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3 facts about email every business owner should know

Written by Mark Williams | 11 September 2014

Do you remember when you set up your first email address? If you’re 35 or older, you might have imagined yourself as Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail, about to receive a message from your soulmate thousands of miles away. If you’re a Millennial, it was probably one of the first exciting 'grown-up' things you got to do.

Email has changed a lot in the last decade. Now it feels less like a novelty and more like a necessity.  It's an unavoidable, essential part of daily life - especially for busy professionals and business owners. 

But while email has made it easier for us to communicate, collaborate and reach new customers, it's not without its challenges. That's why making sure your email service is secure, manageable, and easy to use is essential for getting the most out of it - and for protecting your business. 

3 essential email statistics for small businesses

In this post we're sharing three statistics and facts about email use, and what small businesses can learn from them. Let us know what you think, and be sure to share more stats with us in the comments!

1. The total number of emails will grow by 4.4 percent over the next four years, reaching 319.6 billion by 2022. 

Source: The Radicati Group Email Statistics Report, 2017-2021

In spite of the growth in instant messaging, social media and 'collaboration platforms', email continues to flourish as a form of communication. Research by The Radicati Group has found that the number of emails sent has grown steadily each year, and the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion by the end of 2017. 

Email is not dead, and it's not going anywhere soon. The volume of emails sent and received is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.4 percent over the next four years. By 2022, we'll be sending over 300 billion emails a day. Take that, Slack

What does this mean for your business? Well, you can expect to spend the next few years sending and receiving more emails than ever before. This means you need to think seriously about email storage, email archiving and file archiving. Bottomless mailboxes, searchable and scalable archives,  audit trails - these are essential for future (and present) email management. Learn more about them here

2. 51 percent of email is opened on a mobile device.

Source: Litmus, 2017.

According to data from Litmus Email Analytics, more than half of emails are opened on mobile devices. This isn't surprising in the least, given that other research showed we were opening at least two thirds of our emails on smartphones and tablets back in 2015. 

For businesses, this is an important statistic to be aware of. People are opening emails - even work emails - on their mobile devices. And with more people using personal devices for work (and more companies embracing bring-your-own-device or 'BYOD' policies) this is a potential security risk. You need to make sure that company emails are accessible on mobile devices, but you also need to be able to protect data sent, downloaded  or received on those devices. You also need to be able to remotely wipe those devices if they're lost or stolen, to stop information falling into the wrong hands.

Email security is critical for your business, especially in light of incoming data protection regulations. The proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace (and the home) just adds another layer of complexity to it. Click here to learn more about email security management, and how you can protect your email. 

3. Two-thirds of all malware was installed via email attachments in 2016. 

Source: Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report

According to research by Verizon, email is a popular vehicle for malware attacks - including ransomware. In 2016, 60 percent of malware was packaged in JavaScript attachments, while 26 percent was packaged in malicious macros embedded in Microsoft Office documents. 

Email is the weapon of choice for cyber criminals, a fact further proved by Symantec's 2017 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR). According to Symantec, 1 in 131 emails sent last year contained malware - the highest rate in five years.  

The key takeaway: email security is so important. To protect your business, your employees, your customers and your suppliers, you need complete protection from spam, malware, phishing emails and data leaks. You also need to be backing up your file and email archives (in the event of a ransomware attack), and you need to be educating your employees about the security risks of email. 

Email is essential, but so is security 

So what have we learned? Let's recap:

  • Email is here to stay;
  • Email is being accessed on desktops, smartphones and tablets; and 
  • Email is the weapon of choice for cyber criminals looking to spread malware infections. 


These statistics paint a rather grim picture of the email landscape, but here's the thing: it's not hard to make your email secure, accessible and easy to use. Follow best practices, get an IT business partner and implement email management tools that keep your data safe and your business functioning. You'll need it.