Welcome to the Email Productivity Benchmark Report! This data shows a range of email statistics and metrics across a random sample of EmailAnalytics customers.

You can use this data to benchmark your own team’s email performance and activity. Start a free trial to see how your team’s stats measure up (it’s free).

This data has been updated to include all data for May 2023. We will update it for June 2023 sometime in early July.

We update this post monthly with new stats, so remember to bookmark this page!

Let’s get to it!

Executive Summary (Statistics Summary)

Benchmark stats: Including weekends

This set of statistics covers ALL of May 2023, including weekends.

  • The average person received 65.5 emails per day, including spam (+8.46% compared to last month)
  • The average person received 1.4 spam emails per day (-3.93% compared to last month)
  • The average person sent 24.6 emails per day (+8.07% compared to last month)
  • Average response time (actual): 11h 42m 41s (+0.75% compared to last month)
  • Average response time (work hours): 3h 41m 24s (-1.40% compared to last month)
  • Average time to receive a response (actual): 15h 14m 34s (+3.91% compared to last month)

Benchmark stats: Excluding weekends

If we exclude weekends, we get a clearer picture of what a true workday looks like. Here’s what the stats look like if we exclude all weekends:

  • The average person received 80.1¬†emails per day, including spam (+1.14% compared to last month)
  • The average person received 1.7 spam emails per day (-9.85% compared to last month)
  • The average person sent 30.9 emails per day (-0.43% compared to last month)
  • Average response time (actual): 11h 13m 18s (+6.90% compared to last month)
  • Average response time (work hours): 3h 34m 41s (-0.85% compared to last month)
  • Average time to receive a response (actual): 15h 03m 16s (+4.13% compared to last month)

Methodology

This data comes from a random sample of 1542¬†EmailAnalytics customers — both paying and trial users. All data has been aggregated and anonymized.

All @gmail.com email addresses were removed from the data, so that we are only looking at professionals.

We removed the following users from our data:

  • Users with zero sent or received emails
  • The top and bottom 5% of users by total email volume (to remove outliers and improve accuracy)

All data is localized to each user’s time zone.

About 41% of the data is from US-based customers. Here’s the geographic breakdown:

geographic breakdown

Terms & Definitions

You need to be familiar with some terminology we use here at EmailAnalytics to fully understand the data.

Average response time (actual): The actual time it takes to reply to an email.

Average response time (work hours): The amount of elapsed time within work hours to respond to an email. Work hours are set individually by EmailAnalytics customers, and are, by default, set to 8am to 5pm.

Average response time (received, actual): The actual time it takes to receive replies to emails. We do not measure “work hours” response time for received responses, because work hours among participants often vary across time zones.

How do we calculate email response time?

We have a few rules for how we count email response time:

  • Only emails that receive a response are counted in the average. We do not count emails that do not receive a response.
  • We do not count responses that occur after longer than 14 days.

For the full set of rules, see this page.

How we calculate response time for a single day:

Many emails are not responded to until the next day, or several days later. So, we calculate average response time for a single day as the average amount of time it takes to respond to an email received on that day.

Example:

You received exactly one email on April 1st at 10am, and later responded to it on April 3rd at 10am. Your email response time for April 1st is 48 hours, even though that is longer than a single day. Thus, your response time for a single day can be longer than a single day.

In other words, your average email response time for April 1st is the average of all your responses that you sent in response to emails you received on April 1st.

Part I: Emails sent & received

Most email activity occurs on Mondays and Tuesdays. As expected, Saturdays and Sundays have a significant drop-off of activity:

Avg. Sent Avg. Received Response time (wh) Response time (actual) Response time (received, actual)
Sunday 4.2 18.2 7:39:39 17:37:14 17:33:42
Monday 28.6 73.5 3:46:16 9:42:53 13:27:07
Tuesday 33.5 86.1 3:29:44 9:18:32 12:56:06
Wednesday 33.1 85.2 3:19:34 9:24:09 13:10:01
Thursday 31.9 83.3 3:38:35 11:57:07 16:40:32
Friday 26.8 70.9 3:47:14 18:24:33 21:47:16
Saturday 4.5 19.9 8:30:14 27:55:43 24:32:50

Emails Sent & Received by Day

Average emails sent & received by day of the week

Avg. Emails Sent & Received by Day of the Week

Here’s a chart that shows average email activity by day, for each day, excluding spam:

Emails sent & received by day

Average Emails Sent & Received by Hour of the Day

What does a typical workday look like in terms of email activity? Check out the chart below. The X-axis represents each of the 24 hours of a day, where 0 is midnight.

Average emails sent and received by hour of the day

Here we see a pretty clear ramp-up beginning around 7am, with a pre-lunch peak in activity by around 11am.

There’s a dip in activity around noon, which is when most people are probably taking their lunch break. Then, we see another rise in activity, peaking around 2pm before starting a late-afternoon decline. By 7pm, email activity has leveled off for the night.

Average Spam Emails Received by Day

And here’s what spam emails look like over the course of the month:

Average spam emails received by day

Part II: Email Response Time

Response time shows an interesting pattern. If we only record responses within work hours, then every day of the work week actually shows pretty similar response times. But if we look at it from an “actual” perspective (ie, the amount of actual time elapsed between receipt of an email and responding to it), then responses take longer as the week goes on.

Average Email Response Time by Day of the Week

Average response time by day of the week

Average Email Response Time by Day

Here’s the average email response time by day:

Average email response time by day

Again, we see the clear pattern of Mondays being the best day for response times, with a gradual increasing slowness as the week progresses.

Part III: Month-by-Month Meta Analysis

Let’s take a look at how things are progressing month-by-month:

Emails Sent & Received by Month

Emails sent & received by month

Response Time by Month

Response time by month

We see an interesting divergence here with response time. EmailAnalytics customers’ response time is represented by the yellow and blue lines, while the red line represents all responses received from anyone (EA and non-EA users).

EA customers’ response time is consistently faster than non-EA users.

Closing Thoughts

So, what wisdom can we draw from this data?

1. If you want a fast email response, send your email on a Monday or Tuesday.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays have the fastest response time for both recipients and senders. As the week goes on, response times get slower.

2. …But if you want a thorough, detailed response, maybe pick a Friday.

People are dealing with the most email activity on Mondays. As such, they might be more likely to send a reply quickly so they can move on to the next email in their inbox. Fridays have the lowest email volume of the work week. So your recipient is more likely to have more time to respond to your email if you send it on a Friday.

3. If you want to improve your email response time (or your team’s), use EmailAnalytics.

EmailAnalytics customers respond to emails over 64% faster than non-EmailAnalytics customers, and that is likely at least partially due to the Hawthorne effect.

The Hawthorne effect says that simply knowing you’re being monitored — even if you’re the one monitoring yourself — causes your behavior to change. If you monitor your email response time, it’s likely to improve. If you monitor your team’s email response time and activity, it’s likely to improve.

What gets measured gets improved.

4. Use this benchmark data to see how your team measures up.

How many emails does your team send and receive every day? What is their average response time? You can use this data to benchmark your own performance (or your team’s) in EmailAnalytics. Start a free trial and get instant access to your own email stats — no credit card required, and no software to install.

How do your team’s stats measure up to these benchmarks?

Previous Months’ Reports

See previous months’ research reports here!