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The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Statistics for 2021

Launching an email marketing campaign is never a bad move especially if you have limited resources. If you’re smart about it, you’re able to deliver your message to the right people — making sure that every dollar counts.

While it’s been around a long time, email marketing statistics suggest that this strategy still works and will remain popular in 2021.


Email Marketing Statistics — Editor’s Choice

  • Emails are more effective than social media at acquiring new customers.
  • Sending 3 abandoned cart emails will result in 69% more orders.
  • You get an average return of $38 for every dollar spent on email marketing.
  • Mobile users account for 50% of all emails opened in 2018.

If you’d like to see more statistics, we’ve compiled a few that should tell you just how it can help your business grow bigger.

General Email Marketing Statistics

To start the list, let’s look at some general email marketing statistics. These should give you a better idea of how popular email marketing is today and how it can help your business grow.

We also have information on some of the challenges that you could face as you run your campaign.

1. There were 3.9 billion email users in 2019.

(Statista)

It’s surprising that despite the popularity of messaging apps and texting, many still use emails to communicate. There were 3.9 billion email users in 2019. And that number is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024.

In 2018, people sent and received roughly 281 billion emails every day globally. By 2023, Statista says that this could grow to 347 billion in 2023. We’ll continue to communicate using email in the years to come.

2. Emails are more effective at acquiring customers than social media.

(McKinsey)

You’d want to use emails because they’re more effective at acquiring new customers than social media. Almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.

91% of U.S. consumers still use emails every day. And emails are more likely to ask their recipients to make a purchase — at least 3 times more than social media posts/messages.

3. There’s been more email engagement in 2019.

(HubSpot)

78% of marketers noticed a spike in email engagement in 2019. That’s despite the decades-old debate over whether email marketing is dead or not.

Out of all industries, travel seems to have the best return on investment (ROI). Industries like media, e-commerce, ad agencies, and software aren’t far behind.

4. 14.8% of emails do not reach the inbox folder.

(Email Tool Tester)

The average email deliverability rate is 85.2% according to Email Tool Tester. That means 14.8% of emails go missing or get caught in the spam folder.

Different factors affect the deliverability of an email. These include the email content, the frequency with which you send emails, and the inactivity of the recipient.

Regarding the last point, you should regularly check your email distribution list and remove inactive users or give them a chance to opt-out.

5. There’s been an uptick in open rates for the education industry in 2020.

(Emarketing Platform)

In 2020, there’s been a spike in open rates for emails in the education sector. It’s the highest across industries at 37%.

The industries that come close to that are banking (37%), hospitality (32%), agriculture (29%), and retail (29%).

The reason for the uptick in education is likely due to the global pandemic and the uncertainty it brought everyone.

6. Marketers mainly use emails for lead generation.

(Mailigen)

According to 89% of marketers, email is their primary channel for lead generation. 54% of them also believe that emails are the most effective type of digital marketing while also being the least difficult.

Email Marketing Statistics for Businesses

These are email marketing statistics that are specific to businesses. See what you can expect when you launch an email marketing campaign in 2021.

This section includes information about the average return on investment for email marketing, what they’re used for, how to collect email leads, and more.

7. The ROI for email marketing is £42 ($57).

(DMA)

In 2019, DMA released a study that states how the ROI for email marketing grew to £42. That’s £10 more than the previous ROI from their last study.

The 2019 report also mentions that marketers still believe that email remains the key strategic channel at 91%. It’s followed by social media at 83%.

8. 87% of marketers use emails to share content.

(Content Marketing Institute)

B2B marketers rank emails in their top 3 distribution channels for promoting content at 87%. On top of the list is social media at 91% followed by website/blog at 89%.

But the Content Marketing Institute does point out that social media and blogs have additional benefits like having their content published on third-party sites and establishing relationships with influencers. These are the reasons why they rank above emails.

9. Landing pages still work best for building an email list.

(Omnisend)

At 23%, landing pages still are the preferred way of signing up users for an email list. But that’s not to say that marketers have not tried other means.

Other popular signup forms include the wheel of fortune (10%), signup boxes (1.3%), and pop-ups (3%). The same report shows that you can ask users to answer up to 3 fields (excluding their email address) and still get a 10% signup rate.

If you use the signup combination of email + phone number, you get the highest signup rate at 10.15%. This is even larger than the email + name combo at 7.41%.

10. Don’t forget about sending abandoned cart emails.

(Oberlo)

You can send 3 abandoned cart emails and it will result in 69% more orders than a single email could. That’s because these users already showed an intention to buy. They just have to be reminded of the pending purchase.

11. Emails have a high return on investment.

(Email Monday)

Did you know that for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can get a return of $38 on average? 1 out of 5 companies reports an ROI of 70:1.

Newsletters are the most effective way of delivering email content to reach marketing campaign objectives. You can use purchase habits to segment the target audience.

12. Lots of marketers use email automation tools.

(Marketing Charts)

64% of B2B marketers are now using email automation tools to send content to clients and leads.

They use automation in two ways. 47% use them for multi-step welcome emails for new contacts. 46% use them for promotional sales-focused campaign emails. Only 28% of them are for transactional emails. 9% are for lead-nurturing programs.

Email Marketing Statistics for Consumers

What kind of emails do consumers like? When are they most active? Do they even want to receive promotional emails?

This section answers all of these questions and more. Get to know the people you’re about to reach out to through these statistics.

13. People open more emails from non-profit organizations.

(Get Response)

Non-profit emails get an open rate of 36.15% which is the highest among all the industries that Get Response analyzed. Agencies got the lowest open rate at 16.10%. That’s good news especially if you’re running a non-profit organization.

Agencies also got the lowest click-through rate at 1.87%. Publishing is the highest performer in this category at 6.46%.

Note: Open rate is the percentage of users that open an email. Click-through rate refers to the percentage of people that click links inside an email.

14. People are more likely to open personalized emails.

(Data Axle)

Emails with personalized subject lines boost open rates by 50%. However, reports stated that only 2% of emails use personalization. In the 2nd quarter of 2017, 98% of emails sent did not personalize their subject headlines which is an indication that marketers did not realize its significance.

In the same period, 1.1% of emails included the recipient’s first and last name. 1.2% were personalized based on factors like browser behavior and purchase history.

15. People like interactive content in their emails.

(MTA)

Adding videos to an email will boost click rates by 300%. That only goes to show that people like having interactive content in their emails. But it doesn’t have to be just videos.

You can add animations that highlight some of the points you’re trying to make in the email. GIF files also work. Having sliders, accordion animations, or collapsible menus also add a sense of interaction.

16. People like to read emails mid-week.

(CoSchedule)

If you’re going to send marketing emails, you should do it mid-week. People are more receptive to receiving emails on those days. The best day to email is Tuesday followed by Thursday and then Wednesday.

As for the time, CoSchedule recommends that you do it at 10 AM. Other options include 8 PM, 2 PM, and 6 AM.

17. People want to receive marketing emails.

(Marketing Sherpa)

Out of 2,057 adults, more than 80% of them said that they’d like to receive promotional emails at least once a month. Around 60% said that they’d prefer to receive emails at least once a week.

96% of people that earn anywhere between $75,000 and $99,900 would like to receive promotional emails from the companies they do business with. 92% of people earning $100,000 and above are also fine with receiving promotional emails.

18. 34% of consumers don’t like getting recommendations that don’t match their interests.

(Adobe Blog)

Adobe mentions in its report that 34% of consumers don’t like it when they’re recommended products that don’t match their interests.

The same report also adds that 21% of consumers who use their mobile devices to check emails hate it when they receive emails that are not optimized for mobile devices.

40% of users want their emails to have more informational content and not just product promotions.

Mobile Email Marketing Statistics

More people are using their mobile devices to read and answer emails these days. In this section, we’ll cover some of the things you need to know about email usage on phones and tablets.

How many emails do people open while on their phones? What operating system is commonly used to read emails? Do people prefer to read emails on phones or tablets? We have the answers.

19. Mobile users account for 50% of all emails opened in 2018.

(Campaign Monitor)

More than 50% of emails opened in 2018 were on mobile devices. Some factors lead to this behavior. These include age, geolocation, industry, and email type.

There are also times when users would open the emails initially on their phones before switching to a desktop later in the day. 40% of people aged 18 and under will always open their emails using their phones.

20. Most mobile emails are read using an iPhone.

(Litmus)

In 2018, most emails are accessed using iPhones at 29%. It’s followed by Gmail Mobile at 27%.

Email marketers have a hard time working with Android because there is a slow adoption rate unlike in Apple’s case. Older Android devices can’t upgrade to more recent OS releases. This leads to a fragmentation of Android that affects email client market share.

21. More people open emails on smartphones than tablets.

(OptinMonster)

Those who do open emails on mobile devices would more likely use a smartphone rather than a tablet. 81% of users open their emails on smartphones. Only 21% use a tablet.

If the recipient reads an email on a mobile device then reads it again on a desktop, there’s a 65% chance that the customer will click through.

Email Marketing Statistics — Conclusion

There’s enough information available to conclude that email will remain big in 2021. But what did we learn from these numbers?

When you launch your email marketing campaign, keep in mind that almost half of your audience will use their mobile devices to read them. You want to make your emails interactive and personalize your subject lines.

Sending emails to remind users of items in their abandoned cart is a good idea. And the best time to send an email is on a Tuesday morning around 10 AM.

Want to Learn More?


Sources

Statista

DMA

Content Marketing Institute

Get Response

Data Axle

Omnisend

MTA

Oberlo

Email Monday

McKinsey

Campaign Monitor

HubSpot

Litmus

OptinMonster

Emarketing Platform

CoSchedule

Marketing Sherpa

Mailigen

Marketing Charts

Adobe Blog