2016 was a very exciting year for the MailCharts team.

On the content front, we released our very first book, created an in-depth holiday email report with amazing industry partners, and started blogging (and emailing you) on a weekly basis.

On the product front, we’ve added more than 2,000 companies, started tracking persona-based insights allowing you to compare the user journey of a purchaser v.s. a generic subscriber, for example. We also introduced email technology detection, in-depth reports, and much more.

MailCharts has been around since 2014. Today we’re going to see how the email industry has evolved since we first launched.


2016 by the Numbers

This year we added over 2,000 companies to the MailCharts database. How did we choose who to add? Simple: Our customers requested these companies.

As you’ll see from the monthly fluctuations, there’s times when many new companies are added in a single month. This is often the result of an email technology provider signing up for MailCharts and wanting to add all of their customers and sales prospects.


By the way, if you’re selling software in the email space you should get in touch. Our data can help your sales team prospect faster and better. (I promise.)

This year we introduced persona-based registrations, allowing you to see how companies segment their email program. Even though this launched late in 2016, we’ve already spent more than $3,000 purchasing from 177 companies. We’ve also abandoned the shopping cart from 249 companies.

(Turns out, most ecommerce companies still don’t send a shopping cart abandonment email!)


2016 Email Marketing Trends

Mobile is Here to Stay

Notice how in April 2014 only 18% of emails sent were mobile optimized whereas today 48% of them are. We still think that’s incredibly low, considering that mobile opens account for 56% of opens.


Click the above image for the interactive graph.

If your emails are not mobile optimized, this should be the #1 item on your email marketing agenda for 2017.

Animated GIFs are Becoming Mainstream

Brands are increasingly trying to become more personable. This is often done through copy that feels more “human” (and not corporate speech), emojis (emoji analysis coming your way soon!), and animated GIFs.

Animated GIFs are a fantastic way to express your personality. These short animations are also used as video alternatives since video support in email is really limited—here are some examples you might like.


Click the above image for the interactive graph.

If you’re looking for a fun way to express yourself in 2017, use an animated GIF every now and then.

Emails are Getting Fat

Even though GIFs are a great way to express your personality, make sure you don’t go overboard with the amount of frames you use. This can really hinder your email file size.


Click the above image for the interactive graph.

It’s impressive to see that the average email size has almost doubled since April 2014. Heavy emails tend to translate into slow-loading emails. Slow-loading emails provide a crappy experience. Make sure to compress images before including them in your mailers.


Measuring the Evolution of Email Design

Whenever we receive an email in MailCharts, quite a lot happens behind the scenes. One of the cool things we look for is the average email height and width for both desktop and mobile.

Here’s a question for you: What do you think has happened to the average email size (in pixels) for desktop and mobile from 2015 to 2016?

Take a second to think about it… I’ll wait right here.

If you’re thinking that a) emails got longer and b) increases in the adoption of mobile optimized templates helped reduce the average mobile width, then you’d be 100% spot one. Here’s a visual representation of the shift.


You can also view the desktop comparison or mobile comparison separately.

Here are the actual numbers:


  • Average width & height: 2015
    • Width: 781 pixels
    • Height: 2,151 pixels
  • Average width & height: 2016
    • Width: 784 pixels
    • Height: 2,484 pixels


  • Average width & height: 2015
    • Width: 582 pixels
    • Height: 2,387 pixels
  • Average width & height: 2016
    • Width: 540 pixels
    • Height: 2,786 pixels


The Technologies that Power Your (and Their) Email Program

Earlier this year we introduced email technology detection, giving marketers the chance to see what technology powers the email programs of their competitors and companies they love.

Our email technology detection is also very popular amongst email technology sales teams. Whenever you’re pitching someone about your service, you’re way more likely to have a successful connection if you’ve done your homework. MailCharts allows you to do this slow, tedious, homework in a matter of seconds. As mentioned earlier, if you’re interested in learning more, get in touch. Our data will help your sales team prospect faster and better.

In any case, here are the top 10 most popular ESPs in MailCharts.


Note on the methodology: This is based on the companies MailCharts tracks, which is heavily skewed towards ecommerce companies. In 2017 we will be running similar analysis based on industry-wide groups of companies (e.g. IR1000, Fortune 500, etc). The above data is for January 2016 through November 2016 and measures ESP popularity on an email volume basis.

Post tags   MailCharts Updates