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The Email Report

An email is an effective tool used in advertising and marketing to communicate with other businesses, partners, employees, and customers.

A Brief History of Email

The State of Email Today
Trust, Privacy, and the end of third-party cookies
Email Statistics
Email Statistic Highlights
Email Usage and Volume Statistics
General Email Marketing Statistics
B2B Marketing Statistics
B2C Marketing Statistics
Device Statistics
Demographic Statistics
The Future of Email
1. Personalisation is no longer an option but an expectation
2. User-Generated Content is gaining traction
3. Recipients want more interactive and engaging content
4. Customers are prioritising company's that show they appreciate them
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making its way into email advertising
A Brief History of Email

An email is an effective tool used in advertising and marketing to communicate with other businesses, partners, employees, and customers. It’s often used in many people’s personal lives as well, especially since it can get a message to just about anyone with internet access — and in less than a second, for that matter. This was significant when it first came out because the only way people could communicate similarly prior to its conception was via traditional mail, which was nowhere near as quick and efficient as it is today.

Nonetheless, it has made quite an impact since 1971, when the very first email was made and sent. In fact, the history of email marketing began with Ray Tomlinson in 1971 when he sent the very first email message that was said to either have read “Test 123” or “QWERTYUIOP.” Just one year later, Larry Roberts created the very first email management system that allowed users to list, select, forward, and respond.

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By 1978, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corporation by the name of Gary Thuerk sent out the very first email blast that generated $13 million in sales, and by 1982, “email” replaced the previously used term “electronic mail message.” Six years later, spam made its way into emails, and the term was officially defined in the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time.

1989 is when AOL’s famous “you’ve got mail” track was recorded, and 1991 is when more people than those at work or in college were finally able to use the internet — meaning email advertising was now able to reach a massive market. This was HUGE. In the late 1990s, email services like Internet Mail and Hotmail launched, with HTML being introduced shortly after.

Two decades later and email marketing is the key component of digital marketing for most businesses — and is continuing to grow in popularity among those who have yet to get a taste of its incredible benefits.

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The Email Report

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The Evolution of Email

Email hasn’t just changed in technology either. It has also become a more trusted and well-received form of communication compared to its earlier years

Email hasn’t just changed in technology either. It has also become a more trusted and well-received form of communication compared to its earlier years. When emails first started, they were limited to only college students and business workers, so there wasn’t as much spam. When spam was introduced in 1988 (at least officially), and more people could access the internet, there was a lot of annoyance with random emails — particularly promotional ones from brands.

This is primarily due to the fact that there was very little knowledge on what was and wasn’t acceptable in email yet. It was too new to brands and consumers for those sending them to collect all the necessary data and adjust their email strategies accordingly. For this reason, most (if not all) promotional emails were irrelevant to the recipient, sent to as many people as possible, and often filled with no real value for the customer. Any brand emails that may have had any shot were likely overshadowed by less-relevant ones — and therefore, never opened.

Most notably, emails were sent to anybody and everybody without any real method behind the madness. Essentially, if you had an email, you were going to get some kind of random email, and there was no good way to tell if it was a genuine one from your favourite brand or something that would take down your whole computer system (i.e., a hacker). The risk was real, and companies hadn’t yet figured out how to get around that challenge.

Fortunately, that is not the case today. With email companies like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo at the top of their game, it’s less likely that users will be bombarded with hacks. Even better, there is now great software that protects your computers and personal information from being attacked. This has allowed brands to safely communicate their value to customers and build loyalty and trust steadily over time.

 

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The State of Email Today

Email today has evolved into something much more valuable than it was ever anticipated to be. Sure, everyone knew it would be great for communicating with friends and family that are far away — but even though email was undoubtedly a part of brand advertising since the beginning, it was not as popular or highly viewed as it is today.

Now it’s among the top digital advertising methods above some of the most notable methods known today. In fact, studies like McKinsey & CO and many others have found that “email marketing is still 40 times more effective at reaching your target consumer, than Twitter or Facebook.” This is incredible, considering so many people value social media, both as a personal hobby and as a form of communicating with brands.

Today, brands use emails to send out newsletters and other personalised content that welcomes users, gives tips and tricks, provides assistance on problems, recommends products/services based on previous purchases, sends out big announcements, reminds recipients of abandoned orders, and more.

More importantly, it has changed the way we communicate with our friends, family, co-workers, clients, and prospects. This means that no matter where you’re at in the world, what time it is, and what you’re doing — you can tap into your email and get your message to whomever you need to. Email has made communication instant, worldwide, and flexible.

You can now work remotely and deliver important details to your co-workers quicker than you could if you needed to walk over to their desk — not to mention, there’s also no limitation on work hours when you need to score that big deal and the clock is ticking towards the end of your work week. In fact, you can email any time because email can be accessed anywhere you have internet access, even when you’re on-the-go.

Even more incredible, email has the potential to collect first-party user data that gives brands the information they need to fulfill consumer needs without ever having to ask what they are. And as if it can’t get any better than that — it’s all legal, and it only works if the recipient opts-in and consents to the whole thing.

Trust, Privacy, and the end of third-party cookies

Now that more laws and regulations are clamping down on consumer privacy and restricting how many brands collect their data — it’s harder than ever to give consumers the personalised experiences they want. This is especially true since they don’t want brands to collect it without permission. That’s the key, though. Consumers don’t want brands to take their information but rather ask for it.

This is why email is what it is today. Brands can collect the necessary information needed to target their specific audience, and it’s all done with the consent of the recipients — a win, win if there ever was one!

Other marketing methods aren’t so lucky now that Google announced that they would be phasing out their third-party cookies by 2022, when they will officially be obsolete. “We’ll also continue our work to make current web technologies more secure and private,” the technology company recently said. “As we previously announced, Chrome will limit insecure cross-site tracking starting in February by treating cookies that don’t include a SameSite label as first-party only, and require cookies labeled for third-party use to be accessed over HTTPS.”

This information is less daunting for company’s utilising email because there are already several trust and privacy regulations incorporated into the popular digital advertising tactic. And this is only a fraction of the value email has to offer brands and consumers today.

Email Statistics

Email marketing has been around for decades, but its advantages in business and marketing are far from declining with time. In fact, email seems to only get better with time, despite so many other forms of communication that have hit the market — i.e., social media platforms, messaging apps, video call apps, and more. Better yet, you can’t even access your social media channels without first having an email address to set up and log in each time.

Email Statistic Highlights

Out of all the wonderful email statistics that have come out of recent research and studies, there are a few interesting ones we are following currently. This is because they provide a fascinating insight into what works best in email advertising, or are downright good to know as a marketer looking to take their business to the next level.

Here are Passendo’s top 10 email statistic highlights:

  • 70% of professionals – use email to share content related to their company or industry, with LinkedIn being the only social media platform to come before email at 81%.
  • 89.45% of people older than 15 use email in the United States, with 93.6% of people 25 to 44 using email the most. As for email penetration, the rate is around 90% for 15 to 24-year-olds and 45 to 64-year-olds. 65 and older are the only age ranges to dip below 90%, and they’re still at 84.1%.
  • There are nearly twice as many active users on email (4.03 billion) than there are on Facebook (2.2 billion). Even when you combine Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter’s active users, the number does not equal nor compare to that of email.
  • Studies show that Android users tend to spend more ‘quality time’ with email, with most users spending at least 15 seconds on mobile emails. This is compared to iOS users who only spend about three seconds at most on their mobile emails.
  • Millennials surveyed in the United Kingdom listed Gmail among their top 5 most important mobile apps, while a similar survey carried out in Sweden saw Gmail tie with WhatsApp for a spot among the top mobile apps nationwide.
  • The words “free,” “help,” “percent off,” and “reminder” in a subject line have been found to negatively impact open rates.
  • Men and women are equally likely to convert from an email opened on a desktop — but women are more likely to convert on a tablet, and men are more likely to convert on the phone.
  • Email is the most preferred channel across all demographics: 68% overall and 73% among Baby Boomers, 71% among Generation X, 62% among Millennials, and 65% among Generation Z.
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Email Usage and Volume Statistics

Email usage and volume depend a lot on the country and its consumers in question. It seems that the average statistics are still significant for most countries, while some see much more success than others. Nonetheless, even worldwide statistics show that email marketing is here to stay.

  • Consumers spend an average of 2.5 hours checking their email on a typical weekday. (Adobe)
  • Emails sent and received daily have surpassed 306 billion worldwide and are predicted to reach as much as 361 billion by 2024. (99Firms)
  • 2.4 billion emails are sent every second. (Templafy)
  • Compared to the global average CTR of 1.3% on social media, email in Belgium and Germany saw on average 5.5% and 4.3% CTR. (Statista)
  • Belgium leads Europe in open rates at 38.16%, with countries like Italy (31.33%), France (30.56%), Netherlands (30.35%), Spain(28.26%), Poland (26%), Germany (22.82%), Ukraine(20.49%), Russia (20.2%), Great Britain (19.27%), and Romania (17.21%) trailing behind. (Statista)
  • Germany leads Europe in click-to-open rates of marketing emails at 18.94%, with Russia trailing close behind at 18.44%, and Ukraine at 15.4%, Belgium at 14.27%, Poland at 13.13%, Great Britain at 13.03%, Netherlands at 12.89%, Italy at 10.86%, Romania at 10.41%, Spain at 10.34%, and France at 9.67%. (Statista)
  • Belgium once again leads the charge in Europe with their click-through rate (CTR) of marketing emails sitting at 5.45%, while Germany’s is at 4.32%, Netherland’s is at 3.91%, Russia’s is at 3.73%, Poland’s is at 3.41%, Italy’s is at 3.35%, Ukraine’s is at 3.16%, France’s is at 2.95%, Spain’s is at 2.92%, Great Britain’s is at 2.51%, and Romania’s is at 1.79%. (Statista)
  • Email is the most popular digital activity in the U.S., with more than 90% of internet users currently hold an e-mail account for private or business purposes. (Statista)
  • Email marketing revenue was 7.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to reach 8.49 billion by the end of 2021, 9.62 billion by 2022, and as much as 17.9 billion by 2027. (Statista)
  • Videos added to your email increase click rates by 300% and emails with personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates. (Oberlo)
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The Email Report

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Benefits of Native Advertising

With general email statistics saying just as much, it’s harder than ever to deny the potential email provides to each business that implements it into their advertising strategy. In fact, research is showing that more and more companies are putting it to use.

  • There are 4.03 billion active email users. That number is projected to reach 4.48 billion by 2024. (Statista)
  • Nearly nine out of every ten marketers use email marketing to distribute content organically. (Oberlo)
  • The U.S. spent over 350 million dollars on email advertising in 2019. (HubSpot)
  • 80% of businesses say email drives their customer acquisition and retention. (Constant Contact)
  • 81% of small businesses rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. (Oberlo)
  • 70% of professionals use email to share content related to their company or industry, with LinkedIn being the only social media platform to come before email at 81%. (Kinsta)
  • 43% of small businesses have 500 or fewer email subscribers, and 42% of small businesses with over 500 subscribers have effective or very effective email marketing strategies. (AWeber)
  • 79% of small businesses say email marketing is important to their business strategy. (AWeber)
  • 61% of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email. (Statista)
  • There are nearly twice as many active users on email (4.03 billion) than there are on Facebook (2.2 billion). Even when you combine Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter’s active users, the number does not equal nor compare to that of email. (Kinsta)
  • On average, office workers receive about 121 emails every workday and send about 40. (Templafy)

B2B Marketing Statistics

According to research, email marketing plays a significant role in the success of B2B companies, and most of them know it — with more than half of B2B respondents reporting good things about the marketing tactic. Studies are also showing that most B2B companies either acknowledge that email marketing can make an impact on its own as a campaign or as a part of other big campaigns like content marketing.

Here are the most impressive B2B marketing statistics as of right now:

  • More than 87% of B2B marketers choose to use email as a distribution channel over other marketing channels. (Kinsta)
  • 77% of B2B marketers say that they use email newsletters to improve their content marketing efforts, and 40% of B2B marketers say that email newsletters are very important or important to their content marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 91% of B2B marketers rate email as the number one channel they use for content marketing success, leading the charge over other marketing channels like LinkedIn, Print, YouTube, and more by 20% or more. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 81% of B2B marketers say that they use email newsletters the most in their content marketing strategy. (HubSpot)
  • Emails in B2B marketing see a 23% higher click-to-open (CTO) ratio than B2C emails. (Optinmonster)
  • Click-through rates (CTRs) are 47% higher for B2B email marketing campaigns than B2C email marketing campaigns. (Wordstream)
  • 59% of B2B marketers claim that email is their most efficient marketing channel for revenue generation. (Emma)
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Furthermore, success rates are generally great for all industries — although they are beyond exceptional for a select few. As of 2019, Sale Cycle reports the following email marketing statistics based on different industries:

  • Agencies see on average

  19.13% open rate, 2.38% CTR, 12.42% click-to-open rate, and a 0.17% unsubscribe rate.

  • Arts & Entertainment see on average see on average

  30% open rate, 4.90% CTR, 16.32% click-to-open rate, and a 0.22% unsubscribe rate.

  • Automotive see on average

  31.28% open rate, 4.40% CTR, 14.06% click-to-open rate, and a 0.32% unsubscribe rate.

  • Financial Services see on average

  25.05% open rate, 4.54% CTR, 18.13% click-to-open rate, and a 0.20% unsubscribe rate.

  • Health & Beauty see on average

  23.88% open rate, 4.15% CTR, 17.36% click-to-open rate, and a 0.26% unsubscribe rate.

  • Health Care see on average

  26.24% open rate, 3.97% CTR, 15.15% click-to-open rate, and a 0.24% unsubscribe rate.

  • Internet Marketing see on average

  18.41% open rate, 2.94% CTR, 15.99% click-to-open rate, and a 0.22% unsubscribe rate.

  • Legal Services see on average

  26.65% open rate, 2.60% CTR, 9.76% click-to-open rate, and a 0.22% unsubscribe rate.

  • Non-profits see on average

  33.86% open rate, 3.89% CTR, 11.48% click-to-open rate, and a 0.18% unsubscribe rate.

  • Publishing industries see on average

  33.29% open rate, 8.86% CTR, 26.61% click-to-open rate, and a 0.18% unsubscribe rate.

  • Restaurants & Food see on average

  37.40% open rate, 5.02% CTR, 13.43% click-to-open rate, and a 0.26% unsubscribe rate.

  • Retail see on average

  21.82% open rate, 3.31% CTR, 15.18% click-to-open rate, and a 0.20% unsubscribe rate.

  • Travel see on average

  22.79% open rate, 2.63% CTR, 11.52% click-to-open rate, and a 0.18% unsubscribe rate.

  • All industry averages combined see on average

  22.86% open rate, 3.71% CTR, 16.23% click-to-open rate, and a 0.21% unsubscribe rate.

With that in mind, Restaurants & Food performed the best in open rates with 37.40%. Publishing performed the best in CTRs with 8.86% and click-to-open rates with 26.61%. However, Agency industries took the lead in unsubscribe rates with the lowest rate of 0.17%, although most industries stayed within the average norm of less than .2% or close to it.

B2C Marketing Statistics

In a similar sense, B2C has also seen a rise in importance and efficiency over the years. This is because consumers are seeing the value of communicating with brands via email over other opportunities.

In fact, the following statistics support email marketing’s success:

  • 79% of B2C marketers say that they depend on email to spread their new articles or blog posts. (Kinsta)
  • 73% of businesses rank email marketing as excellent, compared to runner-ups like SEO (72%) and paid search (67%). (Sale Cycle)
  • 80% of business professionals think that email marketing often increases customer retention. (HubSpot)
  • Email is the biggest source of ROI for 59% of marketers. (Emma)

Likewise, consumers often choose email as their preferring channel of communication with brands over other big marketing tactics like social media, display ads, print, and direct mail. In fact, more than half (60%) of consumers would rather receive promotional content from brands through email, and less than 20% even enjoy getting promotional messages from brands via social media.

Here are some additional consumer preferences regarding email:

  • 47% of consumers think that too many emails from a brand are annoying. (V12)
  • Likewise, companies see the highest open rates when sending 2 emails per month. (Backlinko)
  • Less than 25% of consumers think that the email offers they receive are interesting enough to open. (V12)
  • 59% of customers admit that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. (HubSpot)
  • Consumers open emails relating to Hobbies, Government, and Arts/Artists the most, with Hobbies’ open rate sitting at around 27.35%. (MailChimp)
  • The red heart emoji generates the most positive result, garnering a 6% increase in opens. (LiveClicker)
  • Including a recipient’s name in your email subject line increases open rates by up to 18.30%. (Backlinko)
  • The words “free,” “help,” “percent off,” and “reminder” in a subject line have been found to negatively impact open rates. (Backlinko)
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Device Statistics

Email is also used differently depending on the device. Since mobiles can be used on-the-go, it seems they are among the preferred sources of email opens and communication. For this reason, it is suggested that they may have the biggest impact on email marketing campaigns and their results — meaning email campaigns should always be optimised for mobile audiences and have mobile-friendly images, designs, structures, etc.

With that being said, other devices are still commonly used by some consumers, just not as much. Here’s what recent research has shown:

  • At least 35% of business professionals prefer to check their emails on a mobile device. (Convince & Convert)
  • Almost 50% of all emails are opened via mobile, and at least 40% of adults 18 and older would choose opening an email on their mobile over another option. (Campaign Monitor)
  • 19 to 34-year-olds are at least 20% more likely to open their email on mobile than people 56 and older. (Campaign Monitor)
  • At 29%, Apple iPhone is the most popular mobile client for reading emails, just above Gmail at 27%. (HubSpot)
  • Studies show that Android users tend to spend more ‘quality time’ with email, with most users spending at least 15 seconds on mobile emails. This is compared to iOS users who only spend about three seconds at most on their mobile emails. (MarTech)
  • Mobile accounts for more than 46% of all email opens. (HubSpot)
  • 49.5% of emails are opened via smartphone, 34% are opened via a desktop, and 16.8% are opened on tablets. (MarTech)
  • Mobile email open rates have seen a 100% increase since 2011. (Constant Contact)

Surprisingly, the device being used also makes a difference when you can expect the recipient to open and engage with your content. For instance, smartphone users tend to open emails the most between 6 am and 9 am, while tablet users tend to open emails after 6 pm.

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The Email Report

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Device Statistics

As you’ll notice, there are also some similarities and differences between demographics regarding email usage, generation, gender, open rates, conversions, etc. In fact, some of these statistics are pretty shocking.

  • 47% of all people across demographics use a mobile application for checking their email. (Campaign Monitor)
  • 89.45% of people older than 15 use email in the United States, with 93.6% of people 25 to 44 using email the most. As for email penetration, the rate is around 90% for 15 to 24-year-olds and 45 to 64-year-olds. 65 and older are the only age ranges to dip below 90%, and they’re still at 84.1%. (99Firms)
  • Men and women are equally likely to convert from an email opened on a desktop — but women are more likely to convert on a tablet, and men are more likely to convert on the phone. (Wordstream)
  • 73% of millennials prefer that brands communicate with them over email. (HubSpot)
  • Millennials surveyed in the United Kingdom listed Gmail among their top 5 most important mobile apps, while a similar survey carried out in Sweden saw Gmail tie with WhatsApp for a spot among the top mobile apps nationwide. (Statista)
  • Email is the most preferred channel, across all demographics: 68% overall and 73% among Baby Boomers, 71% among Generation X, 62% among Millennials, and 65% among Generation Z. (BlueCore)
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The Future of Email

As you likely can already tell from the previously listed statistics, email is far from on its way out, and anyone who believes it is at risk of missing out on a significant opportunity in advertising and marketing. With that being said, some influential trends are making their way into email advertising, and the more you know about them, the better prepared you will be to take advantage.

Here are at least 5 innovations/trends of email advertising and marketing that Passendo believes is on the rise and are likely to impact email now and in the future:

1. Personalisation is no longer an option but an expectation

Personalisation has become an important component of advertising and marketing in the last decade — in all areas, including email. This is because it makes your customers feel more valued and less like ‘just a sale.’ When they know you’ve done your research thoroughly, know what they want, and are willing to position your products and brand where they need to be to meet those needs, they are more likely to go to you for their purchasing needs.

In fact, Campaign Monitor research reports that emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, 53% of marketers say ongoing, personalised communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact, and 94% of customer insights and marketing professionals across multiple industries said personalisation is “important,” “very important,” or “extremely important” for meeting their current email marketing objectives.

Great ways to personalise your emails include sending our birthday emails, anniversary emails, product recommendations, welcome emails, and using the recipient’s name in the subject line and your greeting. The best way to get this information is through first-party data collecting — using their own email habits to form insights into what they like and dislike.

2. User-Generated Content is gaining traction

Much of advertising is already putting user-generated content to use, but it’s also becoming popular in email. User-generated content is essentially any content that is not made by the company itself but rather by other people. It’s much more trusted content because although many of us genuinely believe our products/services are the best, consumers want to hear it from people who have had experience with your product/service.

According to Invespro, 90% of consumers read online reviews before buying from a business, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and customers are more likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews. This means that sharing your excellent customer reviews could make all the difference on that next sale.

Great ways to do this are by posting customer feedback, reviews, tutorials, etc. Better yet — if you have the capability — you should send customer reviews depending on the recipient’s product history and interests.

3. Recipients want more interactive and engaging content

Considering so many emails are sent a day, it can be pretty challenging to set your business apart from the competition. As of recently, customers are finding more value in emails that are more interactive and engaging. This is because they’re playful, entertaining, and often incorporate great deals in the process — adding more value!

HubSpot reports that not only are 62% of B2B marketers are already using interactive content and 34% of marketers using interactive elements in at least 10% of their content, but 88% of marketers say at least 10% of their static content will be made interactive in the next two years. The results are coming out positive so far — with 45% of B2B buyers say interactive content is one of their top three preferred content types — so it’s only a matter of time before these numbers grow significantly.

A good example would be an interactive game in your email that allows the recipient to ‘play to win.’ The prize could be something like first-time purchase discounts, buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) deals, or similar

4. Customers are prioritising company’s that show they appreciate them

It’s also important that you keep in mind how many customers now value being valued by their favorite brands. By this, we mean the extra effort you put in to show your customers that you see that they supported you, and you appreciate that support. This is because, believe it or not, a simple ‘Thank You’ can go a long way.

In fact, Inc. reports some studies that show no matter how you choose to thank your customers for their purchase and loyalty to your brand, the results are ultimately positive. “The researchers noted that regardless of how gratitude is expressed, consumers agreed that appreciation should be conveyed by saying thanks directly to the individual recipient (60%) and personalized (44 %).” And the best way to do both is through email.

You can show your recipients how much you value them through emails that offer repeat customers money off on their next purchase, a bonus prize email for recipients who have made ‘X’ amount of purchases, reward and loyalty program mentions, etc.

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making its way into email advertising

As technology advances, so does the capability of our most successful marketing strategies. In email marketing, the technology advancement making the biggest impact right now is artificial intelligence. AI is becoming so popular because it reduces all the guesswork that has plagued email for decades, replacing it with algorithms that can pinpoint the best times to send your emails to recipients. This means you’ll be reaching MORE people at the RIGHT time for them.

This trend is only getting more attention now that research is showing that 80% of business and tech leaders say AI already boosts productivity, 61% of marketers say artificial intelligence is the most important aspect of their data strategy, and when AI is present, 49% of consumers are willing to shop more frequently while 34% will spend more money.

The best way to do this is to find the right AI software that fits your business and email advertising needs. AI can do a lot for businesses in all areas of marketing, so it’s important that you discuss your options with different brands to find the best one for you. From there, you will be able to take the technology available to you — for instance, programmatic email advertising — and create memorable brand/consumer experiences for your customers.

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The Email Report

*By submitting this form, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our GDPR/Privacy terms.