Data Monday: Email's Eroding Influence

by Luke Wroblewski March 11, 2012

For many Web sites, email is a cheap and easy way of increasing engagement and increasing sales. But as more emails hit people's Inboxes, the channel is becoming less effective.

  • There were 3.146 billion email accounts worldwide at the end of 2011. (source)
  • 71% percentage of the email traffic to these accounts was spam in November 2011. (source)
  • In 2011, the nation's top 100 e-commerce retailers sent recipients an average of 177 emails apiece. That was up 87% from 2007. (source)
  • Email's influence to bring people to Web sites went from 25% in 2006 to 17% in 2011. (source)
  • In the first six months of 2007, consumers opened 19% of the retail emails they received and clicked through to the website 3.9% of the time. (source)
  • By the first half of 2011, those numbers shrank to 12.5% and 2.8%, respectively. (source)
  • 40.8% of Americans used their mobile devices to check email in December of 2011. (source)
  • More than 20% of emails sent during the first six months of 2011 were opened on mobile devices. (source)
  • Mobile email open rates increased 34% in the last six months of 2011. Compared to mobile, desktop email opens dropped by 9.5%. Similarly, email open rates via webmail decreased by 11%. (source)