Email Marketing Statistics How Consumers Feel about Emails


Email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels. With over 3 billion email users worldwide, it provides a direct line of communication to a business’s customers and potential customers. However, as inboxes become more crowded, consumers are becoming more selective about the emails they open and engage with. Understanding the factors that make email marketing successful or unsuccessful has never been more important.

This article will provide an in-depth look at statistics and survey data exploring how consumers feel about email marketing. By better understanding email usage habits, attitudes toward marketing emails, demographic differences, content preferences, and more, marketers can optimize their email campaigns.

Delivering emails that resonate with subscribers and avoiding those perceived as spam or irrelevant is key to getting results. We’ll also explore best practices for email design, timing, and metrics to boost open and click-through rates. With thoughtful email marketing informed by consumer sentiment, marketers can continue driving results while respecting the inbox.

Email Usage Statistics

Email remains one of the most widely used forms of communication and marketing. Recent surveys show that over 90% of online consumers use email on a regular basis.

  • A 2021 report found that 96% of consumers check their email at least once per week, with 61% checking email daily. This shows a high level of email engagement among consumers.
  • Email open rates average around 20-25%, meaning 1 in 4 emails sent are opened by recipients. However, open rates can vary significantly based on factors like subject lines, sender reputation, email list quality, and more. Financial services and travel brands tend to see higher open rates around 30%, while nonprofits and education see lower open rates around 15-20%.
  • When segmented by age groups, email engagement remains high across generations. 96% of Baby Boomers check email daily, along with 92% of Gen X, 90% of Millennials, and 85% of Gen Z. This widespread use demonstrates email’s staying power across age groups.
  • On mobile devices, 61% of emails are opened within the first hour of being received. This shows the importance of mobile optimization and rapid load times for email campaigns.

In summary, email continues to be widely used for personal and business communication. Most consumers actively check their email daily across devices and demographics. This presents a major opportunity for marketers to connect with audiences through well-crafted email campaigns.

Attitudes Toward Email Marketing

Email marketing can sometimes get a bad rap for being intrusive and Sammy. But research shows that most consumers have neutral or positive attitudes toward email marketing when done right.

  • Around 80% of consumers find email marketing useful for learning about sales or new products from brands they trust. Only 20% find it outright annoying.
  • Over 50% prefer to hear from brands 1-3 times per month. Less than 10% want daily emails.
  • Around 60% say relevance is most important – they want emails tailored to their interests and purchase history.
  • The majority prefer email newsletters to arrive on Tuesday-Thursday. Weekends tend to have lower open rates.
  • Personalized subject lines boost open rates by around 30%. Using the first name in subject lines gets 12% higher open rates.
  • Segmenting subscriber lists by demographics and interests gets higher open and click-through rates compared to mass blasts.

In summary, most consumers appreciate email marketing as a useful tool to learn about brands they like. But brands need to be careful not to send too many emails or irrelevant content. Personalization and proper timing based on data helps improve email marketing results.

Demographics and Email

Email usage and preferences vary significantly across different age groups. Understanding these generational differences can help marketers better target and engage their audiences.

Millennials (born 1981-1996) have grown up with technology and are avid email users. Studies show they check email frequently throughout the day, with many checking email on their smartphones immediately upon waking up. Millennials prefer short, scannable emails that get straight to the point. They also favor emails with eye-catching visual designs and links to social media. However, millennials are also more likely than older groups to perceive email as clutter and unsubscribe from emails they deem irrelevant.

Generation X (born 1965-1980) adopt technology readily and are prolific email users both on desktop and mobile. Gen Xers appreciate concise emails that offer utility and value. They respond well to segmentation and personalization based on their interests. As busy parents and professionals, Gen X values convenience and efficiency from email communications.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) were slower to adopt digital technology but many now rely on email, especially as they age and email replaces other forms of communication. Boomers prefer plain text emails that are easy to read. They dislike lengthy emails and appreciate brevity. However, boomers do enjoy personalized emails and being addressed by name. Some key email etiquette tips with boomers are to use formal salutations and avoid using internet slang or emojis.

Understanding generational differences in email use can help marketers craft more relevant, effective email campaigns tailored to their target audience. Factoring in preferences around design, content, and style leads to higher open and click-through rates.

Content Type Preferences

Consumers have different preferences when it comes to the type of content they want to receive via email. According to surveys, the most preferred email content types are:

  • Promotional content – This includes emails with special offers, discounts, coupons, and other incentives. Approximately 65% of consumers report engaging with promotional emails from brands they like. These emails drive sales and conversions.
  • Informational content – Newsletters, tips, how-toss, and other non-promotional content. About 55% of subscribers say they open informational emails, especially if the topics are relevant to their interests. These build relationships and trust.
  • Transactional content – Receipts, shipping confirmations, password reset emails, and other service messages. These have very high open rates since they provide essential information people need.

Overall, while consumers do engage with promotional content, informational content generates higher open and click-through rates on average. Brands should aim for an email mix of approximately 60% informational content and 40% promotional content for optimal results. Personalization and segmentation based on subscriber preferences is key to providing the right content to the right recipients.

Mobile Email Usage

Email marketing has become increasingly mobile-centric as smartphone adoption rises. Studies show that around 50-60% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. This represents a major shift compared to just a few years ago when the majority of email was accessed on desktop.

Marketers must optimize email campaigns for the mobile experience. Emails need to be responsive, with easy-to-read fonts and a simple layout that displays well on small screens.

Open rates tend to be higher on mobile than desktop. Some research indicates mobile open rates are around 20-30% higher compared to desktop. This is likely because mobile devices are more convenient for quickly checking emails on-the-go.

The rise of mobile has impacted email marketing and consumer behaviors. With more people relying on their smartphones as their primary device, email campaigns need to be mobile-friendly. Understanding the nuances around mobile email usage can help marketers improve open and click-through rates.

Email Design Best Practices

Email design plays a major role in engaging subscribers and getting them to take action. Follow these best practices when designing your email campaigns:

Ideal Email Length

Keep your emails concise and scannable. According to research, the ideal length is between 50-125 words. Emails longer than that see steep drop-offs in open and click-through rates. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and other formatting techniques to keep your content short, focused, and readable.

Using Visuals Effectively

Visuals like images, GIFs, and videos can make your emails more appealing and attention-grabbing. But use them sparingly – 1-2 visuals per email is ideal. Make sure images are optimized for mobile and don’t bloat file size. Videos should be short, with the play button visible right in the email rather than linking out.


Personalized subject lines and content result in higher open and click rates. Use merge tags to include the recipient’s first name. Segment your lists based on demographics, interests, and past behaviors to deliver targeted, relevant content. Dynamic content blocks can serve up personalized product recommendations and deals. But avoid over-personalization, which can come across as creepy.

Optimizing Delivery Timing

When it comes to email marketing, timing is everything. Finding the right day and time to send your email campaigns can have a big impact on open and click-through rates. Here are some best practices for optimizing your delivery timing:

Best Days/Times to Send

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday tend to be the best days for open rates. Mondays and Fridays tend to be bad days, as inboxes are often flooded those days.
  • Mornings (8-10 AM) are typically best for open rates. Afternoons (1-4 PM) are also decent. Nighttime sends usually have poor open rates.
  • Mid-week (Tues-Thurs) are the best days for click-through rates.
  • Tuesdays around 10 AM is often cited as the very best time/day for high open and click rates.

Always test different days/times with your own audience to see what works best for your specific subscribers.

Accounting for Time Zones

If you have an audience spread across multiple time zones, you’ll want to consider their local time when sending emails.

  • Send at 8 AM local time if targeting the west coast.
  • Send at 11 AM local time if targeting the east coast.

Stagger your sends every 1-2 hours to cover multiple time zones over the best morning send times.

Again, test to see which local send times give you the highest open and engagement rates with your subscribers in various time zones. Optimize your sends around their preferred times.

Measuring Email Success

Email marketing campaigns should always be evaluated based on key metrics to determine their effectiveness. Here are some of the most important metrics to track:

Open Rates

The open rate shows the percentage of subscribers who opened an email campaign. This helps gauge initial interest and engagement. Benchmark open rates vary by industry, but the average is around 20-25%. Financial services and software tend to see higher open rates around 30%, while open rates for retail and media are often lower around 15-20%.

Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

The CTR shows how many recipients clicked on any link within an email campaign. Higher CTRs signal that content resonated with subscribers. Average CTRs are around 2-3%, but can range from 0.5% for retail up to 5% for industries like software. Anything above 5% is generally considered excellent.


Conversion rate is the percentage of recipients who completed a desired action after receiving the email, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar. This helps determine how well an email campaign achieved its goals. Conversion rates vary greatly based on the goal, but are often less than 1%.

Comparing open, CTR, and conversion rates to industry benchmarks helps evaluate the success of an email campaign. Significant differences may indicate opportunities to optimize content, design, timing, targeting, and other factors to boost engagement and results. Continuously monitoring metrics provides insight to create more effective email marketing.


Email marketing remains an essential channel for brands looking to engage with customers and drive conversions. However, with crowded inboxes and shifting consumer preferences, marketers must carefully consider email content, design, and timing to stand out.

The key takeaways are:

  • Email open and click-through rates vary significantly based on factors like demographics, mobile vs desktop, and email content and design. Marketers should optimize and test to determine what resonates best with their unique audience.
  • Consumers have nuanced preferences when it comes to email frequency, content type, design and more. Surveying subscribers, analyzing past campaign performance, and testing different approaches can provide invaluable insights.
  • Mobile optimization is critical, with the majority of emails now opened on smartphones. Emails should be mobile-friendly, with easy CTAs and short, scannable content.
  • Personalization and segmentation continue to grow in importance. Leveraging data to tailor content and send more relevant emails boosts engagement.

Understanding subscriber preferences through testing and data analysis is essential for email success. By optimizing email campaigns based on how target consumers want to engage, marketers can cut through the clutter and drive results with this important channel.

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