Global email trends: Use of iPad for email soars


The growth of smartphones and tablets is having a huge impact on global email usage, according to a new report. The study, from email monitoring firm Return Path, looks at data from April 2011 to September 2011 and examines rapidly shifting trends and provides recommendations to help marketers better understand their increasingly complex landscape for communicating with customers and prospects.

In this latest report, Return Path data shows a pattern of increasing usage that’s hard to ignore as email opens on mobile devices grew by 34% compared with the previous six month period.
While webmail maintains its status as the most popular platform for reading email, mobile is showing huge growth rates whereas the relative number of opens on webmail and desktop decreased by 11% and nearly 9.5%, respectively.

iPad Email Views Explodes

With the slick email interface of the iPad making it easy for email consumption on the go, use of iPads skyrocketed with an increase of 73% in email views on iPad devices between April and September of 2011.

Email views on the iPad jumped by 12% between March, with the launch of the iPad 2, and April, continuing to steadily climb upward.


Where Email is Viewed Influenced by When

Where email is viewed is heavily influenced by when it is viewed, with desktop ruling the weekdays and mobile spiking on the weekends. Return Path’s research found a steep drop in desktop usage over the weekend, with a corresponding rise in mobile and webmail use.
Monday is equally strong for both webmail and desktop but the worst day of the week for mobile email. This study saw a difference in weekend use from the previous six months – whereas previously there had been a pop in webmail use on Sunday and a dip in mobile, in this study, Return Path found mobile and webmail use to be pretty consistent on both Saturday and Sunday.


Outlook Maintains Desktop Leadership

Outlook maintains its leadership position of installed software for use on the desktop at 63% of email opens, with no change in the desktop landscape since the previous six months. Apple Mail is the only other software platform to even come close to Outlook with about 31% of the viewership.

The next closest is Thunderbird and AOL Desktop with about 3% of email views respectively.

“Email is more relevant today than ever before as consumption continues to grow on more platforms,” said Matt Blumberg, CEO and Chairman, Return Path. “Email is everywhere you want your message to be. And while benchmark studies provide marketers with a view into shifting trends, they are no substitute for having real time, specific data on subscribers.

Marketers need to gather campaign data specific to their audience, figure out where their subscribers are viewing email and design a relevant and timely sending strategy.”

Return Path research data was compiled using its Campaign Insight tool which tracks which platforms and email clients subscribers use to read email.

For this study, Return Path examined data from April 2011 through September 2011 from more than 200 different clients. In total, the study examined more than 400 million data points.

Download the study here


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