What’s the future of email?

New data from PoliteMail lights the way for post-pandemic inbox mastery.


Despite new channels and innovative ways to reach employees, email persists as an indispensable messaging tool.

At most companies, it remains the linchpin of business communication. Productivity would plummet without it. Chaos would reign.

Despite the incessant pings, nettlesome requests and potential for miscommunication, email brings order to our lives and our workdays. Or at least it should.

PoliteMail’s new report, “Corporate communications internal email benchmarks for 10 industry sectors,” provides a data-backed framework for fueling smart email strategies. It sheds light on how to succeed with this essential medium in our current milieu—and in the post-pandemic era we’re hurtling toward.

The report distills email intelligence gleaned from 1.3 billion internal emails sent to 8.5 million employees globally and answers key questions such as:

  • Do you send too much corporate email?
  • What’s a good corporate email open rate?
  • How much, or little, do employees actually read?
  • What are the most valuable email KPIs?
  • Does measuring results lead to improvements?

The guide also offers corporate email communication benchmarks for 10 S&P industry sectors, including technology, health care, financial, industrial and energy.

Benchmarking your efforts

As PoliteMail notes, email still “provides the most extensive reach of any corporate communications channel,” though whether those messages are doing much good is another matter entirely. PoliteMail shares that typical corporate comms teams send “68 email broadcasts per month,” and that an average email open rate is 70%. However, it’s wise to go beyond mere “open rate” when trying to analyze your inbox strategy.

If an employee opens an email and immediately deletes it, what good does that do? It’s far better to track more meaningful metrics that shed light on how, exactly, employees interact with your content.

It’s also wise to analyze email frequency, attention rates, readership and engagement—all of which PoliteMail advises “grading,” A-F, to track your progress.

[FREE REPORT: Internal Email Benchmarks for 10 Industry Sectors]

Finding success now—and beyond COVID-19

PoliteMail data reveals interesting insights into pandemic-era email. Despite a 100% increase in corporate email volume in 2020, and a nearly 5% decline in corporate comms click rates, overall email engagement is actually significantly higher than it was in 2019. So, is it click fatigue—or are employees just getting more selective?

Likely the latter, as the data shows that, “Email was a corporate success story during the pandemic.”

Can you honestly say your email has been a “success story” during the pandemic? Would your employees agree? Even if your inbox game is strong, there is always room to improve attention rates, readership, clicks and engagement. But you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Download your free report today, and start making your internal emails an asset.


2 Responses to “What’s the future of email?”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Email can be a clear and present danger to the careers and employers of people like Cuomo who are—to put it in plain English—blatant heterosexuals.

    Even if an overt hetero doesn’t actually SAY he finds a woman attractive, if a woman like Cuomo’s accuser reports having the “feeling” he wanted a relationship—and that this made her uncomfortable just as millions of women might feel at the thought of seeming attractive “that way”—a common sense rule should be “say it but don’t write it” and definitely don’t do an email.

    For years executives have sent emails that could be interpreted, sometimes correctly, as evidence of price-fixing, commercial espionage or trading on inside information. But there may be more caution about email now that a career can be wounded by a hint of not only inside trading but outside possibilities.

    Lawson Colgate says:

    Email is a form of communication that is highly used today. Even as a student, I send and receive countless emails on a day to day basis. As PR practitioners it is important to stay in constant communication, but email may not be the best way to do so in this day and age. I enjoyed reading about the future of email and believe downloading and evaluating a report would be beneficial. It’s especially important to maintain good communication among our businesses and audiences to stay engaged and understand our messages. – Lawson Colgate, writer/editor for Platform Magazine

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