Email has become an integral part of our daily lives, both at home and at work. But with so many messaging apps and social media platforms competing for our attention, how many people still regularly use email today? Is email usage rising or falling? And what does the future look like for email? Let‘s analyze the data and trends around global email adoption to see how this 50-year-old communication method is still holding up in today‘s digital world.
A Brief History of Email
To understand the present email landscape, it helps to look at how we got here. Email originated from the very first message sent over the ARPANET (a predecessor to the internet) back in 1971 between two computers right next to each other. Email quickly evolved from there, spreading through universities and research institutions in the 1970s and 80s before becoming commercialized in the 1990s and available to the public.
Advances like webmail made accessing email through a browser possible without needing an email software client. The rise of smartphones and tablets transformed email into a mobile-first application for many users. Email became a ubiquitous communication platform, adopted globally both for personal and professional use.
Key Statistics on Email Users Worldwide
Now let‘s look at the latest data on current global email usage:
- There are over 4.4 billion active email users worldwide as of mid-2023 according to The Radicati Group.
- By 2025, the number of worldwide email users is projected to grow to over 4.5 billion.
- An estimated 347 billion emails are sent around the world per day on average.
- The typical email user today has 1.86 active email accounts.
- A significant 78% of individuals check email before starting their workday.
- Just 22% wait until they get to the office to check email.
It‘s clear from these statistics that email is still thriving as a communication method used regularly by billions of people.
Leading Email Providers by Active Users
Among the major email providers worldwide, Microsoft Outlook and Google‘s Gmail have the largest active user bases:
- Outlook had 400 million active monthly users globally as of early 2018, a figure that has remained steady since.
- Gmail passed 1 billion active users back in 2016. As of 2023, Gmail boasts over 1.8 billion active accounts worldwide.
- With around 225 million account holders as of 2020, Yahoo email retains popularity but will discontinue its dedicated mobile app in mid-2023.
Gmail holds the biggest market share at 29.5% of the global email client market. Outlook and Yahoo have 13.6% and 11.2% market share respectively based on active accounts.
Volume of Emails Sent Per Day
Given over 4 billion global users, how many emails are actually sent worldwide per day?
- An estimated 347 billion emails are sent daily on average as of 2023.
- That equates to approximately 3.9 million emails sent per second!
Email volume is projected to continue increasing – by 2025, around 376 billion emails are expected to be sent per day, up 12.8% from 2022 levels. That is a massive amount of daily communication taking place over email.
Habits and Preferences of Email Users
When it comes to usage habits, studies show:
- 78% of Americans check email before work, with 11% doing so immediately upon waking up.
- 30% of Millennials check email within 15 minutes of rising.
- Just 22% of users wait until they get to the office to check email.
- Millennials spend the most time on email at 6.4 hours daily versus 5 hours for Baby Boomers.
- 97% of Gmail users access email on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
This data indicates the significant role email plays in people‘s day-to-day routines. For Millennials in particular, email dominates daily digital communication and content consumption.
Email Opens the Door for Businesses
For businesses, email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels:
- 31% of B2B marketers rate email newsletters as their top tactic for lead generation.
- 78% say email is critical to success and 64.1% use email marketing.
- Each $1 spent on emails brings in $42 in revenue on average – an impressive ROI.
- For small businesses especially, email offers the highest marketing ROI compared to platforms like social media.
With open rates of 17.6% and click-through rates around 8.74% on average, email consistently delivers results for brands big and small.
The Future of Email
Given email‘s staying power across decades, what might the future look like? Here are some predictions:
- Streamlined interfaces and AI-powered features like smart replies will enhance user experience.
- Email usage on mobile devices and tablets will keep rising compared to desktop.
- The volume of emails sent each day will continue climbing as global adoption increases.
- Marketing innovation and personalization will improve email‘s value proposition for businesses.
- Environmental impact of massive email volume will need to be addressed.
Rather than fading into obscurity, email is likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. But the ways we use, manage and experience email will continue evolving just as they have since the very first electronic message in 1971.
Conclusion: Email Is Going Nowhere
Despite the global ubiquity of messaging apps and social media, email remains not just relevant but indispensable for billions of personal and professional users around the world. Adoption is still growing annually, and the astounding volume of over 347 billion emails sent per day reveals its continued dominance as a communication method.
For the under-35 crowd, email may not be quite as exciting as Instagram or TikTok, but it gets the job done. For those running businesses, email marketing represents an unparalleled digital channel to engage customers and drive growth.
The data don‘t lie – reckoned in users, usage frequency, and strategic value, email is here to stay for a long time to come. Though innovations will continue improving the technology, at its core email will remain a simple, effective way for people across the planet to connect.