2.2 Billion Corporate Emails Sent to 12 Million Employees: Our Analysis Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Email Overload

Simple ways to increase email open, click, and engagement rates

Organizations rely on metrics.

They’re how leaders assess financial results, productivity, and sales and marketing activity. They tell us how we’re performing and where we need to improve.

To get those metrics, you must facilitate sustained, data-driven communication with team members and clients.


By giving your run-of-the-mill email communications a facelift.

The Lifespan of a Typical Email Broadcast

When you send an email blast, half of your audience will see it within three hours. On average, 80 percent will see it within 24 hours.

If you send an email in the morning, most of your audience will see it that business day. However, if you send it in the afternoon, about half won’t see it until the following morning.

In both cases, 95 percent of all message interactions will occur by the end of the next business day.

After three days, you’ll see almost no further interaction.

Check out our infographic here

Are Employees Paying Attention to Your Emails?

Attention spans are shorter than ever—and even if recipients opened the message, there’s no guarantee they paid attention to it.

Keep your subject line to seven words or less for the highest attention rates.

Five-word or fewer subject lines have an attention rate of 69 percent, while subject lines over 11 words have an almost 10 percent ignore rate.

Emails sent from a person (leader/name) get more attention than those sent from generic mailboxes. To be more specific, emails sent from a person have an average attention rate of 60 percent, while emails sent from a generic mailbox have an average ignore rate of almost 10 percent.

When to Send Your Emails

When it comes to email, not all days are created equal.

The best time to send employee broadcasts is early in the week.

While most corporate email broadcasts are sent on Thursdays, Tuesday is the highest-performing day.

Want employees to click on something? Sending clickable messaging on Mondays or Tuesdays will give you a full percentage point benefit.

This is a 12 percent increase versus sending later in the week.

Time of Day to Send Emails

Most email blasts go out in the morning. However, our research shows that emails sent in the afternoon garner the highest average attention, readership, and engagement rates.

Yet, when combined with the lifecycle data, we noticed the highest overall engagement when emails appear at the top of an employee’s inbox first thing in the morning or immediately after lunch.

What does that all mean?

If you want an email read the day it was sent, send employee broadcasts before 1 p.m.

Audience Size and Email Content

Does Audience Size Matter?

A smaller audience is a better audience.

As distribution lists increase, attention, readership, and engagement rates generally decline.

It’s funny, you’d expect the total volume of activity to increase with larger audiences, yet smaller lists actually generate more volume at comparable content distribution amounts.

In short, the more targeted your messaging gets, the better it is received.

Best to send focused, relevant content to smaller, more targeted audiences.

Preview Content and Attention

When evaluating broadcast email performance by content type, we noticed something:

Text-centric emails perform better than image-centric ones.

To be more specific, headlines and text in the email preview window currently gain 14 percent more attention than those with high-density images.

In short, headlines capture more attention than banners in the email preview window.

Professional Email Analysis

When people are overwhelmed by email, they start ignoring it.

So how do you know if people are reading or ignoring you? You integrate the PoliteMail tool into Microsoft 365.

This tool allows you to measure, manage, and improve your email communications strategy.

Need some incentive? Communications teams using PoliteMail for at least two years report improved email metrics and better, more streamlined communication.


There are several ways to increase email open, click, and engagement rates: keep subject lines short, skip images, send early in the week before 1 p.m., and use the PoliteMail tool to measure results.

Download out Benchmark Analysis guide here
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