I want the equivalent of Google Analytics for my inbox.  I know there are tons startups working on the email inbox and analytics solution – but none that focus on just stats that I know of.  There is Xobni, Etacts, Rapportive, Gist, and now even Gmail has Gmail Priority Inbox.

None of these solve for the analytics problem.

I want the following legend – or something similar

Visits = Emails
Pageviews = Threads
Pages/Visit = Threads/Emails
Bounce Rate = Emails never returned
Return Rate = Emails answered back
Avg. time on Site = Average time spent per email
New visits = % of emails from people who have never emailed me before
Previous emails = % of emails from people who have emailed me before

Thats just the first page of Google Analytics! (The items in bold are the inverse of some functions and do not currently have a GA equivalent.)

Some of the other sections that you could continue the same exercise with are  Top Content for things like common subjects, common themes and words, and even attachements.

Goals would be the equivalent of how quickly you answer back emails and when you are most productive.  You could set your own “conversion funnels” which could be things like:

“How fast do I answer New Emails”
or
“How fast do I answer emails with folks I previously emailed with”

I recognize this level of data granularity is probably not interesting to most, but it would be very cool to start being able to see this data and optimize towards your own personal goals.

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17 responses to “Analytics for Email”

  1. Riaz Kanani Avatar

    agreed – google must have the data – maybe a 20% project for one of the google employees?

  2.  Avatar

    They definitely HAVE the data – now its hoping someone wants to tackle this
    problem in their 20% time 🙂

  3. Spencer Fry Avatar

    I really like this idea. I think it might mean I’d spend even more time doing email, though. 🙂

  4.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Agree with your thinking Eric. Most systems rely on 1px by 1px gifs in the email to test for open rates etc. What happens for plain text emails i.e. on BlackBerry and if people view the email without the pictures. Poor resultant data

    You can add Google analytics tracked links within the email but that’s only going to be of value if they click your links.

    Sorry to be a pessimist but there is little that can be done since you can’t add in any script to emails and mail clients are more diverse in what they allow and disallow than browsers. I take my hat off to anyone who does.

    cheers

    Andy Fairweather

  5.  Avatar

    I think you are right, but this is for tracking outbound email. This system
    would be for inbound emails only found in your own inbox.

    If someone can find a way to track outbounds without a tracking pixel that
    would be very valuable.

  6. Denis Baranov Avatar

    Eric, what is the value of these data besides personal interest? Software can definitely use it for sorting your inbox, but I do not see any use for a dashboard.

  7. Denis Avatar

    Eric, what is the value of these data besides personal interest? Software can definitely use it for sorting your inbox, but I do not see any use for a dashboard.

  8. Don Avatar

    Eric,
    Can certainly think of how to instrument something like this for desktop email clients like Microsoft Outlook if not for web-based email app…
    How much do you reckon you would pay for something like this?
    Cheers,
    Sumanth

  9.  Avatar

    Personal interest for sure – roll that up to management and you have
    efficiency management.

  10.  Avatar

    Was asked this question this morning – I envision it as a freemium offering
    which does the first X messages free then tiers for mailbox size.

    Example

    1,000 – free
    5,000 – $5.00
    10,000 – $10.00

    per month

  11. John R. Sedivy Avatar

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but this definitely makes sense. Personally I find that I take a greater interest in things that have metrics attached. The metrics allow me to set goals and improve in key areas to meet them. Something like this could certainly make e-mail marketing a more effective tool.

  12. henryyates Avatar

    I have been searching for this solution for the past month. It would be so useful for my sales activity. The key metrics I would need would be when last opened and number of views – MailChimp does this well, but I want it in my Gmail….

  13. Riaz Kanani Avatar

    Somehow I cant see Gmail passing stats about how people who receive your emails interact with them. I can see people leaving gmail in droves if that were to happen and the media would have a field day. Usually good CRM platforms integrate with email clients (like outlook) to deliver emails which then pass back metrics good for sales.

    Given your use of Mailchimp, Rapportive has an addon which connects to it and would probably allow you to obtain metrics inside Gmail.

  14. henryyates Avatar

    Thanks Riaz – I use Rapportive so I will take a look

  15. Jeremy Waite Avatar

    Great article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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