Home → Networking→

35 Email Usage Stats in the UK Every Marketer Should Know

Written by, Ljubica Gjorgievska

Updated December, 13, 2021

Did you know that sending and receiving emails is one of the most common activities on the net? Although many have foreseen its demise and estimated it would inevitably be replaced by popular messaging apps, it seems email is here to stay.

But how can you utilise it to attract more customers? When is the best time to send an email? What more can we learn from the latest email usage stats in the UK?

Keep scrolling to find out!

Top Ten Engaging Email Usage Stats in the UK

  • 85% of British adults had sent or received emails in 2020.
  • 99% of email users check their inbox every day. 
  • 59% agree that most email marketing they get is irrelevant. 
  • 40.22% of emails were opened via a mobile device in 2018.
  • 91% of advertisers rate email as the most important marketing channel. 
  • 49% of recipients would open an email if it is sent from a brand they recognise. 
  • Receiving irrelevant information is one of the main reasons why users unsubscribe from an emailing service.
  • Email Marketing ROI stands at £42 for every pound spent.
  • The average email open rate was 16.4% in 2020.
  • 27% of people are prompted to visit the company’s website after receiving an email.

General Email Usage Statistics

Email engagement in the UK.

1. How many email users are there in the UK?


85% of British adults had sent or received emails in 2020, making it the most common online activity in the country. The popularity of emails had remained almost unchanged since 2017 but has drastically increased compared to ten years previously when only 57% of Brits used emails.  

2. 99% of email users check their inbox every day. 


People tend to check their personal email every day, with 46% opening their inbox two to three times within 24 hours. Work emails, however, are a different story, with half of respondents saying they open their work-related messages less than once a day. What’s more, only 12% check their professional email every 60 minutes and 10% log on to their workplace email accounts two to three times a day. 

3. Most people have one to two email addresses. 


37% of those surveyed by the DMA said they have two email addresses and 17% have at least three. Not only do email users have more than one address, they also rarely deactivate their account. In fact, the same research revealed that 59% of consumers have never deactivated an email account. Even among those who would stop using emails, the address is kept active for an average of 26 months. 

4. 82% of UK residents aged between 35-44 send and receive emails.


Statista’s survey on UK email usage by age shows 35-44 year-olds send and receive the largest number of emails. Unsurprisingly, only 56% of respondents over 75 used email, making them the least likely age group to take advantage of this internet service. 

Email usage is high among all age groups in the UK. Over 60% of all generations (except for 75+) used email services in 2020, demonstrating that this form of communication is still relevant in the daily lives of Brits of all ages.  

5. Britons are most likely to open an email at 9 a.m.


At the beginning of 2020, the most usual time for opening an email was at 5 p.m. However, recent email statistics show Brits changing their inbox opening habits due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nowadays, the highest email opening rate is registered at 9 a.m. 

6. Gmail and Microsoft Outlook are the most used email services.


67% of British online adults use Google’s Gmail, and 59% are clients of Microsoft email services, such as Outlook and Hotmail. The share of other email services on the UK market is considerably lower—email user statistics show that Yahoo Mail is adopted by only 27%, whilst email services from Apple are utilised by 18%. 

7. 47% of users sign up for an email service to get discounts.


Getting deals and offers was the most commonly cited reason by consumers when asked why they have provided their email address to brands or shops. Another 46% said they subscribed for an email service to get loyalty points, and 40% did so to get free samples or gifts. Only 20% signed up to get notified about new products or services, and 13% registered so they could leave an online review of the product or service.

8. 59% agree that most email marketing they get is irrelevant. 


On the other hand, 12% see the email marketing they receive as relevant. This number has increased by 4% compared to the previous year, showing advertisers are becoming more invested in targeted and personalised email campaigns. 

Mobile Email Usage Statistics

Email mobile vs. desktop rate in the UK.

9. 40.22% of emails were opened via a mobile device in 2018.


The percentage of emails viewed on mobile in the UK dropped by 7.20% compared to 2017. The highest rate of emails viewed via a mobile device was recorded in 2015 when it stood at 55%. However, given that mobile makes up almost half of all internet traffic today, this rate is bound to increase. 

10. 42% of users spend approximately an hour checking email on mobile a day.


61% of users check their email on mobile devices every day, up from 51% who did so the previous year.

Despite this, desktops are still the preferred method of checking inboxes. A 2017 survey found that 55% check their personal email from desktops, while 27% access it from mobile. Furthermore, 30% reported using their workplace email account from computers and laptops compared to 13% who do the same via mobile phone or smartphone. 

11. Emails from the events and music sector had the highest open rate on mobile.


At 58.5%, emails from the music and events industry were opened most frequently on mobile devices. Messages from retail and travel companies, each with 57.5%, were ranked second and third, 2018 data from Statista on mobile email usage in the UK report. 

12. Engaging emails on smartphones drive responses. 


When asked what action they would take after seeing an item they want to buy in smartphone emails, almost a third (31%) of consumers said they would visit the company’s website. Another 9% stated they are likely to buy the goods directly from the device, and 8% would immediately add it to their cart. On top of that, DMA’s survey found that 12% of Brits would open an email if it looked good on their smartphones

This kind of direct response from emails viewed on phones is just one more reason why companies should shift their focus to mobile-optimized marketing strategies.

13. How much data does email use?


Opening your inbox typically uses up to 1MB per hour. Not only is this very low, but the amount of data spent on emails pales in comparison to other internet activities, such as browsing the web and scrolling through social media (50 MB), as well as playing online games (80 MB) or streaming video (700 MB). 

Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketing spend in the UK.

14. 91% of advertisers rate email as the most important marketing channel. 


Email remains the leading marketing channel for the majority of organisations in the UK, followed by social media, rated “important” by 83% of the advertisers in DMA’s 2019 survey.

But it’s not just marketers that see the value of email to their organisation. 59% of consumers also prefer this channel, higher than others, including traditional methods like face-to-face, phone and mail. 

15. 14% of UK companies spend more than £100.000 on email marketing.


30% of businesses surveyed by Statista spent up to £5,000 on email marketing in 2018.  At the same time, 14% of the companies revealed to have spent more than £100,000, an increase of 4% in email marketing spending from 2017.   

16. Advertisers expect email marketing budgets to increase to nearly 17%.


Judging by the results of DMA’s survey, 63% of companies believe that they will increase their email marketing budget in the future and a third of them expect to invest over 21% of their total marketing budget into email campaigns. 

17. 66% of UK marketers use responsive email templates. 


A 2019 analysis of business email usage statistics shows that creating a responsive email template is the main method of optimising email marketing strategies. The second most used method was the simplification of the email design so that it works well on all devices, i.e. mobile and desktop. This method, the survey reports, was used by 56% of respondents. 

18. Sales are still the primary objective of email campaigns.


Cited by 62% of respondents in DMA’s 2019 survey, making a sale was rated as the main objective of email campaigns. Half of interviewees pointed to engagement as the most significant goal, while 47% and 45% mentioned brand awareness and building loyalty, respectively. 

Goals and objectives also vary according to business type, email marketing facts, and figures suggest. Thus, 60% of B2C companies stated they used email to generate engagement from customers, whereas 56% of B2B organisations said they used this channel to build brand awareness.

19. Almost half of marketers outsource their email marketing solutions. 


Marketing is one of the most likely segments of an organisation to be handed off to third parties. Among the subcategories in this area, 63% of companies outsourced digital marketing and 59% hired outside parties to handle their social media marketing. Email marketing was the third most commonly outsourced sector— 44% of companies do not handle this marketing category in house

Email Usage Statistics for Marketers

Discount and offer email consumer engagement in the UK.

20. The most useful type of email content for consumers are discounts and offers.


75% of consumers like receiving emails focusing on discounts and offers. Well, who doesn’t like a bargain, right? Next on the list of the most useful email content for consumers are e-receipts, favoured by 61%, and advanced notice on new products or sales, chosen by 58%. 

Emailing statistics from a marketer’s point of view are not that different. 78% of marketers see advance notice of sales as the most useful type of content to achieve their campaign goals. 73% value non-promotional content, and 70% deem discounts/offers as the most effective email features. 

21. 49% of recipients would open an email if it is sent from a brand they recognise. 


A little more than a quarter (26%) referred to the subject line as the most important factor when opening an email, emphasising the importance of the customer knowing who is emailing them and why. 

Regarding content, emails with texts and pictures are the favourites of consumers, cited by 59% and 50% of interviewees, accordingly. Articles and infographics also rank high on the list,  whereas videos and GIFs are among the least popular (less than 15% mentioned these as their favourite content in an email). 

22. Targeted emails generate the most revenue.

(Constant Contact)

Targeting list segments pays off! Targeted emails are currently generating the most profit or 36% of all email marketing revenue. Moreover,  email personalisation stats indicate that unsegmented emails make up just 14% of total revenue, one more proof of the effectiveness of targeted campaigns. 

23. Email automation is also seeing a growth in revenue. 

(Constant Contact)

Returns on pre-formatted emails sent based on certain triggers are on the rise. In 2018 alone, activity-triggered emails generated 18% of total email revenue, an increase from 11% recorded the previous year. Furthermore, 12% of sales came from lifecycle-triggered emails, a two-fold increase from 2017. 

24. Wednesday has the highest open rate of emails. 

(Campaign Monitor)

According to email usage stats in the UK, messages sent on and before Wednesday are the most effective as most emails (17.9%) were opened in the middle of the week. In comparison, the day with the lowest open rates, as well as the lowest click-through rates, is Sunday. 

25. Receiving irrelevant information is one of the main reasons why users unsubscribe from an emailing service.


Over half of respondents said they had unsubscribed from an emailing service because the messages they got were no longer relevant to them. A high percentage (53%) mentioned the frequency and quantity of emails received as the main reason for unsubscribing, and 47% did not even remember subscribing in the first place. Only a small proportion, or 4%, stated that they had never unsubscribed from an email service. 

Email Marketing Effectiveness

Education email marketing success rate in the UK.

26. Email marketing ROI stands at £42 for every pound spent. 


This sum represents an increase of £10 compared to the previous year, which only goes to show the increasing profitability and popularity of email marketing. Seen by organisations, B2B organisations report a little less than £36 ROI from email marketing. By contrast, B2C companies have an average return of almost £48. ROI estimations are higher among B2C organisations, but only because these companies measure the effectiveness of email campaigns more regularly than B2B enterprises. 

27. The average email open rate was 16.4% in 2020.

(Campaign Monitor) 

The average email open rates dropped to 16.4% in 2020, as did the average click-through rate—declining to 1.6%. Overall, 2020 was a difficult year for marketers, with most metrics used to measure the effectiveness of campaigns witnessing a decline. In fact, the only silver lining was the decrease in unsubscribe rates, which went down to 0.1%.

28. The Wellness & Fitness sector had the highest open rates in 2020.

(Campaign Monitor)

With an average open rate of 40.5%, the Wellness and Fitness industry had the highest email marketing success rate. Next up is the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector with a 38.9% open rate and Education with 33.2%.

29. In 2020, the Agriculture sector had the highest click-through rates.

(Campaign Monitor)

The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector reported click-through rates of 5.2%, the highest among industries. Education was second with 4.9%, whereas nonprofit organisations were third with 16.6%.

30. 27% of people are prompted to visit the company’s website after receiving an email. 


Almost a third of respondents in DMA’s research stated that an email from a brand had encouraged them to visit the company’s website, while 12% would even venture to their physical shop. A small but significant proportion would check out the brand on social media (9%), and 5% would call. 

Email vs Instant Messaging Statistics

31. Online messaging services are more popular than SMS and email.


Ofcom’s latest report indicates that UK online adults use online messaging services, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, more frequently than they do mobile messages and email.  More specifically, 52% of Brits used instant messaging services on a daily basis compared to 41% and 26% who said the same about SMS and email.

However, this trend was not always present. When asked, 89% of internet adults in the UK said they used email in the past, higher than the percentage of users of online messaging services. 

32. People in the UK open 95% of the SMS they receive. 


On top of that, almost 75% of Brits read every text message they get, regardless of the sender. Compared to the open rate of emails, which is less than 17%, it becomes clear why advertisers favour SMS. Nevertheless, emails are the preferred marketing channel for longer messages, especially content that includes video, images and infographics. 

Downsides of Email Usage

Checking emails and productivity in the UK.

33. Globally, spam messages made up 28.5% of total email traffic in 2019.

(Statista) (Beaming)

Email spam statistics show a decrease in these kinds of messages in 2019, going down by 16.8% from a year before. The level of spam emails was highest in 2008 when 92.6% of all messages sent constituted as spam. 

34. In the UK, spam complaints were down in 2019.


Ever since the GDPR came into effect in 2018, emails statistics show opt-out rates and spam complaints to have decreased. Despite predicting adverse effects, 56% of advertisers see the new legislation as a positive thing, while only 20% have negative feelings. 

35. UK office workers waste five hours of productivity a day by checking email.

(The Independent)

A 2019 study of 2,000 office workers across the country discovered that 230 hours of productivity a year are lost due to employees constantly checking emails.  Most of the time, the survey concluded, is wasted on re-reading emails, needlessly refreshing the inbox and sending emails to colleagues when the message could just as easily be passed on personally. 

54% also admitted that constantly checking their inbox has had an adverse effect on their concentration and productivity.

Given the increasing number of people working remotely due to the coronavirus lockdown, it’s safe to assume that the time spent checking emails has gone up, and so have distractions. 


Email usage stats in the UK clearly show that this marketing channel is far from irrelevant in today’s digital world. So, take advantage of the facts and figures presented in this article and use email to promote your business, raise brand awareness and boost engagement. 


As a writer for Don’t Disappoint Me, my job is to collect relevant key information and interpret it into a wide range of content. I also have an MSc in Marketing, so I am always trying to expand my knowledge and discover new and exciting areas of digital marketing, SEO and web traffic building. I am a nature enthusiast, so when I’m not researching and analyzing, I love to go hiking with my dogs, camping, or snowboarding. I am a bookaholic as well and have an ongoing obsession with crime TV shows and movies.