Youth Are Turning to Their Smartphones First to Read Emails

August 14, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Email | Mobile Phone | Youth & Gen X

ConstantContactCMB-Smartphone-Email-Readership-Aug201388% of smartphone owners aged 18-30 open emails on their devices, and 52% say that their device has become the primary device on which they open their emails, finds Constant Contact in a new study conducted with Chadwick Martin Bailey. Device owners aged 30-39 are similarly reliant: 85% open emails on their smartphones, and 48% say it’s their primary device for doing so. The study also finds that 8 in 10 smartphone owners overall believe that it’s “very important” for them to be able to read emails on their mobile devices.

Recent studies suggest that a sizable proportion of email marketers around the world are still not optimizing for mobile.

A couple of results from the Constant Contact survey appear somewhat contradictory on the surface. 3 in 4 respondents said they are “highly likely” to delete an email if they’re not able to read it on their smartphone. At the same time, 8 in 10 also said that they are highly likely to reopen an email on a laptop or desktop after having originally opened it on a mobile device. One might suppose that a cursory review of the sender (with sender familiarity a crucial reason why mobile emails are opened) would be enough to convince respondents not to delete the email and to instead reopen it on another device.

Still, perception may not match reality in this case. While many mobile email users said they would reopen an email on their desktop or laptop, research from Knotice suggests that only a tiny fraction of emails are actually opened on multiple devices (see the last bullet point in this article).

Nevertheless, the results are an indicator of the growing importance of mobile email optimization. Even among older age groups, most are opening emails on their smartphones, even though the proportion relying on them as their primary email device is much smaller than for younger age groups. For example, among the 60+ crowd, two-thirds open emails on their device, but only 14% count it as their primary way of reading email.

Other Findings:

  • iPhone owners are 14% more likely than non-iPhone owners to open emails on their devies (82% vs. 72%).
  • About half of the respondents report being likely to click on hyperlinks in mobile emails.

About the Data: The data is derived from a survey of 1,497 consumers.

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