Marketing

19 Email Marketing Statistics That Will Help Marketers Maximize Their ROI in 2023

Planning your email marketing strategy? Check out these 19 email marketing statistics that will help you get the most out of your campaign.

Nevena Rudan Nevena Rudan on November 1, 2022 (last modified on November 16, 2022) • 19 minute read

The email marketing market is pretty damn big. 

How big exactly? 

In 2020, the global email marketing market was valued at 7.5 billion US dollars. By 2027, it’s projected that it will reach a staggering 17.9 billion USD. If we assume a consistent compound annual growth rate, that puts the current market value at roughly $9.6 billion.

Considering the fact that roughly half the planet (4 billion people) uses email, it’s obvious that email marketing provides an incredible opportunity for marketers of all stripes.

And that’s not all. In 2020, every US dollar invested in email marketing made back $36. That’s a staggering 3600% return rate! Not something you want to miss out on.

Combined with the fact that email is a perfect way to build first party-data now that we’re moving away from third-party data, it becomes clear why it’s still one of the most important marketing channels available.

Over the last four years, Databox has gathered tons of data by running surveys and interviewing professionals in the email marketing industry. We’ve cross-analyzed and collated the data points into a list of 19 email marketing statistics that will help you maximize ROI in 2023.

Our research has helped us gain insight into:

  • The most popular ESPs
  • Email timing and frequency
  • How many CTAs you should include in your emails
  • The importance of email relevance and personalization
  • Which elements boost sales, visits, and leads

And much more.

These email marketing statistics will help you compare your current practices with those of industry experts. You’ll be able to identify room for improvement and even see some alternate ways of setting up and running your email marketing campaigns.

Let’s dig in.

Benchmark Groups

Optimizing Email Content

This is the most important part of any email, the email itself.

While it sounds simple, email content can be incredibly tricky to get right. It consists of several disparate elements that need to work together in order to ensure the desired result.

Here’s what we’ve learned from our respondents:

Promotional Emails are the Most Important Email Type for Small Businesses

While all emails are important they’re not created equal. Some of them deserve more attention and you need a healthy mix of lead nurturing, promotional, transactional, and value-forward messages to keep subscribers engaged.

More than 50% of marketers say that promotional emails are the most important type of email. Loyalty programs are a distant second at 25.9% followed by transactional emails at 16.7%.

Promotional Emails are the Most Important Email Type for Small Businesses

PRO TIP: Creating drip email sequences without being too salesy is key. A good approach is to share interesting and insightful content that resonates with your audience. In order to build trust and a relationship with your subscribers, you can simply send periodic messages that don’t ask anything of your customers and just provide value.

A Large Majority of Marketers Send Personalized Emails

Audiences respond well to personalized content. An overwhelming majority of 90% of our respondents said they use email to send personalized content, product, and service recommendations.

A Large Majority of Marketers Send Personalized Emails

PRO TIP: Email segmentation is incredibly important if you want to get the best results. You can segment your mailing lists by demographics, preferences and interests, behavior, and subscriber email data and fine-tune them in order to achieve maximum engagement.

An Email Signature Can Help You Close a Sale

A signature is much more than a simple throwaway line or, at least, it shouldn’t be if you’re serious about upping your email marketing game. The signature space is basically free email real estate you can use to share contact details, your brand’s key value proposition, or even a link to a piece of content you think might be useful. Over three-quarters of people surveyed believe that including a signature helped them advance or close a sale. Only 3.5% were confident enough to say that it didn’t and 20.7% are unsure.

An Email Signature Can Help You Close a Sale

PRO TIP: Including a profile picture or an animated gif in order to connect better with your audience can be the right move. People tend to connect better with visuals and adding a picture or a gif will capture their attention faster. Of course, don’t forget to include all the pertinent information like the landing page and other contact details.

Short Emails Perform Better than Long Ones

Short usually means punchy and snappy. So it’s no surprise that two-thirds of marketers believe that shorter emails perform better. However, that doesn’t mean that longer emails don’t convert as well. In fact, 30% of people surveyed don’t think length has any effect on conversion rates.

Short Emails Perform Better than Long Ones

PRO TIP: Keep the tone light. The best thing you can do is leave the marketing tone inside and make the email intriguing and personal. Act as if you’re talking to the person directly. Even small things like using contractions can make a huge difference when it comes to CTR.

Using Only 1 CTA in Your Emails May Be Enough

More is not always better. In fact, 43% of our interviewed marketers said they use only one CTA per email, while 30% use two CTAs. The reasoning for this is simple. If you give too many options to your subscribers, you can confuse them and even prevent them from taking any action at all.

Using Only 1 CTA in Your Emails May Be Enough

PRO TIP: Make your CTAs straightforward. You can use them to both initiate contact and show your competitive advantages. Offering free value by using phrases like Get a free consultation now can be an excellent door-opener.

Email Marketing Software 

Every professional uses the tools that will help them in their everyday activities. Email marketing is no exception. If you want to manage an email marketing campaign, you need the right software.

Here’s what we’ve learned from the marketers we interviewed:

For Ecommerce, Personalization is Key When Choosing the Right Email Software

Personalization and segmentation have been listed as the most important criteria for evaluating email software for eCommerce businesses. Workflows, price, and integrations follow, while strangely enough, security wasn’t given that high of a priority.

Among the people we polled, Klaviyo stands out as the most popular email marketing platform by a significant margin. It blends all the most important criteria and integrates with Facebook custom audiences. Additionally, it has useful features like targeted customer segmenting and A/B testing.

For Ecommerce, Personalization is Key When Choosing the Right Email Software

PRO TIP: Always make sure that the solution you’re using matches your needs. The most popular tools are wasted if you’re not making the best use of it. Fortunately, most offer free trials and provide superb user support making it relatively easy to do your research and ensure you’re picking the right software for your business.

Mailchimp and HubSpot are the Most Used ESPs

It’s not even close. Mailchimp is used by over 45% of the user base, while Hubspot lags only a few percentage points. By comparison, the closest runner-up, Active Campaign, stands at 10%.

Mailchimp and HubSpot are the Most Used ESPs

Email Frequency and Timing

If you want your email marketing campaign to be effective you need to schedule the emails and ensure you’re following the best practices available to you. Consistency is important here, as is having a plan before diving headlong in.

Here’s what we’ve found out:

Send Frequency is Mostly Adjusted Based on Recipient Engagement

Most businesses will adjust their strategies based on user response, and email send frequency is no exception. So it’s not surprising that 59.38% of people interviewed will reduce the frequency of emails sends to recipients that aren’t opening them or clicking on the links. What’s slightly more surprising is that slightly over 40% send the same volume of emails, regardless of the engagement level.

Send Frequency is Mostly Adjusted Based on Recipient Engagement

PRO TIP: Think of the value you’re providing to your customers and what works for your business. Try to figure out why they are engaged or disengaged and fine-tune your sending frequency and content accordingly. You can even rely on software and email marketing dashboards to help you analyze the performance of different campaigns.

About 1/3 of Marketers Continue Emailing People Until They Unsubscribe

It seems that about two-thirds of marketing agencies clear up their mailing lists, at least occasionally. Almost 10% are very fastidious and unsubscribe inactive users every few months, while the rest do it every few months or once a year. One-third of all interviewed marketers simply continue emailing everyone until they unsubscribe themselves.

About 1/3 of Marketers Continue Emailing People Until They Unsubscribe

PRO TIP: Email marketing is very cost-effective and it’s often worth it to keep sending emails to recipients even if the engagement level is low. However, occasionally, it’s a good idea to prune your mailing list in order to avoid the issue of graymail.

Send 3 Follow-Up Emails

Our research and the people we surveyed indicate that the general consensus is that sending three follow-up emails shows the best results. Almost 40% of our respondents follow up with leads three times with the runner-up option being five times or more at less than 20%.

Send 3 Follow-Up Emails

PRO TIP: When it comes to follow-ups, be clear on why you’re following up. Adjust your strategy depending on whether you’re following up a lead, a customer, or a disengaged recipient.

Definitely avoid templates and add a personal touch where possible. 

Most Salespeople Send Up to 8 Bulk Emails per Month

Sales is a numbers game, which is why many people hesitate to get too personal and detailed with their sales or prospecting emails. It’s simply too time-consuming. However, there’s really no substitute for personalized emails, which probably only 17.9% of our respondents send more than 16 bulk emails per month

The largest percentage, 32.1%, send 4-8 emails, while 28.6% send less than 4 emails per month. The remaining 21.4% send 9-16 bulk emails per month.

Most Salespeople Send Up to 8 Bulk Emails per Month

PRO TIP: Sending fewer but more personalized emails works better than mass emailing a generic message. You can open up with something personal to keep them engaged, and then hit them with a really strong and tailored value proposition. Alternatively, look up the company bio and learn about both the personal details of the recipient and the priorities of the company.

Most Companies Send a Weekly Newsletter

As we mentioned in the previous point, quality is often better than quantity. In most cases, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers or prospects with a constant deluge of emails. Our research bears this out, as only 5.4% of respondents said that they send daily email newsletters.

Most Companies Send a Weekly Newsletter

PRO TIP: Well-thought-out weekly newsletters hit a sweet spot that combines both frequency and regularity. You’ll keep your recipients informed and, more importantly, prime them to open your newsletters. If you provide content worth reading, they’ll be more likely to open it when you send a special offer or want to promote a new service.

Email Timing is Important

Of course, the best timing varies depending on the company and the market they serve but no one can deny that it’s an important factor. According to our survey, almost 90% of respondents say that timing is important when it comes to sales and marketing emails.

Email Timing is Important

PRO TIP: Do your research and trust your metrics. The best approach is to research the industries you’re working with and send several A/B test emails to determine which performs the best. When doing this, especially pay attention to opening rates, subscriptions, and unsubscriptions. 

How People Respond to Emails

You can’t take the recipient out of the equation and this list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t take a look at what your prospects, leads, and customers do when they receive your email.

Let’s go over the results:

Cold Emails are at Least Somewhat Effective for Increasing Sales

Cold emails are very easy to dismiss because they’re often associated with spammy sales pitches and endless follow-ups after you’ve subscribed to a mailing list in order to read an article you found interesting.

However, no one can deny that cold emails do work. Not always well, but a total of 96.8% of our respondents said they found them at least somewhat effective and over 40% found them very effective. 

Cold Emails are at Least Somewhat Effective for Increasing Sales

PRO TIP: Know your prospect’s pain points. It’s important to really know who you are sending the mail to. You should have a targeted audience and make sure you know as much as possible about them. You can use their pain points to craft a compelling title that will grab their attention.

Email CTAs Have a CTR of Around 3-5%

Calls to action are the bread and butter of email marketing. They need to be just right and every marketer worth their salt will analyze the click-through rate, seeking to improve it. For over 40% of our contributors, email CTAs get a click-through rate of 3-5%. If you thought that reaching 10% or more was hard, you’d be right, but almost 15% of our respondents still manage to achieve that.

Email CTAs Have a CTR of Around 3-5%

PRO TIP: If you want your subscribers to take action quickly, make sure you encourage them to do so. Your words need to call to action. Use action words like ‘shop,’ ‘book,’ and ‘order’ in emails and add terms like ‘now’ or ‘today’ to make the whole thing feel more immediate.

CTAs are Mostly Used to Generate Website Visits

In order to understand the value CTAs bring, you need to account for their purpose. While those meant to inform or allow for social sharing are fairly easy to implement, their value can be questionable, even if they have high click-through rates.

According to our poll, CTAs help generate website visits and sales for approximately 45% and 25% of our contributors, respectively. Slightly more than 20% also generate leads with their CTAs.

CTAs are Mostly Used to Generate Website Visits

PRO TIP: CTAs need to drive action, and they need to be tailored both to the user and the action required. Don’t overcomplicate it. More often than not, sticking to tried and true “buy now” or “click here for more information” will do the trick.

The Subject Line is Crucial in Abandoned Cart Emails

An abandoned cart email should get your customers to come back for more. No matter the reason for cart abandonment, you need to follow up with them in order to encourage them to complete the purchase. 

It can be challenging to stand out from the crowded email inbox of your customer, so you need to understand both why they abandoned the cart, and how to craft a perfect email that will draw them back in. Our respondents cited the subject line as the most important element of an abandoned cart email. It’s closely followed by personalization, while the email copy itself stands at a firm third place in the order of importance.

PRO TIP: People often get distracted or simply forget to complete their purchases. That’s why your first abandoned cart email should just remind people about their cart. In case they encountered an error, you can ask if something went wrong and point them to your customer service.

If that doesn’t bring them back, you can try to lure them back by addressing other leading causes of cart abandonment, which is usually something related to costs. Offer them reduced or lowered shipping fees or the tried-and-tested option of including a coupon.

Email Relevance Contributes the Most to Email Unsubscribes

Content and relevance are incredibly important for every marketing channel, including email. The best way to ensure your subscribers stay subscribers is to deliver relevant content in your emails.

Almost 40% of our respondents agree with this assessment, citing email relevance as the biggest contributing factor to unsubscribes.

PRO TIP: Segmenting your mailing list can significantly increase open rates and decreases the number of unsubscribes. It takes more work to create message variants that fit different interest segments, but it will strengthen your relationship with your subscribers and prime them to look forward to your messages.

Personalizing the message is also important since people are more likely to open your emails if they speak to their actual interests, struggles, or current situations.

Average Email Bounce Rate is 3% or Less

You want your emails to reach as many people as possible and that’s hard if your bounce rate remains high. If you don’t pay attention to your bounce rate and don’t deal with the problem in time, it can escalate and damage the reputation of your email domain.

Fortunately, high bounce rates seem fairly low as only about one-third of interviewed marketers see a bounce rate higher than 3%. Around 34% experience email bounce rates of 2-3%, while some 31% have bounce rates lower than 1%.

PRO TIP: If you want to minimize your bounce rate, send emails from a quality service provider and invest in an efficient bulk email verification tool. This should keep your email address list updated and clear out the spammy, fake addresses. In addition, scanning your recipients’ list once in a while will help you get rid of the addresses that have blocked you or that have become inactive.

Benchmark Groups

Maximize Your Email Marketing Campaign Effectiveness with Databox

Email remains an incredibly useful and profitable marketing channel. Despite cries to the contrary, it has never really lost its relevance, and marketers ignore it at their own peril.

It’s important to get this right and it’s hard to determine what really works for your business, for your niche, and for your customers at any specific time without solid data to back it up. You can read hundreds or even thousands of best-practices articles and tutorials, but until you actually implement them you won’t know how your campaign will perform.

And when you see the performance, you need to analyze the numbers. See which element brings the best ROI, what helps with conversions, and what type of customer is the most likely to come back for more. To do that, you need to track the right metrics, try alternate approaches and interpret all the results correctly. The email marketing statistics in this article show that there are a lot of varying opinions and what works for one business may not work for another.

While it’s possible to do all of that manually by sifting through a variety of tools, that’s hard and inefficient work.

Enter Databox.

You can use Databox dashboards to collate a large number of data points drawn from a practically limitless number of analytics tools in one spot. You’ll get all of your metrics neatly wrapped up in eye-catching visualizations that will help you make sense of your entire email marketing strategy.

Then, with Databox Reports, you’ll be able not only to show but also explain how your business (or your clients’) is doing at a glance and plan for the future accordingly.

Lastly, with Benchmark Groups, you will be able to compare your company against others like yours, validating your results or identifying the areas for improvement.

Databox supports over 70 one-click integrations and allows you to customize dashboards and reports or use templates, depending on what you need. You can track over 4,000 different metrics and set alerts that will notify you if something unusual happens.

The setup is easy and building a custom dashboard only takes a few minutes, while our friendly customer support team is here to help you out if you encounter a snag along the way.

If you think you could use Databox to help you with your email marketing strategy, you’re in the right place. It takes just one click to start setting up your free Databox account. Get started today.

About the author
Nevena Rudan
Nevena Rudan Marketing Research Analyst at Databox. Being an experienced Strategic and Creative Planner, with more than 15 years of practice, Nevena is passionately dedicated to untying the knots and entanglements of marketing, sales, and human behavior in order to deliver understandable, useful, and actionable insights for businesses.
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