Ever wondered how many emails are sent per day around the world? How about the number of emails that hit your inbox? There are a lot of emails getting sent and received, and these numbers are probably higher than you think.

Pause for a moment and try to estimate the average number of emails that come into your own inbox on a daily basis. Is it 10? 50? More than 100?

Modern inboxes are noisy, crowded, and extremely competitive. For marketers, that means most emails are just part of the cacophony and they’re probably not getting opened or clicked.
So what can you do to stand out within the inbox? Well, you need emails that are doing something unique and special.

Let’s start by understanding the truth about how many emails are sent each day and then dive into ways you can make your email marketing efforts more effective.

How many emails are sent?

Beginning at a high level, let’s look at how many emails are sent around the globe both daily and annually.

Projections show that by the end of 2019, we can expect to see 2.9 billion worldwide email users (which is more than one-third of the global population). In regard to email sends per day worldwide, we know that about 269 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2017. That figure is expected to grow to almost 320 billion daily emails in 2021, according to Statista.

Statista – Daily Number of Emails Worldwide

Radicati takes things a step further and breaks down the daily email traffic in a bit more detail. This data set shows that as of 2018, there are about 124.5 billion business emails sent and received each day, while there are about 111.1 billion consumer emails sent and received each day.

Radicati – Daily Email Traffic

At a personal level, DMR reports show that the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. That’s a lot of emails, and they come in various forms. From content, deals, event invitations, and beyond, all of these email messages are trying to convey some form of value to the recipient.

However, is every email sender doing a good job of conveying value? And if not, how can they do a better job? If you’re not providing values in your emails, then it will be difficult for your subscribers to separate you from the pack.

How B2C brands can break through the noise of the inbox

For many brands, increasing the value of email comes when they take the time to nail down what their subscribers both want and need from them.

In fact, marketing expert Jay Baer wrote an entire book on this approach called Youtility. Baer says:

“Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.”

Makes sense, right? The more emails provide value and interesting material, the stronger the bond between recipient and sender becomes. In your inbox, you probably have a select group of emails from brands or individuals that you always open because you enjoy reading what they have to say or because you get real, tangible value out of the material included.

This is what brands should be striving for when re-thinking their approach to the modern inbox. Take the time to spell out how you’ll better provide value and build long-term relationships with subscribers (rather than always trying to make the quick sale).

3 Steps to Better, More Valuable Emails

From a tactical standpoint, there are three main elements brands can work into their strategy for better, more effective emails. Let’s look at each in detail.

1. Personalization

Personalization means crafting emails that are extremely relevant, timely, and tailor-made for the recipient. The mass-email approach is dead: it’s time to think about how you can leverage subscriber data to create more personalized and dynamic emails. By integrating your CRM and eCommerce data with your email efforts, for example, you can leverage rich customer profiles and create customer journeys based around data points like past purchases, customer behaviors, birthdays, etc. A good example of this can be seen from Converse, as personalization is used in their subject lines.

2. Feedback

The best way to find out what a subscriber wants and needs from you is by regularly gathering direct feedback from the source. With the help of surveys, you can find out what’s working and what’s not in regard to your email strategy, and you can start crafting more relevant future emails based on the data you’ve collected. Dropbox does this well:

3. Format accordingly

It’s important to understand how your subscribers prefer to read and digest your emails–and then to design accordingly. Keep in mind that 63% of email users now open via a mobile device, so mobile-friendly email templates are a must. Tools like Litmus make testing your email in different email clients and across different devices simpler than ever.

Note: In talking about improving email efforts, it’s also a good idea to consider the frequency of your sends. Taking a quality vs. quantity approach to send frequency enhances brand reputation and can encourage better campaign deliverability overall.

Wrap up

Mass email is dead. With billions of emails being sent each day, now is the time to re-think your email strategy and to come up with a strategy that boosts value and relevance for every subscriber. Use every touchpoint as a meaningful interaction with your subscribers. After all, that’s how you can stand out in a world where their subscribers receive hundreds of emails each day.