Social media, corporate chats, instant messaging apps … in recent years the range of tools we use to communicate has expanded considerably. Despite this, one of them that came before remains essential: email.
Receiving and sending email continues to be a very common practice in our daily lives, both in the personal and in the corporate spheres. In fact, email is the predominant service for communication with suppliers, customers, and even between employees. According to a recent study by Adobe in the United States workers use email 5.4 hours a day.
An abundance of other data confirms that we continue to use email, even though new alternatives have appeared, and that we will continue to do so in the coming years. We take a look at the statistics, which show that email is more alive than ever:
More than 4 billion accounts in 2020
By the end of this year there will be more than 3.7 billion email users in the world. That is, practically half of the world’s population (now at more than 7.5 billion people) will communicate via this tool, according to the latest study by the California research firm The Radicati Group, which analyses email’s status annually.
The report, published at the beginning of the year, also indicates that the number of users has steadily increased in recent years: in 2009, the same firm indicated that there were 1.4 billion users, almost three times fewer.
The company also underscores that this growth will continue in the future: in 2021 there will be 4.1 billion users, which represents an annual increase of 3%. Logically, in the world there are more accounts than users, as it is common to have more than one (1.7 on average), although that number is also expected to increase in the coming years.
The data also reveals that Gmail is the leading email provider. At the beginning of last year Google announced that it had 1 billion active monthly users. This summer Gmail indicated that the figure had risen to 1.2 billion users, almost three times as many as five years ago (in 2012 there were 425 million). This data demonstrates its dominance over its main competitor, Outlook, which has fewer users and has seen slower growth: at the start of the year it reached 400 million active users, while in 2011 Hotmail had 360 million.
The increasing use of smartphones to communicate, rather than computers, has not meant that people are using email any less. According to Gmail data, 75% of users say they check their email on their mobiles. After all, it is just as convenient to check mail using an app, with the added advantage that one can do so anywhere. What’s more, people are now sending emails in all kinds of situations: according to the aforementioned Adobe study, 69% check it while watching television, 59%, while in bed; and 43%, in the bathroom.
How are we using email?
In addition to being a tool that almost everyone has, we use email intensively: The Radicati Group estimates that 269 billion emails are sent daily. The figures from Internet Live Stats, a website that produces snapshots of Internet use in real time, are similar: according to this page, more than 75 billion emails have already been sent this year.
As we have said, e-mail is especially important in the corporate world. How often do we send messages using this tool? According to another study conducted by The Radicati Group, workers send and receive an average of 122 emails a day, which adds up to a considerable amount of time reading and writing messages.
Respondents to the study conducted by Adobe (1,000 white-collar employees) also see corporate mail continuing to have a place in the future: 57% of the participants believe that we will continue to use email in the same way in the next two years.
The study also shows that the youngest respondents (ages 25 to 34) check their mail more than others outside the office: on transport on their way to work, while walking, or even on vacation.
The survey also suggests that consumers like email, as 61% still prefer to receive offers by email rather than by other means, like social media. However, the fact that they prefer this medium does not mean that they want to be bombarded with messages: half of consumers say that the most irritating thing about corporate emails is that too many are sent.
Other studies have also reached similar conclusions, which is why companies must take note that quantity is not the same as quality. In addition, adapting email marketing campaigns to mobile phones must be a priority: 21% of consumers who check messages on their mobile devices find it frustrating that brands do not optimise their messages for use on smartphones.
As we have seen, email is alive and well, and will continue to be: it is still essential at companies, young people use it everywhere, and consumers prefer it over other alternatives.
Do you want to know how you are using email? Try Gmail Meter and receive a complete report on the use of your Gmail account, to improve your habits.