Is Email Marketing Dead? Not to the Mobile Masses
The recently released ComScore 2010 Mobile Year in Review analyzed the growing impact of mobile web enabled devices in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. The study provides an overview of the key trends guiding smartphone adoption and mobile media trends in many of the world’s largest markets last year.
Much of the data collected is of considerable significance to email marketers everywhere as the study reveals various aspects of how customers are using mobile devices to access email and social media.
The swiftest growing mobile demographics are Under 18 and Over 54!
The edges of the USA mobile user demographics are the ones showing the greatest growth. The fastest growing age segment of smartphone users in America is the 13 to 17 year olds which in just one year have burgeoned to 4.3 million, up 86% from 2009.
Surprisingly, the opposite side of the population curve is just behind the young teens in turning to smartphones: Adults 55 and older own 8 million smartphones, up a similarly impressive 78% in 2010.
Apps: The bigger they are the harder they fall
A similar study by Localytics showed that fully 26% of apps are only used once and then never touched again. This statistic is basically identical for free, freemium, and fully paid apps.
This “lunchbag letdown” inherent in such a high percentage of apps is primarily responsible for the forecast by ABI research that app downloads will start dropping in 2013, in favor of increased mobile functionality being integrated into conventional websites (and of course email marketing landing pages).
Email is #1 & growing!
The statistics showing the percentage of American mobile web enabled device users who use various features is certainly illuminating. There are some functions which conventional wisdom would dictate are of primary interest that can’t even manage to get into the double digits, such as watching television or videos, and accessing classifieds.
Accessed Weather Info: 25.2% Accessed Social Networks or Blogs: 24.7% Played Games: 23.2% Accessed Search: 21.4% Captured Video: 20.2% Accessed Maps: 17.8% Used Instant Messaging: 17.2% Accessed Sports Info: 15.8% Listened to Music: 15.7% Accessed Bank Accounts: 11.4% Accessed Financial News or Stock Quotes: 10.2% Accessed Restaurant Info: 10.0% Accessed Traffic Reports: 8.4% Accessed Classifieds: 7.3% Accessed Online Retail: 6.5% Watched TV and/or Video: 5.6% Accessed Travel Service: 4.4%
The use of mobile email in the USA dwarfs all of these functions. Email is regularly accessed by 30.5% of all users, which places the reliance on email at 21% more than Weather; 23% more than Social Media; 43% more than Searching; 77% more than Instant Messaging; and an eye-opening 317% more than Classifieds and 445% more than watching Videos!
As goes Japan so goes the world
In most countries mobile SMS texting is the most commonly used function. 82.7% of all European mobile subscribers text regularly, and the proportion is 68% in the USA. The Japanese seem to text at half the rate of the Europeans, managing only a 41.6% of users.
The preferred method of mobile communication for Japanese users is clearly email, with 57.1% of all Japan smartphones being used to access email messaging. It may at first seem difficult to believe that 37% more Japanese email than text, but it is in keeping with the technologically trendsetting nature of the market in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan has been a trailblazer in every aspect of technology since the Sixties, and we can look forward to mobile email use approaching Japanese levels in both the North American and European markets in the near future.
What the ComScore 2010 Mobile Year in Review is telling email marketers is loud and clear. As the universality of mobile web enabled devices continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, email usage is growing right alongside.
With statistics such as email beating video watching by a rate of 4.5 to 1, there is little doubt that email marketing will continue to be the preferred way to hold a mutually beneficial conversation with a widespread customer base right through this decade and well beyond.