Over the 32 years since email was invented, it’s grown in a way that few other technologies have. From something that was only used internally at organizations, email is now a necessity for everyone.

As the world’s leading email delivery service, SendGrid is in a unique position to see how email continues to grow, and where it’s headed in the future. During 2013 and 2014, we collected data over two separate 10-day time periods, creating a data set of over 8 billion emails sent by more than 125,000 companies.

From that data and from speaking with our own email experts, we’ve been able to pull together some great findings.

What We Know

SendGrid has gained some amazing insight into how email is received, viewed, and acted upon. While most people may have an idea of how email is used in the United States, we send messages worldwide, allowing us to see what’s happening all over the planet. Some of the most interesting things we’ve found include:

  • Apple is the big player – More people read email on Apple-manufactured devices than any other device or platform.
  • Window devices are the second most popular – 320 million SendGrid-delivered emails were opened on Windows devices last year.
  • The US opens more than anyone – US account holders opened 49.68% of all emails tracked by SendGrid in the last year.
  • Spanish, German, and French iPhone use is growing – Email opened by iPhones increased by 97% in Spain, 92% in Germany, and 85% in France over the last year.

Based on these trends (and some of the other trends we’ve seen), we’re able to work with our deliverability and compliance team to see where email is going. Knowing the future of email can help us make sure customer messages are received because we know what ISPs could be watching in the coming months or years.

What We Think

Now that we have the data and we know what’s happening with email, what about the future? What types of email will continue to grow? What email will slow down? What will remain important?

We spoke with our Vice President of Email Deliverability, Paul Kincaid-Smith, to see what he thinks about the future state of email:

  • App-generated email will grow – Email will continue to be used as the best customer engagement tool that drives adoption and retention. Despite the potential for person-to-person email to drop because of other messaging alternatives, email will be the standard for B2B and B2C communication.
  • Quality will be even more important – As spam filtering continues to improve, keeping email relevant, valuable, and personal will be the most important aspect of email programs.
  • More need for email delivery optimization – As email delivery becomes more essential and filters become effective, leveraging email deliverability experts will be essential for B2B and B2C senders. Making sure recipients receive the right message at the right time with the right frequency will be even more important in the future.

For even more stats and insight into the future of email, you can read the PR Newswire Press Release. You can also listen to what our CEO, Jim Franklin, has to say about SendGrid and the state of email in general in his online interview.

Where We’ll Be

We love talking about email and educating email senders about how to get their messages delivered. To learn more about how to improve you email program, you can reach out to us through any number of in-person and online forums:

  • Conferences – We attend numerous conferences and events throughout the year. In the near future, we’ll be sponsoring the DMW Games Conference in New York on September 17th.
  • Webcasts – We provide prospects and customers with access to free webcasts every month. Whether we’re covering specific sending and account features or we’re guiding people through SendGrid implementation, our webcasts are a way to listen to our experts and ask questions. Sign up for a webcast today!
  • SendGrid Delivered – Over the last two years, we’ve been to cities all over the US and Canada speaking with individuals and organizations about email. Check out where we’ll be visiting next to meet our email experts in person on our SendGrid Delivered page.

Warren Duff
Warren is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at SendGrid, specializing in email and content best practices, he develops many of the new guides you see SendGrid release as well as other pieces of content, including blogs, videos, case studies, and emails.