You might wonder how email is used in today’s world, especially if you don’t use it daily. When developed, it revolutionized how we worked and communicated, allowing us to regularly talk to people we never otherwise would have. It became the savior and bane of the workplace, with people still talking about wasting time dealing with email.
Yet email has changed its role perhaps a little bit in the last decade due to the rise of other technologies. We can now message anyone from practically anywhere if we have their phone number or a connection on a social network. You can send files through those channels as well. Slack channels or workplace tools are often used instead of mass emails to the entire company. And thankfully, the time of endless spam is now mostly over now that filters in email clients mostly keep the uninvited guests away.
Nonetheless, email persists, and it’s a fantastic marketing tool. And the statistics are there to back it up, with professionals relying on email marketing for their careers and business success. Yet what do the numbers say?
General Email Statistics
Before we talk about the role of email in the world of marketing, let us go over a few statistics to show how email is still prominent in many, if not most, people’s lives and how people are using it:
- There are a lot of email users in the world. The general estimate for 2022 puts the total number at about 4.3 billion email users. For the sake of comparison, there are about 5 billion general internet users and 4.65 billion social media users as of April 2022. There might not be much more room for email to grow, especially considering to have a social media account; you probably need an email account.
- The exact numbers might vary a little bit depending on which statistics and the exact time you look at. Nonetheless, billions of people use email, with about 4 billion people using email every day.
- Everyone has an email account, but what about the number of emails sent? Based on data from Statista, the number of emails sent in 2020 was 306.4 billion per day. In 2022 the estimated number of emails will be 333.2 billion per day. Note again that this number is per day and not per year. The total number becomes nearly unfathomable if you look at the year. People will send millions upon millions of emails by the time you finish reading this article. Just webmail alone would be hard to comprehend. Believe us when we say email is going strong. For more detailed numbers over the years, look below:
- As you can see, the trend is upward, and it is predicted that we will only use email more as time goes on, both from a rise in the number of people using email and an increase in the number of reasons to use email.
- While we’ll get into its significance a bit more later, the average email open rate is 19.66 percent worldwide. However, if you compare this to other forms of advertising and communication, you realize this isn’t all that bad of a rate.
- The open rate is not universal across the world. If we break it down by continent, Europe takes the lead with an open rate of 25.18 percent and then North America with 23.53 percent. On the lower end of the scale, we have Asia with an open rate of only 15.12 percent. For more details, look below, though sadly, we do not have information on Antarctic email open rates.
- Making sure an email is readable on a mobile device is essential because most emails are read on one. About 41 percent of email views are on mobile devices, 39 percent on desktops, and a surprising 19 percent on tablet devices. An email app will do most of the work, but it helps to know how an email will look ahead of time if it’s out of the ordinary.
- What do people use to read their emails? Are people creating more Gmail accounts, still working with Hotmail, or using something more like Outlook and importing multiple accounts?
- It’s actually none of those mentioned above; instead, Apple is the clear winner, perhaps due to the popularity of the devices in the United States. Just take a look at the breakdown below:
- You should also note that when it comes to desktop clients, Outlook email is still going relatively strong, despite being seen as old by some.
General Email Marketing Statistics
Now getting into email marketing, let’s look at what marketers are doing within the space and how customers and potential customers are responding:
- Email marketing revenue is up and expected to go up for years. Consider the following information from Statista:
- The future years are predictions for now, but there’s no reason to believe the industry won’t grow in such a way. It’s big business, just like anything else, and more email marketing will likely be needed as more brands come on the market, and more people start using email.
- Marketers universally use email as a core component of their strategy. About 87 percent of marketers use it to distribute content. This puts it right at the top alongside social media.
- Email is not just a tool for online companies and big brands. About 64 percent of small businesses use it to reach customers as well. It isn’t as many that use social media (which is, in general, the king of widespread uses in today’s connected world), but more than video marketing.
- Marketing departments are noticing it more as well. About 37 percent of brands are increasing their email marketing budget. Only a little more than one percent are cutting it.
Frequency, Timing, and Automation
How often should a marketer or company send out an email? How many emails get annoying? What is optimal when it comes to email marketing? Email marketing is just as much about statistics and the proper use of the data one has as it is about the composition and design of the email itself (although the importance of that is never to be understated). It is also about timing, with many people not even glancing at the emails they receive in the off hours.
That means it is up to marketers to sometimes send out emails to as many people as possible at the right time with the right subject lines and to the right people. That’s a lot to handle and a lot to comprehend. So let’s look at some of the statistics surrounding these topics:
- Is the best day of the week to send a marketing email? It doesn’t appear to be the case. While there is something of a dip in the weekend, overall, there is no massive change regarding the open rate. Monday or Friday, it is all the same to the average consumer.
- What about the time? Is there a time of day that gets a higher open rate or more sales? It seems to be the case in a limited capacity, with the period between 7 AM and 9 AM working well. Additionally, around 6 PM works well for getting more conversions and orders.
- Although there is a particular difficulty when timing emails unless you know you have a regional audience, what will be 8 AM for one person receiving the email will be 5 AM for another. And marketers don’t always have time zone data for customers to organize them into the appropriate lists and time out the emails. Essentially, marketers have to guess a range and work from there.
- And automation of email has been a big trend over the last decade, with programs and tools available to marketers to speed up monotonous tasks and easily keep track of lists, templates, and more.
- The other side of this is that digital tools allow marketing professionals to easily keep track of how their email campaigns are doing. Depending on the tools used, one can quickly check the response rate, open rate, and more of a separate email sent to a list. The exact tracked metrics might vary from campaign to campaign, but overall this allows for adjustments and unfruitful campaigns to be abandoned in favor of something better.
- It’s already heavily used, with 51 percent of companies using automation. This rises to 64 percent for B2B email marketing efforts.
- The first welcome email gets a much better reception than the other ones. While the average email open rate hovers around 19 or 20 percent, the average open rate for a welcome email is a surprising 90 percent.
- There are other occasions where the open rate or effectiveness of email is pronounced. Abandoned cart emails, especially multiple abandoned cart emails, result in more sales. Specifically, 8.24 percent of cart recovery emails lead to a sale, while the average email conversion rate hovers around one percent. Essentially, if there has been more interaction or expressed interest in a brand, consumers will be more willing to hear from that brand.
- Sending too many emails or sending the wrong email can have negative consequences. According to the global interruptive ads survey done by Hubspot, 78 percent of people unsubscribed from emails because they were too frequent. This is the most common reason, followed by the topics not aligning with their interests. Users could select more than one reason, as happens in real life when someone decides to unsubscribe.
B2C Email Marketing
Now looking at the main thing that most people think of when it comes to email marketing, the B2C setup, and model. You might find that it’s not unique or that it’s so common that it’s hard to think of much else when it comes to email marketing, but there are trends and unwritten rules to follow to be successful in the space. Here are some of the main things marketers should know:
- In a void, email marketing appears to create a somewhat “neutral” response from consumers instead of a heavily positive or negative one. This means that compared to other forms of advertising, emails aren’t offending anyone who happens to see and open them, but they might not be as enlightening or helpful as they are intended. They create this neutral response more than any other surveyed form of marketing.
- Most B2C marketers will consider marketing emails a major distribution channel for content, with 79 percent of marketers using it as an organic channel.
- Yet, being neutral does not mean that all customers will be okay with receiving many of them. About 15 percent of respondents said that such emails would lower the image of a company in their eyes. It’s not telemarketing (81 percent) or pop-up ads (70 percent), but some consumers want to avoid all of it.
- And whatever people might think of them, B2C marketing emails do work. About 50 percent of people buy something mentioned in a marketing email at least once a month.
- Additionally, 59 percent of respondents to a survey stated that marketing emails influenced their purchasing.
B2B Email Marketing
Not all marketing is done to customers; that’s just the marketing you see most of the time. In the business-to-business world, it is also crucial to line up new clients and customers (often much more valuable than in the consumer market), which often look quite different. Nonetheless, email is used heavily here, so let’s take a look at some relevant trends and statistics:
- Out of B2B marketers, 93 percent use an email channel to distribute content.
- When it comes to B2B buyers, they aren’t afraid to send your email content further than you thought. A surprising 72 percent are willing to share useful information or content via email. If you reach one buyer with the correct email, you might reach a bunch of them.
- For B2B marketers, the most common form of email marketing outreach was the email newsletter, which is popular with most types of businesses with regular clients and customers.
- 40 percent of B2B marketers state that the email newsletter is essential to their marketing strategy. It is a pillar with some companies that will not drop.
- What B2B emails have the highest click-through rates? Generally, those are the emails that announce a major update or feature. Essentially, the emails with something important and relevant to say.
- Marketing strategies are working as intended, and marketers are happy about them for the most part. About 64 percent of B2B marketers found their strategy successful in meeting goals in 2021.
The Effectiveness of Email Marketing
All of this sounds great, but when and where is it practical and effective? The answer is yes, but let’s break it down a bit further than that:
- If you take away any statistic from this article, take away this: Every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign provides a return on that investment of 36 dollars. That is a great return and should silence any arguments against email marketing as part of your overall strategy.
- This is why building an email subscription list for your brand should be a top priority. It keeps customers engaged after their initial purchase or interest, and you can send much more information than just a simple ad or social media post.
- Note that just because this statistic exists doesn’t mean you should dump your entire budget into email marketing. You know that’s not how it works, and each form of marketing has its place in the ecosystem and way of getting potential leads and customers engaged. It’s just that when someone is in the system, email is often the way to go.
- The return is actually a bit lower than in previous years, with the return being about $46 for every dollar spent in some years. Email marketing has gotten a bit more complex and expensive. With many marketers perfecting it, it has lost some edge or novelty with some customers, who now treat it like anything else. Nonetheless, it is still by far the best investment.
- People want to hear about offers and news from their favorite brands, if not always so often as marketers would like. According to one poll, 49 percent of consumers prefer to get brand emails from their favorite retail brand weekly. Eleven percent want emails daily, and 40 percent want monthly emails. Marketers should take confidence in this and know that their messages want to be read, but perhaps quality over quantity is vital.
- The numbers are similar for banks and favorite restaurants, though when it comes to telecommunications providers, people generally only want to hear from them once a month. Naturally, each brand’s specifics can vary greatly, as many factors influence consumer response.
- Some people can’t wait or take the opportunity to look as soon as they see it. About 22 percent of email campaigns are opened within an hour of being sent.
The Future of Email Marketing
These statistics say a lot, but what can we learn about the big picture? What should marketers and even the average user look for regarding email and email marketing? While we cannot predict anything for sure in the world of technology except change and progress in some form, here are a few things we are keeping our eyes on:
- The email marketing list continues to be a key part of email marketing, and instead of trying to grab attention in the first place, email marketing will likely take a role later in the funnel, so to speak. Retention is just as necessary as generating leads in many industries.
- An email that is just a wall of text or a picture that people cannot easily act on is not nearly as effective as something that is more interactive. Interactive emails and those that include videos and more dynamic elements will generally get more attention than their basic text-based counterparts.
- Automation and tools to create and send emails will be key to marketers in the coming years. There won’t be robots writing the marketing emails for people anytime soon (if ever), but we will see more tools to speed things up, make predictions, and make recommendations given the audience involved. In short, it will allow
- We also might see automation and AI take more of a role in personalizing emails to a target audience. A marketer cannot manually tailor an email to thousands or even millions of individual users, especially when perhaps 80 percent of those emails will not be opened.
- And deeply related to this is the role of data, statistics, and information-gathering in email marketing. It will become increasingly important as email marketing gets even more competitive, and marketers need to know exactly what consumers want. And with some of the data collection tools people use regularly, automated personalized emails are already popular.
- And on the other side of the equation, we might see more active and aggressive subscription options and filters to keep unwanted emails away. In Gmail, social media and promotional emails are automatically sorted into their folders for the most part. There are even more automated sorting options for the user willing to try out different settings and learn about the platform. Marketers want to avoid those filters and avoid being flagged as spam, which will be a constant concern for the foreseeable future.
Email marketing is here with us to stay, and it will continue to develop as marketers find innovative uses and email platforms improve. It might not be as prevalent or spammy as it was in the past for the average user, but it is just as expected, and people and marketers rely on it. Look more intensely and critically at the next few emails you receive and their context, and you’ll learn a lot. Additionally, look for some of the changing trends in the world of email, whether they come about suddenly or gradually. We hope this article helped you learn more about email and invite you to return to this article as needed.