It has been found that US consumers have been switching in larger numbers from using web based email to using mobile devices to check their email, so much so that mobile email usage can now be considered mainstream. Daily usage of email showed a massive increase growing by 40% as 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices on a nearly daily basis for their email communication needs.

“Digital communication has evolved rapidly in the last few years with an ever-increasing number of ways for Internet users to communicate with one another,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “From PCs to mobile devices, whether its email, social media, IM or texting, consumers have many ways to communicate and can do so at any time and in any place. The decline in web-based email is a byproduct of these shifting dynamics and the increasing availability of on-demand communication options.”

Continued Donovan, “What we have seen in the smartphone era is the rapid acceleration of data consumption, which has helped drive mobile usage across multiple categories including email. In a relatively short period of time, adoption of mobile email has reached 78 percent of the smartphone population, which is very similar to the penetration of web-based email among Internet users. These findings demonstrate just how quickly channel shifts can occur and why it’s now essential for media brands to have a strong presence in both arenas.”

Web-based Email Usage Declines

An analysis of web-based email trends revealed that fewer Americans visited web-based email destinations and spent less time doing so versus last year. In November 2010, more than 153 million people visited web-based email providers, decreasing 6 percent from the previous year. In terms of engagement, overall time spent in the email category declined 9 percent, while total pages viewed dropped 15 percent. Despite such declines, however, it should be noted that email remains one of the most popular activities on the web, reaching more than 70 percent of the U.S online population each month.

Web-based Email Category Usage*
November 2010 vs. November 2009
Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Email Category
Nov-09 Nov-10 % Change
Total Unique Visitors (000) 162,908 153,363 -6
Total Minutes (MM) 47,862 43,374 -9
Total Pages Viewed (MM) 44,840 38,204 -15

*Web-based email does not include email applications such as Outlook, etc.

An analysis of email users’ demographic characteristics revealed that young users, those between the ages of 12-17 showed the sharpest decline in usage during the past year. The number of visitors from this age segment declined 24 percent, while engagement fell by half as total minutes decreased 48 percent and total pages dropped 53 percent. Engagement also declined among users 18-54, as a general shift in email behavior was evident across most segments.

In contrast, usage increased among those 55 and over. The number of 55-64 year olds accessing web-based email increased 15 percent with similar gains in engagement, while those age 65+ experienced gains across all three metrics as well. When looking at email usage among males and females, males displayed a more dramatic decline in usage than females, with total email minutes falling 12 percent for males compared to 7 percent among females.

Web-based Email Category Usage for PC-Internet*
November 2010 vs. November 2009
Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
% Change Unique Visitors % Change Total Minutes % Change Total Pages
Gender
Males -12% -12% -19%
Females 1% -7% -11%
Age
Age 12-17 -24% -48% -53%
Age 18-24 9% -10% -14%
Age 25-34 1% -11% -15%
Age 35-44 1% -14% -18%
Age 45-54 -6% -12% -16%
Age 55-64 16% 15% 9%
Age 65+ 8% 17% 13%

*Web-based email does not include email applications such as Outlook, etc.


Mobile Email Now Mainstream

While web-based email has witnessed a decline over the past year, email usage via mobile devices has experienced significant growth, driven largely by increased smartphone adoption. In November 2010, 70.1 million mobile users (30 percent of all mobile subscribers) accessed email on their mobile, an increase of 36 percent from the previous year. Daily usage of email showed an even greater increase growing 40 percent as 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices on a nearly daily basis for their email communication needs.

Mobile Email Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2009
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Total Mobile Audience (000)
Nov-09 Nov-10 % Change
Used email ever in month 51,639 70,105 36%
Used email almost every day 31,161 43,477 40%

Accessing mobile email increased by double-digits across all age segments. Younger age groups showed a higher probability of accessing email from their mobile devices compared to older segments. Persons age 25-34 were 60 percent more likely to access email than an average mobile user, with those between the ages of 18-24 being 46 percent more likely to do so, representing the two age segments with the highest propensity. Overall, males were 14 percent more likely to be users of mobile email.

Mobile Email Usage by Demographic Segment
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2010
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Index*
Gender
Males 114
Females 87
Age
Age 12-17 106
Age 18-24 146
Age 25-34 160
Age 35-44 124
Age 45-54 88
Age 55-64 50
Age 65+ 25

*Index – (% mobile email users / % mobile users)*100. Index of 100 indicates average representation.

Daily usage of email showed an even greater increase growing 40 percent as 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices on a nearly daily basis for their email communication needs.
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emailexpert is published by Andrew Bonar, the founder of the company Deliverability which is incorporated in Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Deliverability has included Dotmailer, GetResponse, outreach.io, SendLane and other ESPs as clients. Having launched his first website in 1990, he went on to become the co-founder of @POBox UK in 1993, a free email address provider, possibly the first in the world. Thereafter launching Cheapnet which became the longest running privately owned ISP in Europe before launching the first privately owned online payment gateway in the UK: Ebanx. Andrew has consulted to some of the worlds biggest senders including Amazon, Mondelez and Nestle. 2012 in his role as Global Deliverability Director at Emailvision was the first time he oversaw the delivery of more than 100 Biillion messages in a single year. Since that time he has provisioned consultancy or performed leadership roles at some of Australia's most successful tech companies. Including Campaign Monitor, Freelancer.com and Kogan. With 21+ years of industry experience, Andrew is widely recognised as a leader in the field of message sending, deliverability and compliance. He currently resides in the Harbour City of Sydney and continues to serve as an independent consultant at organisations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US.

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