A recent study from Microsoft indicates that email marketing is a good way to reach consumers - particularly for B2B businesses.

Consumers plan to increase their use of email more than their use of social media in the next year, according to a recent study from Microsoft relayed by Mashable. The study asked more than 1,200 professionals and young consumers about their online communication habits, and marketers (particularly those in the B2B sectors) may be pleased to learn that email is a reliable way to reach online audiences.

According to the study, 45 percent of consumers say their email communications have increased this year. This puts the channel ahead of social media, which also saw impressive gains: More than one-quarter of respondents (28 percent) say their social media communications have increased. (Brands might want to boost their social media marketing campaigns accordingly.)

Reading and replying to emails received at work seems to be driving much of the growth in email use. Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) say they will increase their use of email at work in the next five years. B2C marketers will likely still find success with email marketing, as more than one-third of respondents (36 percent) say they will increase their email use at home.

Email marketing messages are likely to be read among both the B2B and B2C crowds. As Brafton has reported, 83 percent of consumers read through all of their emails back to the last time they checked their inboxes, according to an ExactTarget study.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.