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Although technology is always evolving and trends are constantly changing, one thing in the digital space remains clear—email is here to stay. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer trying to convince your boss that email marketing is worth the spend or new to the field and deciding where to start first, we’ve got your back.

Thankfully, email marketing is a field full of smart and creative people who not only try risky and exciting new techniques but continue to refine the process until it’s a successful business model.

And if we’re lucky, they tell us what they tried and allow us to learn from it. 2018 has been a really exciting and innovative year for email marketing, and we’re confident the fun is only getting started.

Read on for the latest need-to-know stats on email marketing, sending strategy, and customer habits.

For the naysayer who thinks email is dead: (Hint: It’s not.)

  • There are over 3.7 billion email users in the world currently, which means the projected number of users by 2021 is 4.1 billion. (Statista)
  • It’s predicted that the United States will spend over 350 million dollars on email advertising in 2019. (Statista)

When your boss asks to see the return on investment (ROI) for email marketing:

  • Email’s average ROI is 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail. (Chief Marketer)
  • 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. (Emma)
  • Email marketing drives $44 for every $1 spent. (Campaign Monitor)

If your office interns are trying to convince you to create a company Snapchat account:

  • 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media. (MarketingSherpa)
  • Click-through rates increase 158% when social sharing buttons are included in emails. (Nonprofit Hub)
  • Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources. (QuickSprout)
  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. (McKinsey)
  • An email campaign is 6 times more likely to result in a click-through than from a tweet. (Campaign Monitor)
  • The average order value of an email is at 3 times higher than that of social media. (McKinsey)
  • When asked to opt-in to receive updates from a company, only 10% elected to do so through Facebook, while 90% chose to receive email newsletters. – (Nielsen Norman Group)

If you’re wondering if your emails are actually reaching anyone:

  • The average office worker checks their email 30 times per hour. (Marketing Insider Group)
  • Email newsletter recipients allocate an average of 51 seconds to each email, if they read it at all. (Nielson Group)
  • 58% of adults who check their email first thing in the morning. – (Customer Intelligence)
  • 94% of people who say checking their email is the reason they get online. It’s the #1 activity on the internet. – (Marketo)
  • 91% of consumers who check their email at least once a day on their smartphone.
  • 95% of people who consider email newsletter content from a recognized brand to be useful.– (Salesforce)
  • 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. (Campaign Monitor)

If you’re a marketer looking for a peer to nerd out with:

  • 70% of B2B marketers say increasing their email list quality is their top objective. – (Delivra)
  • 89% of marketers say email serves as their primary channel for lead generation. – (Mailgen)
  • There are currently 251 email marketing software solutions on the market. – (Capterra)
  • Email marketing strategies are used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies. – (Ascend2)
  • 51% of B2B marketers say a lack of an effective strategy is their most significant barrier to email list success. – (Delivra)
  • When asked what their most effective tactics used to achieve email list strategy success, 59% of B2B marketers said content download registrations and 38% said email social media integrations. – (Delivra)

When your mom asks how everyone in her inbox knows her name:

It’s probably personalization. This technique is used to insert a customer’s name or other personal data to create customized content they are more likely to engage with.

  • Personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates. – (Experian)
  • Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. – (Aberdeen)
  • Open rates increase by 41% when a personalized subject line is used. (MarketingSherpa)
  • 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. – (eConsultancy)
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.- (Campaign Monitor)

When you switch from stick shift to automatic (Email sending, that is):

Email automation allows you not only to meet the customer where they are but to also scale your company’s success. It’s a tool that allows you to schedule emails for a specific time and recipient, creating an unparalleled experience and increased chance of conversion.

  • Automated email messaging can increase open rates by 70.5%. (Epsilon Email Institute)
  • 10%: The amount B2B marketers’ pipeline contribution increased when they used marketing automation.-(Forrester)
  • B2C marketers experienced higher conversion rates, by as much as 50%, when using marketing automation.—eMarketer

If you want to give the people what they want (Through audience segmentation, of course):

Audience segmentation allows you to divide your subscribers into groups based on interest or demographic. Then, you send content according to their specific preferences.

  • Proper email list segmentation can double email open rates. – (MarketingSherpa)
  • 78%: The number of marketers who say that list segmentation is the marketing automation feature they can’t live without. (Gleanster)
  • 77%: The percentage of ROI that comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns. – (DMA)

For when a picture’s worth a thousand words:

  • 65%: The number of users who prefer emails to contain mostly images, compared to 35% who prefer text. – (HubSpot)
  • Including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate. – (Forrester)
  • 50%: The reported increase in click-through rates with the addition of video. (Campaign Monitor)
  • An introductory email that includes a video receives an increase in click-through rate by 96%. (GetResponse)

If you need some fresh email inspiration:

  • The top 3 uses of email marketing are newsletters (66%), promotional content (54%), and welcome series emails (42%). – (Pardot)
  • The most common topic among emails in the top 1% of viral emails was events and webinars. – (Litmus)
  • Transactional emails produce an average open rate of 72% and a click-through rate of 30%. (IBM)
  • The magic content formula? Keep your email newsletter content 90 percent informative and 10 percent promotional. – (TrackMaven)
  • Using the phrases ‘daily’ or weekly’ in subject lines boosts open rates, whereas ‘monthly’ hurts them. – (Sendgrid)

If you want to size up the competition’s open rates:

Because there are so many variables according to specific industries, it’s hard to create a universal standard of benchmarks for email marketing. However, it can be more helpful to create standards based on industry and take a look at how you compare to others in your field. Overall, unique open rates among companies in the United States averaged 23.1% in 2018, according to the 2018  Marketing Benchmark Report by IBM/Watson Marketing. Comparatively, the global unique open rate is 22.8%. But how does this compare to the rates for your specific industry? Take a look:

  • Automotive/Transportation—45.1%
  • Banks/Finance—21%
  • Computer Hardware/Telecommunications—30%
  • Computer Software/Online Services—22%
  • Consumer Products—21.5%
  • Consumer Services—15%
  • Corporate Services—18.8%
  • Energy/Environmental—30.9%
  • Food/Beverage—25.9%
  • Hospitals/Healthcare/Biotech—24.7%
  • Industrial Products—19.6%
  • Insurance—31.4%
  • Leisure/Sports/Recreation—19.1%
  • Lodging/Travel Agencies/Services—25.5%
  • Marketing/Advertising—24.2%
  • Media/Publishing—18.9%
  • Nonprofits/Associations/Government—28.4%
  • Real Estate/Construction/Building Products—28.1%
  • Retail/Commerce—23.4%
  • Schools/Education—27%

As you can see, the difference between rates for consumer services and the automotive and transportation industry is 30%. The best way to measure your company’s email marketing success is to compare yourself to others with the same goals and audience. If you want to see how your click-through rates compare: The same principle applies here. While click-through rates averaged 3% across all United States industries in 2018, the percentages differ according to each industry. Here’s a further breakdown from IBM/Watson Marketing:

  • Automotive/Transportation—6.5%
  • Banks/Finance—2.5%
  • Computer Hardware/Telecommunications—4.7%
  • Computer Software/Online Services—2.8%
  • Consumer Products—4.5%
  • Consumer Services—2.0%
  • Corporate Services—2.8%
  • Energy/Environmental—3.9%
  • Food/Beverage—3.8%
  • Hospitals/Healthcare/Biotech—3.3%
  • Industrial Products—2.3%
  • Insurance—4.6%
  • Leisure/Sports/Recreation—4.0%
  • Lodging/Travel Agencies/Services—3.8%
  • Marketing/Advertising—3.8%
  • Media/Publishing—2.7%
  • Nonprofits/Associations/Government—3.2%
  • Real Estate/Construction/Building Products—2.9%
  • Retail/Commerce—3.0%
  • Schools/Education—4.2%

Wrap up

The email marketing facts for 2018 aren’t just fascinating—they’re an incredible asset to your current strategy and future success if you take advantage of knowing this information and put it to the test. By making it a priority to learn from others’ trial-and-error and applying it to your own, you can be part of the reason why email marketing continues to be one of the strongest and trusted marketing tools around.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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