| Last updated: March 2012

Email facts

email statsThere are 2.9 billion email accounts. This figure is predicted to reach 3.8 billion by 2014 (source).

The three largest webmail services had over 1 billion global users at the end of 2011 (source).

62% of adult US Internet users check or send email on a daily basis (source).

94% of all online adults use email. 73% of those aged 12-17 do so (source).

Social media users are over 60% more likely to check email at least four times a day than those who don't use social media (source).

People prefer email for commercial communications

mobile email74% of online adults prefer email for commercial communication (source).

Over four times as many survey respondents preferred to receive promotions via email rather than via social media (source).

When asked to receive updates from companies..."Only 10% elected to do so through Facebook, while 90% opted for a newsletter" (source).

60% of those with a dedicated account for commercial email check it daily (source).

Over twice as many Christmas shoppers reported email promotions as the biggest influence on their decision to visit a website rather than social media (source).

Twice as many young consumers turn to email to get a brand or store's deals than turn to Facebook for the same purpose (source).

BUT...the time spent with emails from friends and family is dropping (source).

Email is going mobile

mobile emailBy the end of 2010, 43.5 million people in the US were reading email daily on a mobile device (source).

An analysis of what people in the US do on the mobile Internet showed email occupying over 38% of their time...almost 300% more time than any other single category of activity (source).

Almost 500 million smartphones were sold in 2011 (source).

Useful reading

email statsMedia hype often leads to "email is dead" headlines, followed by praise for whichever new technology killed email this time.

Numerous authors have addressed this issue of email's longevity and use. Here a selection:

"Email is not dead because people want to write to one another, using their email accounts, in more than 140-character bursts," says Neil Schwartzman, Executive Director, CAUCE

"Email is not going to disappear. Possibly ever. Until the robots kill us all," says Paul Buchheit, a founder of FriendFeed

And email marketing?

email marketing statsDMA research puts the ROI of email marketing in 2010 at US$42.08, almost double that of search advertising and better than any other direct marketing channel (source).

When asked to rate the ROI of online marketing channels, respondents to an Econsultancy survey in early 2011 placed email second, just behind organic SEO (source).

...find more stats: Why do email marketing? | EmailStatCenter | 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Guide