Although email marketing is what we might consider one of the older digital channels, it is still very relevant with 3.9 billion users worldwide. Email continues to play a vital role for businesses to nurture, acquire and retain customers. The trend for email marketing has not declined, when you consider that 58% of the population check their email first thing. Its true, the digital landscape has shifted with increased consumption of content via social media channels.  So its easy to understand why you might be asking ‘does email marketing still work?’


Statista predicts that the number of global email users will grow to 4.48 billion users by 2024. Added to this 44% more emails are being sent than before lockdown began, and email open rates have increased on average by 28%. With those kinds of numbers, its worth considering email as a channel for your business.

Email marketing opportunities

With those kind of numbers, email clearly works for businesses and will continue to play a vital role in nurturing, acquiring and retaining customers and prospects. Additionally, Hubspot highlights that 73% of millennials prefer to receive business communications via email.

email marketing opportunities
  • 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention
  • 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.

As businesses recover from the pandemic, one thing is clear when it comes to email marketing, one size does not fit all. In reality that has been the case or some time. the more segmentation and personalisation you are able to achieve with your email marketing, the better the results.

There are some innovative tools available for businesses to use to activate their email marketing, and many have become more accessible for smaller businesses too, so don’t be put off if you’re an SME.

Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels

Social media is a great way to broadcast and engage, and can certainly deliver some great results. But it can often cause frustrations for businesses. The algorithms are not clear and transparent. If you have budget in order to pay to play, often if feels like the results favour those businesses with bigger budgets.

Email marketing on the other hand is low to no cost, but still requires effort and a strategy to achieve the results. With the increase in email consumption, there has also been an increase in newsletter sign-ups. So making it easy for your audience to sign-up to get a newsletter from you is a great way of getting their permission to communicate with them. This could be the start of a journey that leads to a sale.

Trend for authentic and positive content

Emails landing in your inbox are an exchange of value between the recipient and the sender. Your audience’s time is valuable to them, if they’ve taken the time to open your email, you need to give them something worth reading.

As humans our attentions spans are shorter than ever. A study found that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 200 to eight seconds today true. Even more reason to give them something of value that they want to read. If they weren’t interested or they feel you wasted their time, it will be much harder to persuade them to open the next one you send. A very convincing statistic is that that 60% of consumers have purchased a product after receiving a promotional email. That’s a pretty compelling case for email marketing and how it still works.

Mobile-first email marketing

Mobile devices make it easier than ever to check emails, probably more frequently than every before. Therefore its essential to make sure your email marketing is mobile first too.

50% of all read emails are read on mobile devices. And  81% prefer to open emails on their smartphones. But just because people do and can check emails on their smartphones, desktop is still just as important.

In fact, 23% of consumers who open an email on a mobile device will open that email again later. If an email is read on mobile and then read for a second time on desktop, that consumer has a 65% higher likelihood of clicking through.

When you’re thinking about mobile-first email marketing, think about the screen size and the orientation. The subject line becomes more important than ever as the preview view shows fewer characters.

Email personalisation

One of the biggest reasons why email marketing still works, is your ability to personalise your message and your content. Everyone is more likely to open and read if the email if its been personalised. You can delight your audience with a personalised email that meets their needs, helps them and interests them. If we get it wrong, we will disengage the recipient very quickly – they might not open the next one we send. Below stats from Optinmonster, that tell the story.

There are a number of way you can personalise your emails, such as demographic, but can also work really well if they are based on attributes or interest areas. A bit like the email we get from Amazon, you bought this so you might like this!

Subject line

Getting this right is key to someone opening your email as it’s the first thing they see, whether mobile or desktop. Only the first 30 characters of a subject line are visible on the iPhone email app. The recipient is making a snap decision on whether to open or delete your email.

When compared to non-personalized emails, personalized messages result in 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click-through rates.

Personalization is not a nice-to-have; its essential if you want to improve your open rates, and engagement with the recipient. Try your own tests with A/B testing to see what works best for your business.

A study by Experian found that email subject lines with an emoji increased open rates by 56%, as compared to text-only subject lines. However, consider the type of business you are and whether this approach complements or undermines your brand before you use them.

Final thoughts on email marketing

The numbers don’t lie, the email marketing trends demonstrate this channel continues to be relevant. Email marketing still works. Stay ahead by adopting personalisation and taking time to think about subject lines. Stay adaptable, changing to meet the ever-changing needs of your customers.

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels for B2B and B2C businesses. As long as you pay attention to your customer and prospects needs, interests and preferences, you should achieve success.