46 Years Young The Evolution of Email

Forty-six years later, email is central to most marketing and sales roles and continues to cement itself in the digital age.

Forty-six years ago email as we know it was born. A young computer programmer by the name of Ray Tomlinson was developing a way to send text messages between computers. Using the ‘@’ to route these messages, Ray created the very first email address. Forty-six years later, email is central to most marketing and sales roles and continues to cement itself in the digital age.

We’d be pretty happy to wage a bet that good ol’ Ray didn’t expect the magnitude of his email invention. But then again, we don’t think anybody did at the time.

Evolution of email highlights


Some of our favorite highlights from this info graphic are;


  • 1978: the first mass email marketing campaign is sent to a grand total of 600 people. It looked like this:



  • 1991: the internet becomes publicly available. Side note: most of the Ungapped team got internet in their homes between 1995 and 1997.

  • 1999: email become mobile thanks to BlackBerry

  • 2004: Gmail is born

  • 2013: email and password become the standard for logins


It’s easy to forget how different things used to be for email and digital marketing, even just 15 years ago. But we won’t wax nostalgic any longer, take a look at the evolution of email for yourself:

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