Email is a workhorse—dependable, effective, and enduring. Despite the rise of social media, messaging platforms, and mobile apps, email remains a dominant means of communication. Since the first email was sent 50 years ago, its use has only grown—and shows no signs of stopping. The number of worldwide email users is expected to increase to nearly 4.6 billion by 2025, according to research from The Radicati Group.

Email hasn’t just persisted. It’s also a medium that content creatives have reimagined many times over. From the advent of the drip campaign to the evolution of personalization and the new boom in newsletter subscription services such as Substack and Ghost, email is a channel that seemingly knows no bounds.

In this fact sheet, we provide helpful facts and statistics as well as trends and best practices. 

Email Trends

Email use has experienced relentless growth, and accelerated further during the global pandemic. 

Worldwide daily email traffic continues to balloon. “The total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will exceed 319 billion in 2021, and is forecast to grow to over 376 billion by year-end 2025.” Email Statistics Report, 2021-2025, The Radicati Group

Email open rates increased during the pandemic. In both March and April 2020, email opens were up 20% year-over-year. 50 Crucial Content Facts, Content Science

Email has strong ROI. A study conducted by the UK-based Data & Marketing Association, found that among marketers in the UK, the “ROI from email marketing now stands at just over £42 for every pound spent; a rise of almost £10 since the previous study.” DMA Marketer Email Tracker 2019

Newsletters rank as a top marketing type. “The top 3 types of content B2B marketers use are social media content (95%), blog posts/short articles (89%), and email newsletters (81%).” B2B Content Marketing 2020, Content Marketing Institute 

Newsletter subscription services grow. There are now more than 500,000 paying subscribers on Substack. The top 10 authors on Substack collectively make over $15M per year. (And recently even LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have made moves into the newsletter subscription game.) Backlinko  

Email Best Practices

Whether you’re sending marketing emails for a Fortune 500 company, notifications for a growing SaaS product, or launching a new subscription newsletter, there are a host of best practices you can follow to make the most of every email you send. 

Personalize subject lines. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without Campaign Monitor 

Pay attention to open time. “In the United States, the most popular reading time for email is the morning. About 7% of all opens happen at 10am, and 21% of all opens happen between 9am and noon local time which is consistent with last year [2019].”2020 State of Email Engagement, Litmus 

Take advantage of segmentation. Segmented email campaigns get 100.95% higher clickthrough rates than non-segmented email campaigns. Mailchimp

Create an automated onboarding series. Organizations large and small can (and should) do this. But setting up an automated email onboarding series is a great way for small businesses in particular to enhance their content marketing. For example, in her book The Content Advantage, Colleen Jones talks about how the Rack Athletic Performance Center developed a set of emails for new customers that orients them to the Rack and connects them to more useful content. The Content Advantage 

Follow the law. The laws governing the use of email for marketing have changed over time and vary by country. Email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Sendinblue build in functionality to help ensure you follow these laws. However, you still need to understand email regulations and stay up to date on any changes. Understanding Email Laws and Regulations, Campaign Monitor 

Bottom Line

Email is a tried-and-true way to deepen your relationships with your customers or audiences. The facts above can help you use email wisely to promote your content and advance your content strategy.

The Author

Content Science is a growing content strategy and intelligence company and the publisher of Content Science Review. We empower digital enterprises for the content era by taking their content approach to the next level. Customers of our professional services and one-of-a-kind products (such as ContentWRX and Content Science Academy) include the Fortune 50, the world’s largest nonprofits, and the most trusted government agencies.

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