Do you remember LBE (Life Before E-mail)?
When I joined the staff of the Baptist and Reflector nearly 27 years ago, “snail mail” was pretty much the only game in town.
Then, along came fax machines and e-mail and the way we communicated skyrocketed into the next century.
As a journalist, e-mail made it easier to communicate with people and to gather the facts and information we needed for news and feature stories. E-mail does have its drawbacks. You learn quickly not to respond to a “nasty” e-mail too quickly because once that “sent” key is pushed, there is no turning back. It’s out there.
Raymond Smith, technology services manager for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, recently sent an e-mail to staff about e-mails. He reported on a recent study of e-mail usage done with over 2,000,000 e-mail users by Yahoo.
Raymond pulled the actual study and gleaned some interesting facts about e-mails that I thought might appeal to a larger audience.
Here they are:
• 47 minutes is median response time
• The most common length of an e-mail reply is five words
• The average e-mail reply for teens is 17 words
• The average 21-35 age group will reply to an e-mail in 21 words
• The average 36-50 age group will reply to an e-mail in 31 words
• The 50 and older group will reply to an e-mail in 40 words
• The median e-mail reply is 47 words
• The average teen will reply to an e-mail in 13 minutes
• The average 21-35 age group will reply to an e-mail in 16 minutes
• The average 36-50 age group will reply to an e-mail in 24 minutes
• The 50 and older group will reply to an e-mail in 47 minutes
• For users who receive lower volume of e-mails the reply rate is about 25 percent
• If a user gets over 100 e-mails a day he or she responds to less than 5 percent of them
• The median e-mail length sent by smartphone is 20 words
• The median e-mail length sent by desktop is 60 words
• E-mails with attachments have the longest reply times
This may be way more than you ever wanted to know about e-mail. If so, just remember the simpler time of LBE.