I have to admit, I was really impressed with the figures in the article “Internet 2011 in numbers” (http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/01/17/internet-2011-in-numbers/).  Of course, I paid close attention to the email numbers, but the other trends they discuss in mobile, social media, and domain names were also fascinating. Here’s the list that caught my attention:

  • 3.146 billion – Number of email accounts worldwide.
  • 27.6% – Microsoft Outlook was the most popular email client.
  • 19% – Percentage of spam emails delivered to corporate email inboxes despite spam filters.
  • 112 – Number of emails sent and received per day by the average corporate user.
  • 71% – Percentage of worldwide email traffic that was spam (November 2011).
  • 360 million – Total number of Hotmail users (largest email service in the world).
  • $44.25 – The estimated return on $1 invested in email marketing in 2011.
  • 40 – Years since the first email was sent, in 1971.
  • 0.39% – Percentage of email that was malicious (November 2011).

I’m not going to go into all the numbers and trends, but some of the items caught my eye and I wanted to dig deeper into them. Symantec reports that in November 2011, spam accounted for almost 71% of email traffic (down 3.7% from October 2011). If you couple that with the article’s number of 19% of spam emails are delivered to corporate email inboxes despite spam filters, spam can cause companies a lot of money in storage and lost productivity. Email marketers need to continue delivering relevant content to engaged subscribers to get into their subscriber’s inbox. I would also venture to take that a step further and make sure that email marketers are paying attention to their IP and domain reputation to make sure that they stay out of these email filters.

I also found it noteworthy to mention that the article stated Hotmail was the largest email service in the world with over 360 million users. Hotmail (which also includes msn.com and live.com domains) has come a long way in the past 15 years.  With the new “Sweep” feature, SkyDrive integration, and ActiveViews, I can see why Hotmail is growing. As someone in the deliverability space, I use Hotmail’s Smart Network Data Services portal (https://postmaster.live.com/snds/) on a daily basis to keep track of how my customers are performing at the Microsoft domains. The tools that Microsoft provides to the email world has made a difference in many customer conference calls concerning email deliverability.

The last point that I want to mention is the article states that there are 3.146 billion email accounts worldwide. That is an astonishing figure to me considering the first email was sent almost 40 years ago! I have seen figures where that number is expected to grow over 4 billion by 2015. As an email marketer, it is so important to remember that your list hygiene and data security practices are high priority. Continually segmenting your list and removing those inactive accounts will help with your email delivery.

Who says that email is dying?  Stay relevant, stay engaged, and get delivered!