Report: Email on the Move: the Future of Mobile Messaging

Smartphones are changing the way we interact with technology. The game changes dramatically for all participants when that technology travels with us where we go and does not force us to come to it. These devices are going to continue to have dramatic impact on our personal lives and how we do business and certainly one business sector which will feel that influence acutely is marketing.

Return Path has just released a report titled: “Email on the Move: the Future of Mobile Messaging.” The report tries to put mobile in context for marketers and help them understand where they need to prioritize this year to get the most from their marketing.

To put together the numbers, Return Path studied data from their Insight tool, which tracks the platforms and email clients subscribers use. They examined six months of data from more than 90 different clients. In total, they examined more than 130 million data points.

Currently the majority of email is still read on PCs as compared to mobile. Webmail was number one with 48% and desktop clients came in at 36% while mobile was a distant third at 16%. As for the client used, Outlook outpaced them all with 63% and Apple Mail was second with 31%.

The report’s findings regarding the growth of mobile are consistent with other studies. The data from Return Path shows an 81% growth in accessing email via mobile. That growth mainly comes at the expense of webmail while desktop access remains steady.

People do seem to be influenced by what device they are using when it comes to when and how much they access email. The study found that desktop use remains high through the week, peaking on Wednesdays and then drops off on weekends. Webmail use is low during the week on average with more use on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and a big upswing on Saturday and Sunday. Mobile has steady usage through the week, going up on Thursday and continuing up on Friday and Saturday. It then tapers off on Sunday, but that day still remains higher than weekdays.

And finally, where does the tablet figure in all this? According to Return Path, the iPad viewership has gone up 15% just between October and March 2011. Of course, you know that will keep going up.