Is email marketing dead?

I can sense some rolling of the eyes, and the grunting of “Not this argument again!”

Fair enough, each leopard has its own spots and while some business leaders and marketers will roar a resounding YES and argue that social media, and other digital communication forms are where the focus should be, the stats argue otherwise, especially when looking at the smartphone behaviors of consumers.

The humble email appears to be very much alive within the mobile sphere, with continuous and pertinent focus placed on its importance.

Thus, to come to an early conclusion, smartphones and tablets should not and cannot be overlooked by email marketers, and the stats prove it.

The mobile outlook

In Demystifying the Inbox 2015, a study conducted by Everlytic in conjunction with Effective Measure, the results showed that over the past three years (2012-2015) there has been a steady increase in the amount of people that use a mobile device or tablet to read their emails.

Mobile Email 3 e1448451876431 | Everlytic | Email On Mobile – The Proof Is In The Stats

While South Africa is lagging behind, global indicators show that more email is read on mobile than on desktop email clients. This is something South African marketers should take note of and prepare for.

Noteworthy stats from the Everlytic research to consider in a mobile email marketing strategy are that 63% of South Africa’s online population prefers to receive promotional messages via email, 64% of people who receive newsletters or other commercial communications have been influenced to buy a product by something they read in the communication, while 87% of people trust email to receive invoices and statements.

Looking at global statistics, the importance of email on mobile is also more than encouraging.

In a post on, email marketing specialist, Jordie van Rijn, went on the hunt for statistics and compiled and shared the following:

• B2C emails get 57,4% more opens on mobile than B2B email.
• Desktop represents 22% of all email opens, webmail 29% and mobile 49%.
• Mobile email opens have grown with 180% in three years.
• Responsive design results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks for mobile users from a 2.7% average to 3.3%.
• 23% of emails with images loaded comes from mobile,
• 68% of Gmail and Yahoo! users’ opens occur on a smartphone or tablet.
• Nearly a quarter (23%) of campaigns initially opened on mobile devices were later opened a second time by consumers 70% on the same device, 30% on a different device.

Interestingly enough, Van Rijn’s research into mobile email marketing statistics also found that by the end of 2018, the global amount of mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion and that 80% of email users are expected to access their email accounts via a mobile device.

This in itself should serve as motivation and encouragement to email marketers to keep mobile top of mind for yet another while to come.

Mobile Email 2 e1448451900358 | Everlytic | Email On Mobile – The Proof Is In The Stats

Food for thought

While the stats serve as evidence that email on mobile should not be put on the back burner within marketing strategies, there are some things that annoy email recipients and that should be avoided (there are stats for this too):

  • Receiving too many emails (44%)
  • Emails that are not relevant (37%)
  • The content is too small to read and interact with (32%)
  • Website and landing pages that are not optimised for mobile (26%)
  • And, emails that are not formatted for mobile phones (21%)

*For more discussions and information on mobile email marketing and statistics refer to these links:

Demystifying the Inbox 2015
(Re)Think Mobile