Email marketing has remained popular with businesses due to its scalability and mobile-effectiveness. Email allows you to target an audience of any size productively. With the advantage of notifications on mobile devices, you also get the attention of your audience without them even opening their email. While there are disadvantages to email marketing, such as spam rates and click-through rates, it remains one of the most effective marketing tools internationally.

Research firm Forrester has said that emails will remain a digital mainstay for communication. Despite the many forms of communication now available, emails feel like a more personal and formal form of contact between a business and a customer. Most businesses only send solicited emails with ‘op-in’ choices offered to existing or potential customers.

In the Asia region, email is broadly used to communicate with customers and clients. The average open rate in Southeast Asia is 26% with 4.9% click-through rate. Among industries, education enjoys the highest average open rate at 41.06% and a click-through rate of 8.06%.

Forrester revealed three surprising trends about email marketing, in general, that should be factored into any potential email marketing strategy:

1. Younger users have email accounts

Although instant messaging is widely used, Forrester said that internet users aged between 12 and 17 use email more than either Snapchat or Facebook. The data shows that monthly Snapchat usage among 12 to 17-year-olds jumped from 39% in 2014 to 67% in 2017, while email adoption grew from 69% to 82% over the same period. One of the main reasons for this is that most social media accounts are registered either by phone number or email, making email an essential tool for social media.

2. Email usage is growing

The number of mobile users is growing, reaching about 4.68 billion in 2019, according to Statista. Mobile phone penetration is forecasted to continue to grow, rounding up to 67% by 2019. In China, it is expected to reach almost 1.5 billion mobile connections and India almost 1.1 billion. This proliferation of smartphones means a greater adoption rate for email accounts, as most people require an email address to secure their data to access apps or other programs.

Forrester analytic research found that smartphone email usage has been increasing and there is still plenty of headroom for growth. Overall email usage as a percentage of online users ages 12 and older is undoubtedly saturated, Forrester said. It can be concluded that more people are accessing email on their phone. Additional data from Email Monday revealed that 68.9% of recipients view marketing emails on their smartphone 2-3 days per week. With the many millions of people commuting to work, seeking distractions or wanting to appear busy, emails are a great way to engage people, if you are providing value-adding content that people want to connect with, such as your latest white paper, or sales catalogue.

3. Consumers like emails

Forrester Analytics’ Consumer Technographics survey data has shown an upward trend in email as preferred contact since 2013. The number of consumers in the survey said that they have signed up for company emails in each of the 14 industry sectors. However, consumers showed that they are increasingly dissatisfied receiving company emails because the content did not match their expectation.

Emails should be personalised, contextual, and relevant. If a customer has ‘opted-in’ to receive your email, they want to know important information related to your industry, such as what specials your supermarket is offering this week, or how your machine engineering company is building ventilators. Your emails should feel like an informative and personal letter, sharing information that isn’t just posted everywhere on your website or social media, it should be different or at least offered first to email recipients.


Email marketing has been and remains one of the most popular forms of marketing, and one of the most misused. In the Asia region, there are very specific data available for different industries that can help you devise a strategy, such as Malaysians are more likely to open their emails from 3 pm to 5 pm, or generally during working hours. Having this information can help you target a campaign and understand how others might have failed. Email marketing is not the same in each place in the world, so knowing the specifics about your target market could help you better connect with new business.