Email Mining: The Numbers Don't Lie


E-mail mining enables companies to pave a path to growth and innovation. We’re certain because the numbers don’t lie: 75% of a company’s “intellectual property” is stored in e-mail and messaging systems. Perhaps even more impressive is that e-mail is 40 times more successful atgaining new customers than both Facebook and Twitter combined!

Is corporate e-mail dying? Is it going the way of the dinosaur? Will e-mail communication soon be replaced by social media? Texting? Instant Messaging?

Recently there have been articles circulating around the web saying that e-mail is on its deathbed and will soon become extinct. It’s supposed replacements? Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook – just to name a few. While these social media sites may be a hot topic, they couldn’t possibly replace e-mail. If you think about it, e-mails were invented long before social media sites were even a conceptual thought, let alone the Internet. Plus, they are considered the number 1 and number 2 mission critical apps in the enterprise. More importantly, too much of a company’s value is buried within them. As Osterman’s research indicates, 75% of a company’s“intellectual property” is stored in e-mail and messaging systems.

Just how is this possible? Let’s take a look at the stats to justify this seemingly high number. Even as businesses migrate to social media sites and CRM messaging platforms, corporate e-mail applications like Microsoft Exchange Server continue to be the primary and preferred form of communication, especially in the B2B sector. Actually, 98% of all business to business communications are sent or delivered via corporate e-mail systems. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that e-mail is 40 times more successful at gaining new customers than both Facebook and Twitter combined! Here’s a chart showing the significant difference in medium effectiveness.


With e-mail as the leading form of communication, about how many corporate e-mail accountsworldwide do you estimate there are? According to a recent report from Radicati, you’re looking at roughly 850 million e-mail accounts. Each of these individual accounts sends and receives approximately 122 emails daily. This massive amount of ongoing e-mail communication consumes about two hours of an employee’s typical 8-hour workday. If you do the calculation, that’s about20% of a person’s entire day dedicated to this one task: e-mailing!

The numbers are more extreme when you consider how a sales person spends their time. According to a survey conducted by SalesForce, sales reps spend 1/3 (or 33%) of their time selling in 2015. From a sales perspective, this number is lower than anticipated. Funny enough, sales repscould be selling more if they weren’t spending 20% of their time entering contact info into the CRM system, completing administrative work, or reporting their results. If this time-consuming work were completely eliminated (getting back to the importance of e-mail mining), you’re ideally looking at roughly half of a sales reps’ day spent e-mailing customers and prospects.

Are you doing anything with this abundance of communications? Are you keeping track of your reps’ success? Are you monitoring their metrics? Have you established ‘sales e-mail’ best practices?

If you’re like the vast majority of people, the answer is probably no. It may not seem like a big deal now, but the fact of the matter is that when a sales rep quits or gets fired, you’ll be left completely in the dark with no knowledge of his/her work. You’re essentially throwing valuable information right out the window including contacts, connections with customers and prospects, and buried sales leads and opportunities! Once you implement an e-mail mining and analytics program, you can extract that this valuable information and put it to good use.

With all of these statistics in mind, it’s no wonder these numbers are not bound to go down anytime soon. If you consider the big data sector and the amount of information constantly being generated, then the collective number of e-mails can realistically only go one way – UP! This means that e-mail databases will need more and more storage space to hold this precious company information. And get this – research shows that one out of every four organizations will have a 25% storage management growth each year to accommodate e-mails. Given the existing sizes of email databases, this 25% growth number is quite impressive.


Like I said from the get-go – the numbers don’t lie. All of the information proves that e-mails are among a company’s most valuable asset. Having said this, companies need to start mining their e-mail databases immediately so they can gain a competitive advantage. This means extracting things like valuable contact information, intellectual property, and actionable business insights. Don’t forget, as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, the longer you wait – the less viable the information is! So what are you waiting for? It’s time to listen to the numbers and take action now.