What makes an email, well, click? What’s the just-right formula that convinces a recipient to open your email instead of sending it to the trash?
Marketers pay a LOT of attention to email behaviors to find these answers. And the industry is rich with data you can use to implement an effective email strategy.
Why should we care so much about email? Because email is a highly measurable and inexpensive marketing tool. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a return of $36.
In 2022, people around the world sent and received an estimated 333.2 billion emails every day. And that number is rising. So in a world where email is only getting more prevalent, here are 20 stats you need to know.
Stats from our email marketing efforts
Nothing like some firsthand research, right? We send thousands of emails each month and analyze each one for opens, clicks, loyalty and results. We’re passing along 2 lessons we’ve learned. Hopefully, these tips can save you some trouble and help you solidify your strategy.
1. Your open rate might be inaccurate.
We were trusting the open rate numbers our email service provider (ESP) reported, but something felt off. So, in October 2022, we sent an email at 3:00 a.m. What are the odds that our readers are awake and checking their email at 3 in the morning?
Well, according to our report, half of our opens on that email came in right after it was delivered. Big red flag.
Why the false opens? Many ESPs have security measures to scan incoming emails for harmful content and links. They do this by “clicking” on all the links in the email. So the sender’s ESP detects this as a “read” email.
The biggest culprits? B2B email recipients in highly regulated fields like healthcare. Ding, ding, ding! That’s many of our recipients.
2. Speaking of bot link clicks, how are your unsubscribe rates?
At HCIC 2022, email guru Jay Schwedelson opened our eyes to the possibility of accidental opt-outs because of single-click unsubscribes.
Sometimes, when you click on an unsubscribe link in an email, it takes you to a page where you must confirm. But sometimes, it’s a single click, and you’re instantly off the list.
In the second scenario, the ESP security bot click could inadvertently unsubscribe your followers. This was the case for us. We went back and reviewed recent emails and saw clusters of unsubscribes right after sending. And some of them were all from the same company. Uh-oh.
The fix? Setting up a double opt-out. Now when someone wants to unsubscribe from Aha Media emails, they get sent to a landing page to confirm they want to break up with us. Now we know every unsub is intentional.
Email stats specific to healthcare
Trying to measure your email campaigns against industry standards?
3. The average open rate for the healthcare industry is about 21.5%, and the average click-through rate is 2.69% — both of which are slightly higher than other industries. (Digitalis Medical)
Who is reading email, and how are they using it?
How prolific is email? Turns out, VERY.
4. 99% of email users check their email every day, some up to 20 times a day. (Optinmonster)
5. 58% of adults check email first before social media. (Optinmonster)
6. 72% of U.S. internet users prefer to communicate with businesses via email. (Web Marketing Pros)
7. 60% of consumers made at least one purchase from a promotional email. (Constant Contact)
How important are welcome emails?
When building your email campaign or asking people to sign up for your newsletter, don’t skip the welcome email.
8. The average open rate for welcome emails is 50% (or 75% higher than other emails). Users are most likely to read the first email you send after they subscribe — so make it a good one!
9. And welcome emails lead to loyalty! Subscribers who receive a welcome note show 33% more long-term brand engagement. (Act-On)
Get better ROI through segmentation, targeting and nurturing
Broadcast emails are not enough to get results. Use behavior-driven automation and personalization to boost your efforts.
10. Segmentation and targeting account for 58% of email ROI. (Upland)
11. Expect to receive 40% more revenue from personalized marketing actions or tactics. (McKinsey)
12. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Annuitas)
Subject lines are your foot in the door
Got a great email? Top it off with a solid subject line.
13. 64% of people open an email because of the subject line. (SparkPost)
14. Nurturing leads? “Secrets” is the most-clicked subject line word. (HubSpot)
15. 65% of marketers say the subject line is the most important factor in getting their emails opened. (HubSpot)
Your emails need to be mobile-first
How many emails are read on phones versus computers? Knowing these stats might help your UX design.
16. Americans check their mobile phones an average of 96 times a day. (Zippia)
17. 46% of all email is opened on a mobile device. (Drip)
18. In B2B marketing, more readers will open emails on a desktop. For some of our emails, Aha Media sees as high as 90% of opens on a desktop. But we still optimize for mobile to make sure our emails look great in both places.
How frequently should you send emails?
It’s more important to be consistent than to fret over frequency. But if you’re wondering what’s standard, here are some stats.
19. Most customers want to see a new email once a week to once a month. (Marketing Sherpa)
20. B2C marketers tend to send 2 to 5 emails per month. B2B marketers should send at least 1 per month and no more than 5. (CoSchedule)
Knowing industry standards and consumer behavior can help you gauge your efforts against the average and stay up to date on factors like bots impacting your open rate and unsubscribes.
But the best stats for your email marketing strategy are the ones you learn from your own efforts. Constant testing and careful tracking allow you to learn what works for your audience.
To keep moving the needle on your email results, incorporate best practices from the industry and your own experience.