Stats Tell You Everything -- And Nothing

Did you know that women blink nearly twice as much as men? And our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our ears and nose never stop growing?  And the average lifespan of a baseball is seven pitches?

What is so ironic about stats is they are usually a great predictor of the maturity of a market.   When a channel is new, the most trafficked stats are about size, potential revenue, and of course ROI.  As the channel matures, the stats tend to go in many directions, eventually becoming focused on consumer behavior, with some fringe performance stats that help rationalize why you do or don’t do something.  As they expand, their value declines proportionately. 

So, on with the stats:

  • Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%. I don’t know what you do with this number, outside of create Twitter bait, but try selling that one at the boardroom table.  Who is brave enough to quote this at budget time?
  • Nearly 2/3 of companies rate their company email as poor or average, and less than 4% rate it as excellent.   I likely wouldn’t be writing a column for 10 years if this wasn’t true.
  • Only 8% of companies or agencies say they have a dedicated email marketing team. Most rely on a cross-functional team with other responsibilities. 
  • The number of email accounts is exploding: According to the Radicati Group, the number of worldwide email accounts is projected to grow from over 4.1 billion accounts in 2014 to over 5.2 billion accounts by the end of 2018. That’s almost 27% growth. 
  • Plus there’s an increase in the number of email users: Radicati also predicts that the total number of worldwide email users will increase from over 2.5 billion  in 2014 to over 2.8 billion in 2018. That’s 12% growth.



I recently read a slide deck with over 100 email stats.  You have to be really motivated to comb through 100 slides on email.

  • 207 Billion emails are projected to be sent daily by 2017. If I’m on the high end of people who send emails, and over half the population is sending email daily, this isn’t too surprising.
  • 55% of companies attribute over 10% of their revenue to email and 8% claim over 50%. But doesn’t email get less than 5% of the marketing budget?
  • Average size of an email database for companies with revenue between $1 and $50M in revenue is 3,489.

How about social?

  • Over 72% of Internet users are active on social networks.. I know I was last night, every time there was some crazy play during the Super Bowl.
  • In a given day, over 23% access Facebook more than 5x per day.

I intentionally didn’t put in any stats about social revenue performance and its having the highest ROI for any channel.  I mean, who believes that?

Here are a few that will certainly open up a dialogue at any event you’re attending:

  • Cisco predicts that we will have over 25 billion connected devices by 2015, and 50 billion connected devices by 2020.  To put this in perspective, we have 7 billion cellular devices active today.
  • IDC predicts that Internet of Things will be a $7.1 trillion dollar industry by 2020.

Statistics are funny things. They can tell us a lot and tell us absolutely nothing.  But void of stats, everything is simply BIG or SMALL or YES or NO.  It’s the margins that create dialogue.

So in the spirit of Superbowl Hangover Monday, I’ll leave you with this stat: On average, Americans eat 18 acres of pizza every day!

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