The folks at Pingdom put most of these survey numbers together based on estimates for 2009, and you know what? If you were expecting miracles from e-mail, you’re going to be disappointed.
That is to say, in spite of the fact that almost inconceivably-huge numbers of e-mails are generated and sent over the Internet, the majority of them are dross — unwelcome and unlikely to be trusted by recipient.
- Total e-mails per year: 14.4 trillion
- Total e-mails per day: 39.6 billion
- Of the e-mails, 19% were “legit” and 81% were “spam”
To put these numbers in context, let’s compare them to snail mail:
- Total snail mail per year: 177 billion
- Total snail mail per day: 485 million
- Email outnumbers snail mail 81 to 1
- Of the snail mail, 53% were “legit” and 47% were “junk”
Some quick comments:
- Although e-mail is quick, easy and cheap to create and distribute, fully four fifths of it is garbage.
- This preponderance of junk pretty much erases whatever “advantage” e-mail holds due to its convenience.
- Snail mail’s “junk proportion” is much more positive (nearly 50/50, with the number of “legit” mail slightly larger) than e-mail.
- Marketing via email means your message is drowned in a HUGE amount of junk that’s doomed to be deleted unread.
- Marketing via snail mail gives you a better chance of being heard.
- Don’t believe everything you hear: Some planned giving vendors promise a 46% open and read rate on their mass-emails!