Have you ever been frustrated because you can’t find an email that you know should be in your email client? And even when you use the search function, you end up with so many search results that you end up having to read through hundreds of emails just to find one you want?
We’ve all been there. And it’s no surprise to find that employees waste up to 12 hours a week trawling their email inboxes. This might sound like a lot but even this is a conservative estimate.
So why are emails so difficult to search?
1. Email remains the #1 method of communication
Even in the world of chat bots, SMS and AI, email remains the number method of communication between customers and suppliers. It’s the primary way that people who know you, and more importantly, people that don’t know you, get in touch. But what if that new unknown contact you thought was spam actually happens to be a potential client that wants to know more about you and your business? With the sheer amount of emails landing in our inboxes every day, it’s becoming increasingly hard to separate the wheat from the chaff and businesses are losing out on opportunities.
2. Bad Indexing
Given how intelligent Google’s search engine is, one would assume that the search powering your email client would be just as effective. But it’s not. This is because of the way that emails are stored and indexed. Badly indexing makes it even harder to find that ‘gem’ hiding in your inbox. And so far, the features that make searching the web so easy are largely absent from email making the task even more difficult.
3. Failure to Evolve
Whilst there have been obvious developments in some of the functionality that email clients offer, the traditional user interface has remained pretty unchanged. Whilst attempts have been made to try and ‘thread’ messages together, the way in which this is done is ugly and counter-intuitive making it difficult to follow chains of conversations.
4. Overuse of Shared Inboxes
The adoption of a shared inboxes or email addresses that are monitored by multiple persons (such as info@, enquiries@, hello@ etc) are regularly used by businesses. But remembering which email address a particular email was sent went to can be confusing if not impossible meaning that you might have to search several email inboxes before you find that specific email you are looking for.