Email Marketing by the Numbers

email marketing

Email marketing means promoting your products and services through email. But it is SO. MUCH. MORE than that! Email is a direct line of communication with your potential clients. It’s a way to build connections. It’s a way to earn people’s trust. Emails are all about relationships.

Of all the ways you can share information with your clients and potential clients–including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and blogs—email is the most personal. People check their emails from their couches, beds, cars, and toilet stalls. They look forward to what will appear and are sometimes captivated by what they read.

Plus, email is one of the few platforms that belongs to you. There are no corporate owners of email. When you build a list, it is yours. When you send an email, it is yours. Nobody can take that away.

Now. Let’s get down to the numbers that will help you turn emails into one of the most valuable tools in your marketing kit.

Email Marketing Statistics

Every $1 spent on email marketing gives a $42 return

(source: Oberlo)

The potential return on investment for email marketing is absolutely huge. That’s mainly because sending emails is free and only costs you time to write. This statistic shows that email is still one of the most effective ways to use your marketing dollar. People buy things because of emails they receive. So if you aren’t tapping into this powerful tool, you’re leaving money on the table.

87% of marketers use email to share content organically

(source: Oberlo)

Emails rank among the top 3 places to share content for free. The other two places are social media (used by 91% of marketers) and a website blog (used by 89%). What’s even more interesting is that 9 out of 10 marketers look at email metrics (like open rates and clicks) to assess how well a piece of content is performing. They consider email metrics to be more important than social media metrics or website traffic.

81% of small businesses rely on email as their main way to acquire new customers

(source: Oberlo)

Wow. This is solid evidence that emails are a reliable way to bring in new customers. A related statistic says that 80% of small businesses use emails for customer retention. It really does serve both purposes. If you show up consistently with valuable content, subscribers are much more likely to either become or continue to be your customers.

49% of consumers say they want to get promotions on a weekly basis

(source: Oberlo)

Remember this statistic when you start to worry about bothering your subscribers with too many emails. Half of them say they actually WANT to get email promotions. Every week. I once did a survey of subscribers for a functional medicine MD and heard back that 83% of his patients preferred to hear from his practice via email rather than other ways. I’m telling you. If you are afraid to annoy your subscribers, you need to let that go right now.

Email Trend Statistics

4.3 billion people are projected to use email worldwide by 2023

(source: Oberlo)

That’s half of the world’s population using email. I’m guessing that in many areas of the United States, the percentage approaches 100%. Whatever the exact number, it’s safe to say that lots of people use email. If you want to show up where your audience hangs out….try their inbox.

80% of marketers reported an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months

(source: HubSpot)

The takeaway message from this statistic is pretty straightforward. Email is not dead. It is very much alive and well.

Email Subject Line Statistics

Email subject lines average 44 characters

(source: HubSpot)

Best practices say that an email subject line should not exceed 60 characters (or a max of 9 words). Anything beyond that will be truncated and pointless. Keep subject lines as short as possible, but squeeze in enough info to get people curious enough to open the message.

Emails with personalized subject lines get 50% better open rates

(source: HubSpot)

Open rates are an extremely important email metric. If people don’t open your emails, you never have a real chance to earn their trust. If you can increase open rates by adding a subscriber’s first name, go for it! Just use this tactic sparingly. If you do it on every email, it will get old fast.

Only 7% of emails include an emoji in the subject line

(source: HubSpot)

Not many businesses are using emojis in their subject lines, but it can certainly make your messages stand out. If it fits your style, I say give it a try!

Email Open Rate Statistics

Welcome emails have the best open rates at 82%

(source: Oberlo)

Considering that the average open rate for marketing emails overall is only 21%, an open rate of 82% is enormous. Knowing that the vast majority of people will open the very first email you send to them (after they opt in by choice, of course) gives you leverage. You can use your welcome email to pre-educate them on your services and invite them to take the next step.

Tuesdays see the highest email open AND unsubscribe rates

(source: HubSpot)

You might be thinking you don’t want to send on Tuesdays because of more unsubscribes, right? I disagree. Unsubscribes are your best friend. When people leave your list, it’s like a self-cleansing. You’re left with the people who care the most (and who will be most likely to become clients or customers). I’d look at this statistics and consider sending weekly emails on Tuesdays.

Segmented email campaigns get 14% higher open rates and 100% higher click rates

(source: HubSpot)

Segmenting your subscribers may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. If you sell an online program or course, for example, it’s extremely helpful to keep your buyers tagged separately from your overall list. That way you don’t send promotional emails to people who have already bought your offer.

In the U.S. 21% of email opens happen between 9 am and noon

(source: HubSpot)

So….one 1 out of 5 emails are opened in the morning hours. I’m not sure what the peak times are for other opens. I like to send my marketing emails in the early morning hours to catch the people who check their email first thing in the morning.

Almost 50% of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device

(source: HubSpot)

This statistic comes from 2018, so there are probably more people opening emails on mobile devices now. Plus, nearly 25% who open on a mobile device will open it again, and mobile readers who open it a second time are 65% more likely to click through. What we need to keep in mind because of this statistic is that our emails need to be easy to read on phones.

And Finally...

40% of consumers say they have at least 50 unread emails in their inbox

(source: HubSpot)

Hey—don’t feel bad if your open rates aren’t stellar. It’s not you, it’s them. People can’t keep up with their inboxes and will ignore the vast majority of marketing emails. Just do your best, keep providing value, and respect your subscribers like the real people that they are.


Rinse & Repeat Caption Template

Grab this social media caption template that will get you more likes, comments, and ideal clients saying “Yes Please!”



Sarah Cook is a Copywriter, StoryBrand Guide, and former Naturopathic Doctor with 10+ years of experience writing for the naturopathic and functional medicine community.