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What we learned about the state of email in 2020 (so far)
5 min read

What we learned about the state of email in 2020 (so far)

What we learned about the state of email in 2020 (so far)

Let’s face it: 2020 has not been a normal year so far. Not only are we facing one of the most serious pandemics in modern history, but most of us have also been isolating ourselves for months. Depending on where in the world you live, your life will probably not go back to the previous normal anytime soon. Additionally, we are experiencing social backlash against institutional racism, something that has forced some businesses to reassess their public stances and confront the issue internally.

In this difficult context, it comes as a relief to know that at least some things have remained unchanged. That’s why we want to analyze how email marketing has evolved in 2020 so far and see what we can learn from whatever developments have impacted it.

Don’t forget that this year, to support digital marketers, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, we have also launched our Email Marketing Essentials Series. Check it out to find out everything you need to know about emails and the best practices you need to be aware of.

Email marketing stats 2020

According to Statista, the total number of email sent and received this year will surpass 300 million, for the first time ever. Their projections are seeing an ongoing increase for daily emails at such a fast pace that by 2023 we will reach almost 350 million daily sent and received emails.

Such an important growth underlines how email has matured to be one of the most reliable and useful tactics for businesses to connect with customers and prospects. Considering the upward trend in smartphone adoption, email has become even more personal.

In a world where we cannot safely leave our homes and where retail stores have seen a substantial drop in terms of sales, by as much as 35%, according to Econsultancy, digital marketing, but email marketing in particular is positioned to increase importance.

Here are some of the email marketing stats you need to know about the state of email in 2020, so far. We are going to separate these stats into four categories, as follows: general email marketing stats, B2C email marketing stats, B2B email marketing stats and miscellaneous email marketing stats, where we will deal with mobile data, deliverability and spam stats, engagement and personalization.

Let’s get started.

General email marketing stats

  • The average open-rates, based on the continent where businesses are located, are highest in Europe, with 26.84%, South America, with 23.06%, North America, with 19.00%, followed by Asia (18.51%) and Africa (17.33%). If you are seeing lower open rates from your subscribers in these places, maybe it is time to rethink your overall email marketing strategy. (GetResponse)
  • iPhone users can only read 30 characters of a subject line before opening an email. That means that you need to keep subject lines short and to-the-point, to spark interest and increase engagement. (Yola)
  • 69% of email users indicate that they are more likely to open an email based on the sender, rather than the subject line. It is extremely important to only contact subscribers that have heard of you and have given you permission to reach out to them. (SuperOffice)
  • When it comes to capitalization, 6% of companies send out newsletters with subject lines that use sentence-case capitalization, 34% use title-case capitalization. We can surmise that the best approach is to stick with what you are currently using, as long as it is not all lowercase subject lines, something that only 6% of companies seem to be doing. (AWeber)

B2C email marketing stats

  • Scheduling your cart abandonment emails at one hour after the user has left your website will bring in the best results, converting 6.33% of them. For emails sent less than an hour, as well as email sent between one or two hours, the conversion rate sits at just 3.41%. If you have your emails scheduled to be sent at a shorter or longer period before the customer abandons their cart, you can change that to increase conversions. (SaleCycle)
  • It has been proven that sending just one cart abandonment email can be less efficient than creating a drip campaign consisting of three emails. (Omnisend)
  • On the previous point, only 54% of small or medium online businesses have a system for sending out cart abandonment emails. If you have not yet implemented such emails, it is time to strongly consider them. Less than a third (30%) of these businesses are sending out product recommendations emails. If you can automate the creation and delivery of such emails, that might give you an important competitive edge. (emersys)
  • 35.9% of US email subscribers claim to never find email marketing useful. This can explain certain low retention rates, as well as low subscription rates for efforts aimed at growing email lists. (**Eventy**)
  • Eventy has further found that 34.8% of American email subscribers tend to unsubscribe because they have received emails too often. Please note that 40.5% of Americans would prefer to be contacted once a month or less. Make sure your email schedule is aligned with this data and adjust it if you are starting to see drops in engagement or spikes in unsubscribers. (Eventy)

B2B email marketing stats

  • As we have stated multiple times on our DataValidation blog, email is an essential channel for B2B companies. Data has proven this time and time again. For example, 59% of B2B marketers are placing email at the top of their tactics. They are finding email marketing to be essential to achieving their goals and connecting with leads and prospects. If you are operating in this space and have not included email in your multi-channel marketing strategy, then it is definitely time to start. (BtoB Magazine)
  • Email marketing deployments for B2B companies have a higher click-to-open rate than emails sent by B2C business. How does this impact you? If you are operating in the B2B space, it is vital to monitor your engagement rates and see how they compare to market and industry benchmarks, but you can also review B2C data to see how you perform compared to them. (Emfluence)

Miscellaneous email marketing stats

  • Mobile stats: Mobile platforms have reached almost half of all email engagement. Emails are being read on mobile at a rate of 49%, followed by webmail (33%) and desktop (17%). If your emails are not optimized for mobile devices, you might have some issues with reaching your subscribers in the places where they tend to read emails. (EmailMonday)
  • Deliverability and spam stats: 55% of all global emails sent out consist of spam. This might include unwanted emails, unsolicited emails or emails sent to users who have already unsubscribed. If you are deploying email campaigns that fall in any of those categories, you need to reconsider your tactics. For email to be efficient, it is critical to follow email regulations and to only include subscribers who have given consent to be contacted. (Campaigner)
  • Engagement stats: 4.24% of email recipients will purchase, a much higher rate when compared to social media users, where the rate is at only 0.59% or prospects that reach websites via search engines (2.49). You should never underestimate the power of email to convert, if done right. (The American Genius)
  • Personalization stats: While only 7% of businesses are using email to communicate with customers based on their preferences, personalization plays a huge role in generating transactions. Personalized emails have a six time higher revenue and transactions per email than the not-personalized ones. With such an important benefit behind personalization, you should start implementing it before your competitors do. (Experian)


In times of uncertainty, email remains a solid tactic for marketers and businesses alike to reach customers and convert prospects. With the data available to us up to this point, we can paint a clear picture for the benefits of using email marketing.

  • Email is on an ascending trend, projected to surpass 300 million daily emails sent and received, a figure that will grow to almost 350 million daily emails by 2023
  • The global open rate sits at 22.15%, according to GetResponse
  • Over 40% of subscribers prefer to hear from businesses once per month or less
  • B2C companies should schedule to send out up to three cart abandonment emails, the first one an hour after the user has left the website
  • B2B emails have open rates 20%+ higher than B2C ones
  • Only 7% of companies are using personalization, which has been seen to deliver six times better revenue than classic emails