20 Eye-Opening Email Marketing Stats You Should Know

by Christina Hooper on March 4, 2020
in General

As a business owner, you’ve probably heard a thing or two mentioned out there about email marketing as a way to keep your customers engaged or to reach new customers. But most of it is just people saying “you should do this” without offering you a reason why.

So if you own a business, and you want to grow it, and your customers are likely to buy from you more than once - then keep on reading and I’ll tell you why you need to take a serious look at implementing email as part of your marketing strategy.

#1: 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed. (Forrester Research)

This means you are more likely to get in front of people in their email inbox than you are on social media.

#2: 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015)

When you’re trying to determine frequency, take a second and look at your email and see what the value is. If your customer would find your information extremely valuable on a daily basis, then you can send more frequently. Otherwise, start with monthly or weekly and watch your open and click-through rates to determine what works for you and your customers.

#3: Email messages that are automatically sent in response to a customer action (i.e. making a purchase or downloading content) see 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than standard email messages. (Epsilon)

This is because customers are expecting these emails and therefore more receptive to their message.

#4: 79% of email marketing messages reach inboxes. 15% are missing/unaccounted for. 7% are designated as span and never make it to the inbox. (ReturnPath)

Not every email you send will make it to the person you’re sending it to. Make sure you design it with spam filters in mind and avoid language that can get you landed in the spam box. Also, make it easy to unsubscribe and don’t buy lists of email addresses. If people don’t want to hear from you - they aren’t likely to buy from you - so there’s no point in pestering them.

#5: Email notifications about abandoned carts have a 40.5% open rate. (eMarketer, 2015)

Abandoned carts occur in e-commerce when someone adds a product to their cart, but they don’t check out. By sending an email to them reminding them about the products they wanted, you can recover some of the lost sales.

#6: As the number of images in an email increases, the clickthrough rate of the email tends to decrease. (HubSpot, 2014)

I suspect this is because many sales-related emails tend to be full of images while emails that are hand-written to you are typically mostly text. So we tend to pay more attention when there are less images.

#7: One-third of millennial workers are comfortable using emojis to communicate with a direct manager or senior executive (Adobe, 2015)

This indicates that millennials don’t see emojis (emotion icons like smiley faces) as something unprofessional. So if you’re targeted millennials, feel free to use them.

#8: Email subject lines that include the words “thank you” have the highest above-average engagement levels. (Adestra, 2015)

Engagement includes opens, clicks, and replies. When someone is engaged, you are more likely to be able to retain them and sell to them. So anything that increases engagement is good!

#9: Emails that include the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher clickthrough rates than emails that did not. (HubSpot, 2014)

This makes a lot of sense. We’re simply trained to recognize our name and pay attention to it. So it’s not surprising that we gravitate towards emails addressed to us. Most email marketing platforms will make it easy for you to insert the name personalization into a subject, so keep an eye out for that.

#10: 66% of unsubscribes occur between 5 and 10 pm (Tomasz Tunguz,


This is not surprising either. By the end of the day, you are simply less willing to deal with stuff and will be more easily irritated. So it’s a great time to reduce the email noise by unsubscribing. For you though, this means you’ll want to send your newsletters out before 5pm.

#11: Two-thirds of emails are read on either smartphones or tablets. (Marketing Land, 2015)

Most email marketing software will optimize your email for mobile devices automatically, but always make sure you send a test email to yourself and check it on your phone to make sure it rocks before sending it out.

#12: Email marketing yields an average 4,300 percent return on investment for businesses in the United States. (Outbound Engine)

This one speaks for itself. When done correctly, email marketing more than pays for the time and effort and budget it takes to do it.

#13: Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)

Again - mostly speaks for itself. If you use lead nurturing and get good at it, you’ll get more leads that are ready to buy and it will cost you less to get them. Lead nurturing is the process of working a lead up to the point they are ready to buy over multiple interactions. In this case, we’re talking about using emails over time to build them up to the point of purchase.

#14: 49% of marketers (up from 20% percent in 2015) claim email is directly linked to their business’ primary revenue source. (Salesforce)

So basically - a lot of marketers that use email as a tool day-in-day-out noted that email is a primary stream of new business for a company. Meaning it overtook traditional sales tactics like phone, direct mail, and print as well as social marketing. That’s pretty cool when you think about it and goes to show how important email can be.

#15: There is a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns. (Campaign Monitor)

Segmented campaigns are when you take your whole email list and you group people together by some common trait they all share. Then you send emails directed at each group that fit their needs, wants, etc. It’s no surprise that this works so well. Imagine if you sell to parents. Even something as simple as segmented Moms vs Dads would change your email verbiage and approach a lot. But gender is just one factor - you can segment on age, buying habits, how they’ve interacted with you in the past (such has never opened an email before, opened lots of emails before).

#16: Email is 40x more effective at generating customers than Facebook or Twitter. (McKinsey & Company)

While there are a high number of users on social media, email provides a quieter, more intimate, one-on-one relationship between you and them. Besides, as of 2014, 91% of all US consumers still use email daily - making it almost as frequent as social media, so it’s nothing to sneeze at.

#17: 64% of decision-makers read email on mobile devices. (EmailExpert)

This is another one that’s not surprising if you think about it for a minute. Decision-makers tend to be on the go a lot. Even if they are at their desk, they are likely to have their screens otherwise occupied with no room for email. I know I fit into that demographic for sure. I’m the co-owner of Sparkitive, so I’m definitely a decision-maker. And despite the fact that I have literally three screens on my desk, I still check my email on phone most of the time. Especially promotional emails because it’s just easier to swipe through and save or delete the ones I find interesting.

#18: If an email does not display correctly, 71.2% will delete it

immediately. (OutboundEngine)

So test your email on your computer and on your phone/tablet before you send it.  Some simple layout tweaks can mean the difference between an email being read or hitting the trash.

#19: 80% of surveyed adults want brands to tell a story (Headstream’s Brand Storytelling Report 2015)

Your company/brand’s story is all about who you are. It’s more than just a history lesson though. It’s your core values, how you care about and treat your customers, and what you want for you and for them moving forward. Telling your story helps you build a relationship with your prospects by helping you be more authentic.

#20: Global unsubscribe rates average around 0.127% (IBM Marketing Cloud)

Assume you have a database of only 1k people that you’re sending mail to.  If you improve your unsubscribe rate by even 1%, you’re saving 480 subscribers a year if you’re sending emails out once per week.  So don’t underestimate the importance of unsubscriptions.  Consider why they are opting out of your emails… is your content good?  Are your emails segmented so they are relevant to your audience?  Is the design responsive so it looks good on mobile devices?

Bonus Tip

With every marketing you do - online or offline - you need to know if it is helping you generate actual customers or is just wasting your time and money. So take the time to make sure you can see analytics data like how many viewed, how many engaged in some way (click, call, comment, etc.), and how many of those ultimately purchased.

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