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Why You Should Invest in Email Now More Than Ever


How do you feel about your current email marketing budget? If your team doesn’t have the budget to do everything it should be doing, you’re not alone. Each business has to make decisions about which marketing channels receive how much money. Unfortunately, it’s common for email teams to lack the resources they need to plan, test, and execute flawless campaigns.

Email marketing may have a limited budget for any number of reasons—but one contributing misconception is that email just isn’t worth that much. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The email superheroes across the world are capable of bringing in impressive ROI and driving true value for businesses and subscribers.

5 Head-Turning Stats About Email ROI

There’s a lot of noise in the marketing world. Between SEO, content marketing, paid social, and more, there’s no shortage of competition for the marketing budget. So why should brands put their marketing dollars into email marketing? Here are five impressive stats that prove an investment in email is more worthwhile than ever.

Email has an ROI of 42:1

Just when you think the average email ROI is high, it goes higher. In 2018 the average return on email spend was $38 for every $1 invested in the channel. Now, that number has risen to $42 to $1. To put that into perspective, an ROI of 5:1 is usually considered good for a marketing campaign.

Email Engagement times have gone up 21% in the last two years 

If an email ROI of 42:1 seems too good to be true, it’s useful to look at some of the reasons why companies are seeing revenue growth from email. For starters, email engagement times have gone up 21% in the last two years. In 2018, the average email engagement time was 13.4 seconds.

What does that mean for your campaigns? On average, people are spending more time looking at each email now than a few years ago. People pick up their phones and check their messages while they wait for the train, watch TV, or want a quick distraction. The trend of casually checking email has led people to view each email for more than eight seconds for 66% of the emails opened on mobile phones. Email is a medium that consumers enjoy engaging with, and the proof is engagement times that most marketers who work with other channels can only dream of. For example, the median time an online ad is gazed at is 0.7 seconds.

Over half of the world’s population uses email

With 3.9 billion email users worldwide in 2019, it’s pretty safe to assume that no matter your industry or niche, your customers are using email. This staggering number of users means that over half of the world’s population uses email—and the adoption of email is projected to keep rising. For reference, Facebook has 2.41 billion active monthly users as of June 2019.

Consumers spend 2.5 hours a day checking email

Just like the average email engagement time is on the rise, so too is the overall time spent checking email. The average time spent going through personal emails has increased 17% year over year. The two and a half hours a day on average that a person checks their personal email happens throughout the day. 90% of people check personal email at work, 85% take a peek before work, and almost one in four people see what’s new in their inbox before they get out of bed. 

Nearly half of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budget

Marketers have noticed email isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and they’re willing to put their money where the stats are. Our State of Email Survey revealed that 49.5% of marketers plan on raising their email marketing budget this year, investing in the tools, teams, and resources that help bring their email programs to the next level—which ultimately allows them to more effectively reach their audiences. So companies who don’t at least match the efforts of their competitors could risk falling behind.

It’s easy to say that the current status quo is good enough, especially since email marketing delivers positive returns for most brands, even the ones with mediocre programs. But the truth is, if your competition is doing it better, then the risk isn’t only losing new subscribers—it’s losing customers, too.

Consumers and marketers alike have indicated an interest in email that continues to rise. People are checking personal emails more often and spending more time reading each message. Plus, marketers are investing more money into their efforts. While there are no guarantees in business, all stats point to the need to boost your email marketing budget to stay competitive.

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Ready to give your email program the investment it needs?

Are you ready to get your team the resources they need to run a flawless email program? Litmus is here to help. Reach out to one of our email specialists at Litmus and learn how Litmus can help you streamline your email workflow so you can get better emails out the door, faster.

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Brooke Freedman

Brooke Freedman

Brooke Freedman was the Senior Director, Sales at Litmus