conceptualize your performance at a glance. Concurrently, the tool also furnishes in-depth metrics for math lovers.
The formula hasn’t been applied to many other disciplines, however. This is despite the fact that web traffic is just one dimension of operating a successful business. Now, the makers of EmailAnalytics are hoping to do for Gmail management what Google Analytics did for web traffic. The program includes an innovative data visualization tool designed to help you understand how you and your team send email.
RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO MOTIVATE EMPLOYEES TO TRACK TIME AND IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY
Why Track Email Usage?
Unless you’ve paid close attention to your own emailing habits, you might wonder why email is such an important aspect of your job to track.
Email can tell you a lot about a person’s productivity on any given day. That’s because most daily tasks are linked to email in some way (such as receiving a task, updating parties involved, etc.). Therefore, you can use email volume as an indirect measure of a person’s workload. Generally, someone sending 300 emails a day is busier than someone sending 100. You can also look at metrics like time spent on each email and number of emails sent per conversation. These measurements will help you to gauge how productively your team members are using email.
Looking at metrics like who starts the most conversations and who sends the most emails within a group can also give you a clear picture of how the team relates to one another. Is someone always dominating the conversation? Is someone rarely—if ever—contributing? These insights can help you rebalance your teams.
Client Value and Needs
You may even be able to gauge how much effort each of your clients demands. You can measure the amount of time it takes your team to email a particular client, for example, and compare that to the amount of money a client spends on you. If the ROI isn’t there, you can re-optimize your client portfolio.
On top of that, consider the fact that workers in the United States spend about 6.3 hours a day checking their email. If you can improve even one small part of how your employees send and receive emails, you’ll be fixing three-quarters of their average working day.
Custom Reporting and Visualization
So how exactly does Gmail Metrics allow you to measure these things?
Like Google Analytics, there are two ingredients that make the user interface successful: customization and visualization. Within Gmail Metrics, you have full control over which metrics you see and how you see them. Further, you can control how you compare one with another.
For example, you can look at specific accounts and specific date ranges, and set parameters for each metric. In this way, you can zoom as far in or as far out as you want. Custom reporting allows you to answer almost any question you have. Therefore, as long as you’re asking the right questions, you can gain meaningful insights.
The visualization component is also handy. The raw numbers may mean everything to an experienced data analyst. However, the color-coded visual breakdowns of your email activity are much easier to internalize. Plus, they’re easier to share and discuss as well.
How Email Metrics Improve Your Bottom Line
Looking at charts and graphs that break down how much time you spend emailing (and who you email the most) may be fascinating. However, fascination doesn’t necessarily improve your bottom line. Instead, these are the main goals you should have when using email analytics to monitor team productivity:
Reducing Time Spent on Email
First, you can likely reduce the amount of time you spend on email. That is, you can lower the time it takes you to write as well as read emails. You can also discover and talk to the people most capable of sucking up your time, encouraging them to form better email habits that allow you to work together more efficiently.
Improving Team Communication
After gathering data on multiple employees, you should glean some insights that allow you to improve conversations within your team. For example, you may be able to learn from your most productive emailers. From what you learn, you can give your least productive emailers tips on how to get to that level. Overall, you’ll reduce time spent on email. And you’ll also reduce miscommunications and unnecessary or redundant messages.
Identifying and Fixing Pain Points
Gmail Metrics can also illuminate your return on investment of various projects you take on. This will help you to understand how much time (in email) each project is taking your top workers. It may be the evidence you need to charge a client more, or drop a project altogether.
Is Gmail Metrics a fast shortcut to making your employees more productive, or making your time more valuable? No—at least not any more so than any other tool on the market. Instead, the tool provides a window of insight. That is, it gives you far greater transparency and understanding of your team’s current email habits. What you do with that information—and how much you gain from it—is up to you.