The e-mail false-positive epidemic

* The financial impact of missing e-mails

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In this newsletter, we’re continuing the findings from our colleague, Peter Brockmann, concerning Brockmann & Company’s research on e-mail in business. Read the first newsletter in this short series here.

Peter commented: “As part of our study of 475 business e-mail users, we asked them to describe their most valuable e-mail, and then to estimate the financial impact on their business if that e-mail had not arrived. We were most surprised to learn that the average most valuable e-mail was $12 million. Many were in the $1,000 and $5,000 range. A few outliers were in excess of $1 billion. That’s because they were the best and final bid responses where the customer insisted on e-mail-only responses!

“Virtually all of the 300-plus anecdotes of the most valuable e-mail were e-mail delivering a purchase order, some transactional confirmation, a process change notice with revenue implications or otherwise business process-oriented notification. Yet, despite the value of these communication objects, and despite the fact that nearly everyone regards e-mail as very important to the success of our firms, over a third reported that their enterprise had lost business because an e-mail didn’t arrive. An average of 40 good messages per year are retrieved from junk folders. What about the good e-mails that we don’t know about? Are any of them our average ‘most valuable?’”

In the next newsletter, Peter will discuss the empirical link between business performance and the spam index that was discussed in the previous newsletter. But we’d also like to hear from you. How do your experiences compare with those that Peter has been reporting?

By the way, in the next newsletter, the word “spam” will not appear. Instead, we’ll use sp&m. And we’ll let you know why at that time.

In the meantime, you may download a copy of 'The Problem with Email' report at Webtorials.

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