Free Demo  |  About Us  |  Sample Profile  |  User Reviews  |  Compare Versions  |  Subscription Pricing  |  IndustrySelect Blog  |  Contact Us

85 Email Marketing Statistics Every B2B Marketer Should Know in 2021

Posted by IndustrySelect on Friday, January 8, 2021



Statistics on email marketing abound on the web and the data overwhelmingly suggests that as the highest ROI digital channel, email marketing is still the most effective way to drive traffic and conversions. Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and transformed the way we communicate, email marketing has become even more relevant. Today, we're diving into specific stats on email marketing as we set sail into 2021. 

Importance of Email Marketing in 2021

According to Campaign Monitor's Email Marketing Benchmarks: COVID-19 edition, more people were opening email during the pandemic than ever before. Other key takeaways from that report found email sends were up 19% from February 2020 to March 2020 and  a 20% increase in open rates in March and April of 2020, compared to the same two months in 2019. This follows Campaign Monitor’s 2019 Year in Review, which reports that email marketing in 2019 yielded a 4200% ROI or $42 for every dollar spent.

This is up from 2018’s $38 return per dollar. Email marketing ROI will likely climb even higher in 2021 as email marketing cements its standing as the new normal of marketing communications.

Another study from HubSpot finds that 78% of marketers have seen an increase in engagement over the past twelve months. In this same study, 59% of respondents say email marketing has influenced their purchasing decisions. And according to the Content Marketing Institute, 31% of B2B marketers report email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads.

Here are some additional statistics that point to the effectiveness of email marketing:

• Compared to Facebook or Twitter, email is 40% better at converting.
• 50.7% of customers attribute marketing and advertising emails as the prime driver of their buying decision.
• Email was cited as the most influential channel when it comes to customer loyalty and retention by 37% of respondents.
• 40% of marketers in B2B regard email newsletters as the most powerful component of their marketing strategy.
• As of 2019, 3.9 billion people worldwide use email and that number is expected to climb to 4.25 by 2024.

Adding to this, 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes.

Timing is (Almost) Everything


Should you be emailing your customers daily? Weekly? Which days of the week are best? Which time of day? Timing is important with email and experimentation is key when it comes to fine tuning the timing of your email campaigns. Open rates can vary depending on what industry you’re operating in. Consider the fact that 50% of marketers say there is no perfect time for sending email campaigns. Still, there are some general rules of thumb that can give you a good starting point from which to start your experimentation.

Consider that 71% of marketers prioritize delivering content where and when a person is most likely to see it. Here are some additional stats to help you time your campaigns. 

• 21% of email are opened within one hour of delivery.
• 61% of subscribers report wanting to receive emails on a weekly basis, while 38% wish to receive emails more frequently than once per week.
• 32% of email marketers contact their customers by email 2-3 times per month; while 19% get in touch 4-6 times per month. Another 16% email more than 6 times per month.
• Tuesday through Thursday is a prime time frame for email campaigns, with 51% of emails sent out on these days. Marketers favor Thursdays slightly over other days with 18% sent. This is closely followed by Tuesday with 17% and 16% on Wednesdays.
• Best times of day to send an email depends heavily on your industry. For B2B, 8:00am-10:00am is cited by this study as the optimal time to send out a campaign, with email engagement peaking at 10:00 am. B2B campaigns often see a second spike in engagement toward the end of the day (3-4pm) as recipients wind down their work day.

Getting Personal

Personalizing your emails will go a long way in engaging your audience. One HubSpot survey finds a 760% increase in revenue for marketers who use segmented campaigns. Here are some additional statistics on personalizing email campaigns for 2021:

• Segmenting and personalizing email campaigns result in a 46% higher open rate than non-personalized/segmented campaigns.
• CTR (click-thru rate) is even more impressive with personalized campaigns, at 50% higher.
• 83% of recipients say they are more likely to open a personalized email than a generic one.
• Personalized subject lines trigger a 62% higher open rate while addressing your recipient by name can increase open and CTR by 35%.
• Segmented, targeted and personalized email generate 58% of all revenue.
• 51% of marketers cite list segmentation as their top strategy, while 50% list personalization and 45% point to triggered emails.

From Subject Line to Sign-Off: Heed These Stats

Among the most critical factors determining open rates, how your email is composed is primary. That means a whip-snap subject line that’s going to grab attention. It means a succinct and powerful message and a sign-off that resonates with your specific audience.

So what are the leading trends in email composition? Let’s take a look:

• 47% of subscribers open emails based on the subject line
• Email subject lines using the word “alert” are opened 61.8% more.
• Personalized email subject lines are opened 50% more.
• Subject lines that imbue a sense of FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”) result in a 56% higher open rate.
• 82% of marketers create subject lines with 60 characters or less. Why? Among the many reasons to use a short subject line is the fact that 46% of emails are opened on mobile devices.
• Adding to that, your iPhone users won’t see your subject line past 32 characters.
• On the other hand Outlook displays 78 characters at full width (15”) browsers.
• 36% of marketers stick to 21 to 40 characters in their subject lines, while 34.6 go with 41 to 60 characters. On the other ends of the spectrum, 18% extend their subject lines past 61 characters while 10.9% compose subject lines with 20 characters or less.
• For B2B, there is some compelling evidence that both longer (30 characters) subject lines perform best for B2B, and medium length (30-60 characters) perform the worst.

Accelerate Your ROI With AutomationMan_relaxes

Automating email campaigns is a key strategy for savvy marketers. No doubt the largest advantage to automation is saving time, what about its impact on ROI? How are marketers leveraging automation, exactly? Let’s take a look.

• 63% of companies that are outgrowing their competition are using automation.
• Triggered email campaigns have a 70.5% higher open rate and clicks are 152% higher than email newsletters.
• Slightly more than half (51%) of marketers are automating their campaigns.
• Nurturing leads with marketing automation is 451% more efficient than traditional means.
• 58% of marketers use automation for upselling.
• 76% of marketers report positive ROI from automation in as little as one year.

Picture Perfect

Have you ever received a brochure in the mail with no visual elements? No photos or graphics? Probably not. Your email campaigns should not be any different. Visual elements in your email campaigns go a long way in commanding attention, driving up click throughs and conversions.

Consider the fact that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text.

Images are of course a basic go-to, but don’t disregard videos and, in some cases, even emojis.

How powerful are graphics in email marketing? Here’s what the experts say:

• People remember visual content for a longer period than other types of content. In fact, people remember 65% of the visual content they’ve seen three days later, compared to 10% of what they’ve read.
• People share infographics 3 times more than they share other types of information.
• Emails that include some type of visual content enjoy a higher open rate: 27% to be exact, than text-based communications. Marketers also see a slightly higher click thru rate with emails that include visuals: 4.5% compared to 3%.
• Keep in mind, visuals can slow the load speed for your email, so use them wisely. 74% of recipients delete emails if they do not open within 5 seconds.
• What about video? If you have a nicely produced video to share, you may be on the path to success. Consider that emails that include video see a click through increase of 96%.
• 54% of people want to see more video from marketers.
• 90% say videos help them make purchasing decisions.
• And emojis? This really depends on the demographics of your audience. If you’re targeting millennials, consider the fact that 68% of this age group like seeing emojis, GIFs and stickers in emails. Not so with those over 65, with only 37% liking this type of visual content.

But First, Optimize

So now you have an email ready to go. It is well-written, contains a compelling subject line, includes some eye-catching visual content and you’ve nailed down the perfect time to send it. You’re ready to go, right?

Not necessarily. Is your email optimized for both mobile and desktop? Mobile users are prime drivers of traffic and you’ll want to make sure they can read your communications. Even though as a B2B marketer you’ll likely be sending to your prospects at work, keep in mind that your prospects might be reading their work emails on their phones. This is especially true when it comes to busy industrial executives. Consider this:

• A whopping 70% of traffic comes from mobile phones.
• If an email doesn’t display properly, it’s likely to be deleted within three seconds, while 42% delete messages if they are not optimized for mobile. On the other hand 32.2% will read the email on desktop at a later time.
• Mobile is responsible for at last 50% of opens. Though keep in mind that IT, B2B and wholesale have the weakest email opens on mobile devices.

All set? Wait. There are two more boxes to check to fully supercharge your campaign.

Next: Check Your Data

Imagine you’ve gone through all this work to craft a stunning email campaign and it comes back undelivered. Or the recipient has changed jobs. Or the list you’re working with misspelled their name, got their title wrong or categorized them as a brake pad manufacturer when what they really make are steering wheels.

In a recent post, we shared some startling statistics on data decay in B2B, based on a survey of a thousand businesspeople who were asked to examine the business cards from their clients or prospects and see if any data element had changed.

The results of the survey underscore the importance of having access to current data, especially in the fast-moving B2B sphere. Here’s what the survey found:

• 3.8% had a name change (women still change their name upon marriage/divorce)
• 65.8% title and/or job function change (same title/different assignment or new company and job)
• 34.2% company name change (most changed jobs and thus companies)
• '41.9% address change (changed jobs or company move
• 42.9% phone number change (same)
• 37.3% email address change (some had a g-mail address so no change)

IndustrySelect users can rest assured they are always working with current data. Our 80-person research team continually contacts companies in the database and updates your data on a live, 24/7 basis.

Last Step: Get Your Message Across – To the Right Contacts

Now you have a top-notch email campaign all set to go. But will the right people see it? A well-built campaign deserves a relevant audience and IndustrySelect Premium delivers just that. Premium helps you build the most effective list possible, containing all the features you love about IndustrySelect plus the holy grail of email marketing: direct executive emails.

IndustrySelect Premium will get your message in front of top-level executives fast. No waiting around for it to get forwarded to the right contact from an info@ or sales@ address or calling a company hoping to obtain that much-guarded email address. You can personalize your campaign, potentially landing you a 46% higher open rate – and a great sale. Company profiles through Premium are fully exportable so your campaign will be ready to fly with just a few clicks.

Don’t have the budget for our Premium version but still want access to executive emails? We have another solution. IndustrySelect Plus is similar to our Basic version but allows the user to view direct executive emails & phones on screen (no export capability).

Whatever your budget, we’re dedicated to finding the right solution for you. Click here to compare different subscription options for all budgets.

New to IndustrySelect? Let's catch you up. An IndustrySelect subscription gives you up-to-the moment access to data on 500,000 industrial companies and one million executives. Our 80-person research team investigates each company thoroughly and updates the data in real time, so you’re always working with the most up-to-date information.

You can customize and search profiles according to geographic location, products manufactured, number of employees, square footage, annual sales and much more. Click here to see a sample profile. Drilling down to these specifics can help you reach a relevant audience for your product and service. This can help boost your open and click through rates – and ultimately, sales.

Want to learn more? Try out a free demo.


While there are many avenues to market your business, email marketing should remain your top priority.

Keeping up with trends in the industry can help steer you towards more effective campaigns; employing market-proven techniques can get people clicking when they see your email.

But above all, your starting point must be your list and IndustrySelect is your most powerful tool to build it. Here's why our customers love IndustrySelect. 

Editor's note: A version of this post originally appeared in July of 2020. it has been updated to reflect additional statistics and more current data. 



Download the
FREE eBook:
Surefire Email Marketing Campaigns Made Easy
Surefire Email Marketing Campaigns Made Easy
A must-have guide for sales, marketing, & business development executives!
Almost 90% of internet users check their email at least once a day and more than 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. Email marketing is hands down the most effective way to promote your business, but how can you tap into this lucrative marketing technique? IndustrySelectís free eBook will introduce you to B-to-B email marketing. Expert advice to help you:
  • Build a surefire message in 5 easy steps
  • Learn the most effective methods for building a targeted email list
  • Explore how to execute and measure the success of your campaign
  • Access 11 powerful tools for getting the most out of your email campaigns

Instant download! Enter your information above for instant access to the eBook. Plus, receive a free subscription to IndustrySelect Insider.
© 2021 MNI  |  License Agreement  |  Terms of Use  |  Legal Information  |  Privacy Policy  |  Do Not Sell My Personal Information  |  Help Us Fight Data Theft  
EZ Select® is now called IndustrySelect® — Please click here now to go to