To say that 2018’s Cyber Monday was a digital doorbuster is a colossal understatement. November 26, 2018 will go down as the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history thus far, with sales reaching a staggering $7.9 billion. I bet you’re wondering what savvy new marketing tool helped drive the holiday season’s record-breaking sales. Was it Instagram Stories? Viral TV commercials? Interactive advertisements powered by augmented reality? The answer is none of the above. The reigning marketing champ this holiday season—and pretty much year-round—is email.

Nearly a quarter of Cyber Monday traffic this year was driven by email, while only a scant one percent came from social media. This is no doubt due to email’s massive sales conversion potential—half of all consumers report purchasing from a website after receiving a marketing email. Why does email prove time and time again to be top dog when it comes to digital marketing? The answer is two-fold: it delivers real business value and continues to be the most reliable means of reaching, connecting and engaging with one’s customers.

Even though businesses send an estimated 125 billion commercial emails each day, many companies still underestimate its marketing power and impact. It’s easy for companies to be blinded by flashy new marketing tools that promise the next, great innovative solution to all their marketing woes. But despite email being perceived by some as an “old school” tactic, it’s a staple marketing tool for a reason. Email generates $38 in revenue for every dollar spent on email marketing—the next highest ROI generator is social media marketing, which has a median return on investment nearly five times less than email marketing. You simply can’t deny that sort of valuation.

If the overwhelming business case for email marketing isn’t enough to convince you it’s your best bet for driving sales during the holiday season and beyond, then take a look at its powerful and resilient influence over consumers. Email continues to serve as a unique online identifier for many—four in five Americans check their email every single day, meaning email marketers have the potential to get their messages in front of nearly 262 million people on a daily basis. Meanwhile, two-thirds of consumers between the ages of 13-50 believe email is an essential fixture in their lives and 83% of Gen Z consumers (ages 13-21, the blossoming consumer base marketers crave) expect to increase or maintain their email usage over the next five years, according to the