How Many People Open Emails? How the Percent of Openers Will Impact Your Email Marketing

A while back, I wrote a blog post on Lead Generation Ideas for Marketers. In it, I discussed different methods that marketers can utilize to attract, engage, and delight their target audience. One of the topics I touched on was email marketing. Specifically, I said the following:

“While traditional methods of email marketing like mass mailing lists and autoresponders work for many businesses, they aren’t always the best fit. If you want to grow your email list quickly and effectively, consider alternative methods like inbound marketing and content optimization. These methods focus on creating high-quality content that will attract, engage, and delight your target audience—without being overly promotional or deceptive.”

This statement holds true today as much as it did back then.

Here, I’m going to give you a detailed explanation of why.

Why Email Will Always Be Popular

In the past, email might not have been the most convenient way to communicate. For example, when internet connections were slower, people relied heavily on their email inboxes to keep up with all their correspondence. Because of this, most people have at least two email addresses: one for personal use and one for business use. (This is known as a “double opt-in”.)

Since then, the world has changed. The internet has become faster and more effective at facilitating transactions. This has rendered email less necessary as a means of communication for business purposes. Additionally, the simple act of opening an email and reading it has become quite taxing. As a result, the number of people opening emails has dramatically decreased. (

  • Research from the 2020 HootSuite Email Opener Benchmark Report
  • 76% of internet users said they never open email or look at online promotions attached to emails
  • 73% of those who do open emails said they only do so to confirm important details or follow up on purchases
  • 57% of marketers see email subject lines as the most important part of a promotional message
  • 46% of millennials prefer to receive promotions via text message rather than email
  • 29% of Gen Z’ prefer to receive promotions via text message rather than email


Despite the fact that email is a less effective method of communication, it will never lose its place in the marketing toolkit. Why? Simply put, it’s too easy. You can send out an email, and if it doesn’t get read, you can hit “reply” and start again. The chances of the person you’re communicating with opening and reading your email are quite good. This is different from traditional mail, where you have to rely on someone actually opening your letter and responding.

Why Email Marketing Demographics Are Changing

According to Statista, as of 2019, 72.5 million American, or 43% of the population, use email. This is compared to 51.4 million, or 30.4% of the population, who use Facebook. (These figures do not include cellphone users or other forms of electronic communication.)

As more people get accustomed to using email for communications, marketers should be prepared to adapt their strategies. Here are some of the ways in which email marketing is evolving.

Personal versus Business Email

This year, marketers are increasingly focusing on creating content that will attract and engage their target audiences. To better understand how, let’s take a look at how people are using email.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 66% of users say they primarily use their personal email for business purposes. This number is likely to go up as more businesses realize the value of having a hybrid, or a combination of both, email accounts. (A hybrid account allows you to easily send and receive emails simultaneously from both personal and business addresses.)

Whether you’re marketing to entrepreneurs or business owners, your target audience is quite likely to be using email for both personal and professional communications. This means you can integrate personal and business email accounts to reach this audience more effectively.

Mobile Email

People are increasingly gaining access to the internet on the go. According to the 2020 HootSuite Email Opener Benchmark Report, 77% of internet users now access the web on a mobile device. This is compared to 66% who use a desktop computer. (This figure does not include those who use a combination of devices.)

With so many people having access to the internet on the go, mobile email has become a valuable tool for marketers. Not only does it enable them to reach their target audience, but the convenience of having all their communications accessible from anywhere means they can continue to communicate even when they’re on the move. This is why mobile email is becoming an essential part of most marketing campaigns.

Content versus Event Marketing

People are getting used to getting their news and information from their smartphone. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 68% of users get news via social media sites and 35% via email. (The remaining 3% get their info from various combinations of the above.)

In an effort to attract and retain customers, many businesses are focusing on generating content that will keep people coming back for more. This is known as content marketing. (Sometimes, this type of content is referred to as “blogging” or “vlogging” as well.)

Content marketing is a form of internet marketing which aims to attract, engage, and delight online audiences through the publication of quality content.

While events, like webinars and webcasts, have long been used to market a business, the way people are using them has changed. According to HubSpot Blogs research, only 34% of users watch or listen to online content during product or service searches. This compares to 48% who attend events.

The main reason people are turning to events is that they want to hear something new. According to HubSpot Blogs, 29% of users are looking for something new and creative, while 25% want to hear what companies have to say about a specific topic. (The remaining 46% simply want to participate in an event because it’s something different.)

If you’re a business with a physical presence, like a store or office, an event might not be the best way to reach customers. However, if you have an online presence, like a website or social media account, events can be quite effective at bringing in new customers and encouraging them to stay engaged with your content.

What Do Millennials, Gen Z, And The Rest Of Generation X Think About Email?

Although email is quite effective at reaching a large audience, it’s not always the best tool for engaging with that audience. If you want to encourage people to engage with you, consider using other platforms like social media. (You can also use social media to follow, like, or comment on content published by brands whose products or services you’re marketing.)

A study from HubSpot Blogs compared the effects of social media versus email on brand perception and demonstrated why millennials, Gen Z, and the rest of Generation X prefer social media. Here are some of the key findings:

Social Media Beats Email Hands Down

The study found that while people have both good and bad things to say about email marketing, they have nothing but praise for social media. In fact, 82% of millennials, 78% of Gen Z, and 77% of the rest of Generation X said they prefer to engage with businesses through social media. (This is compared to 12% of 50-to-54-year-olds, 7% of 55-to-64-year-olds, and 3% of those 65 and older who said they prefer to engage with businesses through social media.)

One of the major reasons why millennials, Gen Z, and the rest of Generation X prefer social media is its interactive nature. People with access to the internet can engage with businesses virtually any way they want to. When someone likes your product or service, they can spread the word by posting about it on social media. (This is called “word of mouth marketing”.)

Another factor driving the growth of social media is the changing media landscape. With people spending less time consuming traditional media, like television and magazines, and more time using the internet, marketers should consider investing in social media. Not only does it provide customers with a steady stream of content, but it also gives businesses a place to engage with prospective buyers virtually anywhere.

Why Should You Care About Email Opener Statistics?

There are several reasons why marketers should care about email opener statistics. First, let’s look at how email open rates have changed over time.

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