New research reveals that the average British email account has 260 emails sitting unopened in it – which equates to more than 14 billion across the country – with the majority of them coming from brands.

A Webtrends study of 2,000 British consumers found that 56% of those untouched emails were sent out en masse by brands, with recipients surmising the content to be irrelevant to them.

John Fleming, Webtrends marketing director for EMEA & APAC, said that people were happy to sign up to receive updates from brands, but only bother reading the ones considered relevant. As well as seeing companies waste their money, Fleming highlighted how it’s also turning people off a brand completely, with 36 percent of Brits unsubscribing from brand communications through lack of interest.

Such “brand spam” is clearly taking its toll on British users, with 84 percent of people saying irrelevant brand spam drives them mad. Webtrends suggest that brands need to get more personal to keep Brits on side; of the 20 per cent of Brits who never open brand emails, 60 percent say they would be more likely to open them if the subject line was addressed directly to them.

The online analytics provider also revealed 36 percent of unopened emails to be that of genuine spam, which, given the potential dangers to a computer of some unsolicited bulk emails, is likely to be a result of a safety-first approach.