Is email marketing still relevant? 8 eye-opening facts about email

You've probably have heard many marketers asking the question, “Is email dead?”

Well, we’re here to tell you that not only is it alive and well—it's also beating other forms of marketing in effectively reaching prospects.

In fact, the relevance of email shouldn’t be a question at all. Although this technology has been ubiquitous since the ‘90s, it’s still the most direct line to internet users today.

A Radicati Group study reveals that over 3.8 billion people around the globe will use email in 2018—half of the world’s entire population.

According to Lifewire, that’s 100 million more people than were using it in 2017.

By 2022, over 4.2 billion people are expected to be email users, according to projections from the same Radicati Group study.

There’s no question that modern internet surfers are actively using email. They’re reading it, sending it, and, most importantly, engaging with marketing messages from businesses.

To help prove just how relevant email is, and just how engaged email users are, we’ve gathered facts, quotes, and statistics that show exactly what's going on in users' inboxes. These eye-opening truths demonstrate that email isn’t going anywhere.

8 facts and statistics that prove email's relevance 

Is email marketing still relevant?

Yes, without a doubt.

If you remain skeptical, check out these 8 solid truths:

1. Hundreds of billions of emails are sent each day.

Data from Statista reveals that over 269 billion emails were sent each day in 2017. Meanwhile, in 2018, the number of emails sent per day is expected to top 280 billion.

People are engaging with their email accounts, and it’s still one of the major online channels of communication. If you tap into it with your marketing skills, you can potentially reach masses of people who are ready to read your content.

2. Email is the most effective content distribution format.

Overwhelmingly, B2C marketers report that email is their most successful channel for distributing content.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2C Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report, 72% agree that email is tops. (Social media and blogs come in second place with 61% and 47% of marketers championing them, respectively.)

 


3. Is your email marketing not working? Don't give up just yet. 

According to top marketer Jay Baer, 

“There is NOTHING in digital marketing more important than email, right?

Even with social media, bots, apps, and all the rest - email is still how we communicate to most of our customers and prospects.

But the problem is, most email programs have a nagging cough and a persistent fever. Most email programs are sick in one or more ways.”

In other words, email is one of the most important ways to communicate with your base. If your email marketing isn’t working, your email program is “sick” and needs help.

Email isn’t the problem–it’s how you approach doing email marketing that matters. It's a combination of how you solve email marketing problems, like low open rates, low click-through rates, high unsubscribe rates, as well as execute and refine new strategies. 

For instance, Jay recommends not panicking if your email data points change incrementally for the worse. Instead, wait. Let enough email sends happen so an accurate picture of your success with email can become clear before you act prematurely.

If your email program is failing or underperforming, look at it like this: If it could talk, it would say, “It’s not me–it’s you.” But don't worry—this is fixable and why we're here to help! 

4. A majority of adults send or read email daily.

In the United States, the most popular online activity for adults is sending/reading email. 85% of internet users spend their time this way every single day.

So, if you want a direct line to your adult audience, email is the way to go.

5. Teenagers are still using email, too.

If you think you can’t reach younger demographics through email, think again.

Teenagers are often associated with texting, social media, and social messaging/multimedia apps like Snapchat and Instagram. However, while there are plenty of modern alternatives, teenagers are still using email.

From their study of 1,200 internet users spanning from teens to baby boomers, Adestra found that 78% of teens use email regularly. Of those teens aged 14-18, nearly 78% call it a “fact of everyday life.” Among young adults aged 19-24, about 84% feel the same way.

6. Millennials are email-obsessed.

Let’s not forget about millennials in their mid-twenties to early thirties—they’re even more obsessed with email than teens.

According to a 2017 Adobe Campaigns consumer email survey, this generation checks their email anywhere and everywhere. That includes while watching their favorite TV show, while lying in bed, during their vacation, while talking on the phone, during a meal, and even when they’re in the bathroom.


7. When your emails are targeted and relevant, tons of people will engage.

What happens when a customer receives a relevant email sent to them based on their online behaviors, also known as a triggered email? More than likely, they will open that message and engage with the content.

In an email marketing benchmarks study from 207, marketing researchers found that triggered emails had a 46.84% open rate and a click-through rate of 11.13%.

Of course, many variables impact open rates and click-through rates. However, HubSpot collected some benchmark data that helps us establish a frame of reference.

Among a pool of over 11,500 of their customers, they looked at various-sized companies who sent varying numbers of email campaigns over the course of one month. They measured the open rates and came up with median numbers representative of each type of company—those with 1-10 employees, 11-25 employees, 26-200 employees, or over 201 employees.

Overwhelmingly, median open rates across all company sizes and numbers of monthly email campaigns hovered between 25% and 35%.

That means the open rate for triggered emails (46.84%) is about 11% higher than the highest median open rate achieved by any company. (The highest rate went to companies with 1-10 employees that send out 16-30 email campaigns per month.)

In other words, when your emails are targeted and relevant to the online user, they will get opened. That means your email marketing has an amazing chance of finding its audience, which is always the end goal.

8. Consumers want to hear from you through email.

Remember that Adobe Campaigns survey we already mentioned? Let’s return to it for another compelling statistic that proves the relevance of email marketing:

61% of consumers would rather receive communications from brands through email versus any other channel. (Direct mail came in second place with just 16% who prefer it.) Plus, that 61% majority represents a 24% increase of people who prefer email over last year’s poll.

Consumers prefer email for brand communications over not only direct mail, but also social media, text messages, chatbots, and brand apps. That’s a great indicator of just how relevant email marketing still is.

Even more importantly, consumers want to receive personalized emails that are informative. They also don’t want companies to bombard their inboxes. If you stick to these guidelines, your email marketing has an incredible chance to make a positive impact on your brand.

Wrap up

Overwhelmingly, email marketing has a better chance of reaching your target audience than any other method or communication channel. Thus, the question “Is email marketing still relevant?” shouldn’t even be a question. It should be a statement.

Email marketing is still relevant.

On social media, your posts are blips on your readers’ radar, and then they’re gone forever. If you blog, there’s a good chance your reader won’t see your content unless you direct them to your new posts. Finally, paid search and paid ads can quickly get expensive, and most readers will find them annoying.

On the other hand, email marketing is what consumers prefer. Half of the entire globe uses it and a vast majority check their inboxes daily. That includes generations of people, from teenagers to millennials, to baby boomers and older adults.

To put it bluntly, email remains the only channel where your organic reach is solid. Are you willing to gamble that?

About the Author

Lane Harbin

Lane Harbin is a senior content marketing manager at Emma. When she’s not geeking out over email marketing, she enjoys binge-listening to podcasts, catching up on the latest tech news, and constantly rearranging her living room.

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