For the past several weeks we’ve expounded on the findings of The Future of Digital Communications Report. As we conclude this series, I want to pull together all of our learnings from this report, along with key research others have done, to tie together the implications. After all, our goal is to help you confidently take these learnings to ensure you’re optimizing your entire customer communications program.

Without further ado, here are the key takeaways from The Future of Digital Communications Report and other useful data.

1) Email usage is still pervasive globally despite the proliferation of new digital communications tools over the past decade

There are over 3.7B email users globally, which is almost 50% of the entire population of planet earth! Fun fact: we sent email to more than 3.5 billion unique email addresses globally during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2017.

Given Radicati also estimates email users have an average of 1.7 accounts, that’s over 50% of all email addresses!

2) Regardless of age, email is a staple form of communication that is essential, important, and entrenched in the lives of people today

As evidenced by the fact we have customers in more than 100 countries around the world it’s clear email is important for consumers regardless of geographic boundaries. While users of many digital communications tools have generalizable personality characteristics (e.g. Twitter users like to stay on top of the latest news and tend to have strong opinions), email is so broadly used that there are no distinct personality types that define the ‘typical’ email user.

Email usage is also pervasive among consumers because email is the digital communications channel where business and “official” things are done. Other digital communications tools, often for good reasons that fit the use case of those tools, don’t offer the unique set of characteristics that email does. Email is easily searchable and organizable. You can attach documents and track receipt and engagement.

Email is asynchronous by design, secure and regulated. Unwanted mail is well-managed by the sophisticated algorithms of ISPs such as Gmail. It’s also a unique digital ID which is required to sign up for most online and many offline services.

For the above reasons, email is the primary communication tool for school and business settings.

3) Over the next few years, most people, even Gen Z expects to increase their email usage (a higher percentage than Gen X and Millennials)

According to The Future Of Digital Communication, the majority of Millennials and Gen X expect their email to stay the same or increase as well and email is positioned to be a digital communications workhorse for the foreseeable future

“With email, I can forward, I can search easily, I can organize things…

Email usage is also pervasive among businesses in efforts to reach their customers, regardless of industry or business model, because email is effective and efficient. According to our report and findings, most consumers have at least 1 email address, and consumers expect and prefer emails for business promotional/engagement purposes.

This quote from our qualitative research illuminates the trend we’re seeing: “My job requires a lot of email use to communicate with my team and other departments where I work. I also use it to get sales flyers/promotional info from companies I have purchased from more recently. I like that form of communication from companies I buy from.”

Looking for more data to bring your boss to prove email marketing value? Consider the following staple data points that position email as a leading digital marketing channel for ROI:

Of course, we at SendGrid believe in the power of email–to us, it’s an open and shut case. However, I want to be clear that there is immense value to all of the other digital communications tools out there. I personally use 5-10 outside of email every day for both personal and work situations.

As a wise marketer once said, “go where the fish are.” And based on the data I’m seeing, I can confidently tell you that the fish are in their inboxes waiting to hear from you! Check out the full Future of Digital Communication Report here for even more insight!



Matt leads SendGrid's Strategy, Research, and Insights function including NPS, Competitive and Market Intelligence, Customer Insights, Analyst Relations, Custom Research efforts, and more. His focus is to help SendGrid be customer-obsessed, competitively-aware, and industry-informed.