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Email Overload? It’s Your Company’s Spam Filter’s Fault

By January 20, 2016August 17th, 2017Blog

What is 30 seconds of your life worth? Frankly, you might spend more than 30 seconds musing about the answer, but if you’re being paid by the hour then the answer has already been decided for you: 1/120th (or about 0.85%) of your hourly rate.

That may not sound like much, but if you have unsecured email, essentially anyone on the planet who can get to an Internet-connected device is in a position to steal 30 seconds from you, because that is about how long it takes to examine and react to an item of unsolicited email.

Scam Spam

The situation can be dire without even considering the usual drift of scam spam and phishing emails, because there are plenty of legitimate organizations who think they have legitimate reasons you should see their email. And these are more insidious than scam spam since you’ll be tempted to spend that 30 seconds to gauge the importance of the item and its message. The scam spam you’ll typically spot immediately, or your spam filter will block it.

For instance, a doctor at the Penn State College of Medicine logged all the professional mass-distribution emails he received in the course of an academic year. There were 2,035, of which 450 were from his department, 1,501 from the rest of the medical center, and 84 from the rest of the university.

These were not scam spams, but emails from senders who assumed that the doctor, from his affiliation, might conceivably want to hear from them. They were about information technology issues, academic and professional development, clinical issues, research issues, education issues, and social events. None were from Nigerian millionaires needing help to move money out of the country. None pretended to come from a traveling boss asking that large sums be sent to a third party, for an “acquisition.”

But they still cost money—big money. Assuming it took 30 seconds to react to each one, those unsolicited emails consumed almost exactly 17 hours of the doctor’s time over the year. Plugging in the average doctor salary at the medical center, those 2,035 emails cost $1,641 per doctor—and that were 629 doctors at the facility, meaning that email cost the facility just over a million dollars yearly.

Nor is there any guarantee that it only takes 30 seconds to handle an email. At what point do you stop reading it and file it away? That assumes you have a filing system that will accommodate it. The average—and the resulting costs—may have to be multiplied by two or three.

Clearly, email can be a threat to daily productivity, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The expensive example cited above assumes that email automatically includes unsolicited email. What if it doesn’t?

If all the mail that arrives is from certified people or parties who have demonstrated a verified interest in corresponding with you, that threat goes away. Email becomes a productivity tool, not a time sink.

Conventional Email Filters

Trying to do that with a conventional email filter won’t work. If you are overloaded with email, a conventional email filter is what you have. Scam spams may not pass the corporate filter as they possess patterns that the filters can spot. But machine-generated email from legitimate parties does not—and swamps your inbox. If the IT department tightens the filter enough to block them, there will be false positives, people will start missing selected newsletters—and they’ll howl.

There’s an alternative—the Sendio way. By controlling the source of email, through techniques like a Sender Verification Process and Silverlisting™, unsolicited email will not arrive, and will therefore never become a threat to productivity. You can request a demo to see just how effective it can be in keeping your organization safe.