“It’s obvious email marketing is dead.”

“The days when AOL advertised ‘You’ve got mail!’ are long over.”

It’s hard to argue that receiving email is now often met with a groan. The reason? We're inundated with emails. The average person gets 121 a day. The human race as a whole gets 193.3 billion. Business emails account for 108.7 billion. These are big numbers.

Perhaps, we overdid it -- too much of a good thing. But, wait a minute, there must be a good reason why that much email is circling the globe, and if so, that’d mean that claims about the death of email marketing can't be true. In fact, I’d guess that those who make these claims are only measuring their own subjective sense of overwhelm.

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We don’t hate all email -- just the ones we don’t want to read. The numbers agree with me. When it comes down to it, consumers still derive tangible benefits from email, and marketers still get a real payback. But before I roll out statistics to prove it, let’s pause. First, it’s important to understand why good marketers still love email marketing.

1. It's easy to tap into the exponentially growing mobile market.

Without emails, it’d be nearly impossible for marketers to reach people when they’re not at their computers. People check their email on their cell phones and tablets at least once a day. SMS, by contrast, is not as popular. What’s more, texting may cost the user. It’s much harder to articulate a marketing message with a limited number of words.

2. Customers like to stay informed.

Customers like to know about coupons, because they like to save money when they shop. In fact, coupons are what drive online sales (though they also increase in-store sales). Customers also tend to like email sequences that educate and engage them. Mini email courses from subject experts can pack a lot of good information, creating a great win-win for marketers and consumers.

3. Email seamlessly integrates with other marketing strategies.

Think about how much pertinent information an email can communicate:

  • It can inform someone about your latest post.
  • It can remind someone of an interesting social-media message.
  • It can alert someone when a webinar is about to start.
  • It can alert someone about an approaching deadline on an offer.

4. Email marketing offers the best return on investment ever.

Ultimately, email marketing is affordable, which means that, even if a campaign bombs, the marketer isn’t in trouble. In comparison, given their high spend, failed advertising campaigns using direct mail, print advertising, radio and TV can be disastrous.

7 statistics that prove email marketing still works

Now, let’s look at seven statistics that prove email marketing can still pack a punch:

1. Email marketing offers a staggering return on investment.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, it yields an estimated 4,300 percent ROI. Every dollar spent on email marketing offers a return of $44, says ExactTarget.

Related: 3 Steps to Maximize Your Mobile Email Marketing

2. Emails effortlessly nurture leads.

A nurtured lead increases sales 20 percent more than a cold lead. At 33 percent less cost than other lead-generating mechanisms, emails generate 50 percent more sales. In fact, smart email marketing is one of the single most effective ways to build relationships with customers.

So, what is smart email marketing? Essentially, it’s email marketing that follows a strategic marketing formula:

  • First, raise awareness. (Inform customers about a product.)
  • Second, stimulate a desire for acquisition. (Tell them where to get it.)
  • Third, guide the reader toward conversion. (Transform prospects into customers.)
  • Fourth, create customer retention. (Sell them related products.)

3. Email marketing is simple enough for DIY small-business owners.

When it comes to email marketing, most of the technology offered by an email service provider is invisible, while the user interface is easy to learn and apply. Small-business owners who have learned how to send out broadcasts and use autoresponders consider email automation as being worth $273 an hour, based on a survey by Constant Contact and participants’ estimated value of getting an extra hour of marketing activity in a 33-hour week.

4. Emails convert three times better than social media.

Email marketing works 40 times better at getting customers than Facebook and Twitter, and compared to social media, it offers 17 percent higher conversion. The secret to success is making every email count. Email not only converts better than the most popular social media, but people spend up to 17 percent more when they do buy.

5. People actually like getting emails.

Of course, it’s worth noting that this only applies to emails they chose to receive. But of those, 95 percent of people who sign up for a newsletter from a recognized brand consider the email useful.

6. It’s estimated that 91 percent of consumers check email at least once a day on their smartphones.

Besides calling and texting, checking emails is one of the most popular uses for smartphones.

7. Adding social sharing buttons can increase email click-through rates.

Adding social sharing button increases trust. As a result, the click-through rate increases by 158 percent compared to emails without it.

Smart email marketing

Not all email marketing is dead -- only email considered “noise on the line,” boring email and spam. What is alive and well is smart email marketing.

Are you using smart email marketing? If so, share your best tips and recommendations by leaving a comment below.

Related: Think Email Is Dying? Get Real. You Just Need a Better Strategy.