Email Marketing 2020

The Pandemic Makes This Touchpoint Increasingly Relevant for Marketers and Consumers

Executive Summary

Email hasn’t been sexy in years, and that’s quite all right. It consistently delivers a better return on investment than many other higher-profile disciplines, such as social media and influencer marketing. And with cookies being phased out, the importance of an email address as a unique identifier will only increase the channel’s significance.

How many people use email?

Despite the penetration of email to date, global email growth has still not peaked. In 2021, over 4 in 5 individuals in the US will use email at least once per month, according to our latest projections. We forecast that the total number of email users in the US will reach 277.7 million in 2024, representing 81.2% of the US population. Moreover, there is ample evidence that the pandemic actually grew email’s prominence as a touchpoint between brands and their consumers. It’s not just US email usage that’s on the rise: Radicati Group projected that the number of global email users will rise from 4.04 billion this year to 4.48 billion in 2024.

How are marketers using email today?

Gone are the days when all marketers used email in a similar fashion. In today’s economy, marketers are using email to create deeper connections with customers, increase ecommerce sales, push consumers to new calls to action such as click and collect (buying an item online to pick up in-store), onboard new customers, and reactivate lapsed ones.

What techniques and trends will impact email marketing in 2021 and beyond?

The typical marketer will be moving more toward true personalization and further away from the “batch-and-blast” techniques that were previously commonplace. The email address will rise in importance as a unique identifier that enables targeted advertising in other channels. A greater emphasis on ROI means that more marketers will double down on marketing that works—which starts with email.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our estimates of consumer email usage, email performance benchmarks, and the effect COVID-19 has had on the state of email marketing. We also cover best practices and trends within the discipline.

KEY STAT: In 2021, a record 4 out of 5 individuals in the US will use email at least monthly, making email a highly valuable tool for marketers.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The State of Email Marketing Heading into 2021
  3. The COVID-19 Effect
  4. What Do Consumers Want from Email?
  1. The (Continued) Importance of Email
  2. What Makes an Email Program Best in Class?
  3. Measurement, ROI, and Budgeting
  4. Key Takeaways
  1. eMarketer Interviews
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  4. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Nicholas Einstein
Cheetah Digital
Senior Director, Product Marketing
Interviewed September 29, 2020
Norman Guadagno
Interviewed September 24, 2020
Brian Hashemi
Uncommon Goods
Head of Marketing and Analytics
Interviewed September 17, 2020
Ross Kramer
Interviewed September 21, 2020
Stephanie Meltzer-Paul
Dunkin’ Brands
Senior Vice President, Digital Marketing
Interviewed September 30, 2020
Christopher Monello
Scientific American
Senior Marketing Manager
Interviewed September 23, 2020
April Mullen
Director, Brand and Content Marketing
Interviewed September 16, 2020
Kelsey Mulyk
Good Man Brand
Vice President, Brand and Content Strategy
Interviewed September 30, 2020
Drew Neisser
Founder and CEO
Interviewed September 20, 2020
Melissa Sargeant
Interviewed September 30, 2020
Ashli Stockton
Sunday Forever
Founder and CEO
Interviewed September 21, 2020
Massimiliano Tirocchi
Co-Founder and CMO
Interviewed October 1, 2020
Rebecca Traverzo
Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed September 10, 2020
Kara Trivunovic
Managing Director, Messaging
Interviewed September 10, 2020
Sean Weller
Wunderman Thompson
Group Director, Strategy
Interviewed October 2, 2020
Ashley Wilson
Wunderman Thompson
Account Director
Interviewed October 2, 2020

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Jeremy Goldman


Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Lauren Ruhlen
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Principal Analyst

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