It’s the No. 1 sharing channel in the world
It’s been more than 45 years since Ray Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971.3 It announced the existence of email and told readers how to use the @ symbol in email addresses.
“4,300%. That’s the average ROI on email marketing.”
— Direct Marketing Association
Since then, we’ve seen the emergence of social channels ranging from Facebook to Flickr, from Tumblr to Twitter, and from Yelp to YouTube.
But when it comes to moving the needle on the bottom line, email remains king.
“Email may well be your most productive marketing tool,” says Dan Zarrella. He should know. The HubSpot viral marketing scientist analyzed 9.5 billion MailChimp emails to find out.4
So why email? E-zines and email marketing are:
These folks prefer email:
- Some 86% of U.S. professionals prefer to use email for business communications.7
- More than 60% of working Americans consider email “very important” to their job. That makes email the top digital tool in the American workplace today.8
- Sending or receiving email remains Americans’ No. 1 online activity; 85% of U.S. adults use it every day.9
“Sending or receiving email remains Americans’ No. 1 online activity. Some 85% of U.S. adults use it every day.”
People can read emails wherever they take their phones — from the barroom to the bathroom. Indeed, people open two-thirds of emails on mobile devices.10
“People read 42% of emails in the bathroom.”
— Adobe Campaign Survey
Where they read e-zines: Subscribers mostly read their e-zines at home, at work or on their commutes, according to Kim Flaherty, Amy Schade and Jakob Nielsen, authors of Marketing Email and Newsletter Design to Increase Conversion and Loyalty. However, 7% read their e-zines in the bathroom.
Where they read emails: As for general email consumption … outside of work, Americans most commonly check their email:11
- While watching TV (70%)
- From bed (52%)
- On vacation (50%)
- While on the phone (43%)
- From the bathroom (42%)
- While driving (18%)
If your email readers like what they see, they forward the message to an average of 11 people, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
“Email is the No. 1 social channel for sharing.”
— Chadwick Martin Bailey
That makes email the No. 1 social channel for sharing, according to Chadwick Martin Bailey.12 Eighty-six percent of people surveyed use email for sharing; 62% use it most often.
Emailing a company’s own list costs only $1 a sale, according to Forrester Research. That compares with $20 a sale using snail mail.
Finally, email has a 66% conversion rate. That’s the highest of any channel, including social media, direct mail and more.13
“Email has a 66% conversion rate. That’s the highest of any channel, including social media, direct mail and more.”
— Data & Marketing Association
And let’s not forget that 4,300% ROI.
But remember: That return is an opportunity — not a promise. And taking advantage of that opportunity isn’t easy. Email has some built-in problems that make it easy to annoy, rather than convert, subscribers.
 “Email Marketing: How To Push Send And Grow Your Business,” Copyblogger,
 Josh Mendelsohn and Jeff McKenna, “Social Sharing Research Report: How, Why, and What Content People Share Online” (PDF), Chadwick Martin Bailey, September 2010
 Casey Hampsey, “Saturday Stat Series: The Influence of Email Marketing Messages,” Data & Marketing Association, Aug. 3, 2013