| Last updated: March 2012
There 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
74% 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
By 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).
Media 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
- What do teens think of email? by AWeber
- The Bandwagon Has Room by Simms Jenkins at ClickZ
- The death of email as we know it? Not so fast by Jesse Singal at the Boston Globe
- Is Social Media Going to Kill Email? by Andrew Spoeth of Marketo
- Social not a threat to e-mail by eMarketer
- Real vs. Perceived Threats to Email: Addressing Misperceptions by Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget
- Is Social Media Impacting How Much We Email? by Jon Gibs, Nielsen
- Email and Texting Top Social Media in Gen Y by Jennifer Van Grove, Mashable
- Email is Social, and it's not Going Anywhere by MarketingSherpa
- Email Use Increasing, Despite What WSJ Says by Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget
- Why Twitter and Facebook Will Never Kill E-mail by Kit Eaton, Fast Company
- Why Facebook and Twitter Won't Kill E-Mail by Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ
- 10 Reasons Social Media isn't Replacing Email by Chris Crum, WebProNews
- Email isn't dying, it's just turning into social media glue by Chris Lake, Econsultancy
- Don't ask "Is email dead?" – ask this instead... by Mark Brownlow, Email Marketing Reports
- Email marketing: warts and all by Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget
- Email's Demise Has Been Greatly Exaggerated...Again by Martin Lieberman, Constant Contact
- A Deluge is Underway; is Email Waterproof? by J.D. Falk, Return Path
- Why Social, Mobile, and Email Are BFFs (Not Archenemies) by Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget
- Email: In Transition, Not Fading Away by Loren McDonald, Silverpop
- The End of Email Predicted, Wrong as Usual by Alexander Ljungberg, Email Service Guide
- Email is dead... by Laura Atkins, Deliverability Consultant
- Three years on and still going strong by Mark Brownlow, Email Marketing Reports
- Why Everything is Better than Email by Jordan Cohen, Food for Naught
- 10 More Reasons Why Social Media Won't Replace Email by Janine Popick, VerticalResponse
- Email marketing still works by Gail Goodman, Constant Contact
- Why email still rules... by Jordan Cohen, Pivotal Veracity
- The threat of social media? by Jerry Flay, All About Email
- The demise of email by Anna Billstrom, CRM consultant
- Getting Social in E-Mail Marketing by Bill McCloskey, Email Data Source
- Email Is Still The Killer App by George Bilbrey, Return Path
- ...and lots of articles at Social Email Marketing
And email marketing?
DMA 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).