I admit it: My email inbox is a disgrace (or at least it used to be). Like all of us, I try to keep up, but when 100 billion business emails are sent every day, it's tough. 

Listen to it later:

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If you're on the receiving end of some of those 100 billion emails, you might be looking for a way to "triage" your incoming messages so the really important ones don't get buried. 

That's how I discovered SaneBox, a service that analyzes your email inbox to learn how you prioritize messages, then sorts emails for you. For me, it was a lifesaver, which is why I invited SaneBox COO Dmitri Leonov to Marketing Smarts to discuss how you can overcome email overload. We'll also talk about how we marketers can keep our emails out of the "Later" folder.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

The best subject line might just be...no subject line (08:59): "We actually looked at some of our internal data and also read some research. Do you know what the best subject line is? Literally blank subject line...because it's surprising. You don't know what's happening. You want to see what's going on there."

But don't start leaving your subject line blank every time (10:04): "It's a short-term fix. Sending an email with a blank subject might get you a higher open rate this week. Maybe next week too. But then if you keep doing it it's going to not work any more.... People catch on pretty quickly."

The best way to avoid the "Later" folder is to write emails people want to see now (10:11): "I think authenticity, not being click-baity, providing value is...nothing new and we've heard this a million times, but it remains true." 

It's not the end of the world if your marketing email gets filtered into a subfolder or tab—people will read it later, when they may more receptive (16:22): "The thing that...marketers don't realize is that having your newsletter go into Gmail's Promotions tab or the 'Sane Later' folder is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, we have a folder called 'Sane News,' an optional folder you can enable that captures specifically newsletters.

"The thing about it that's great is I don't want to be interrupted with newsletters in the middle of the day. But at the end of the day or whenever I want to read newsletters, it's perfect to have all of them in one place. We haven't measured this, but I [would] think the click rate on those emails will be higher because you're not click-baiting people."

To learn more, visit SaneBox.com/smart (that link saves you $20) or follow the company on Twitter: @SaneBox. You can follow Dmitri on Twitter: @Dmitri. (The way he got that Twitter handle is a good story, which you can hear in the podcast.)

Dmitri and I talked about more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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