When given a choice I believe most people will choose enhanced reality over virtual reality just about any day. Rather than travel within the virtual, people want technology to travel with them in the real world. So, with the surge of smartphones and other mobile devices, marketers either need to get mobile or get left behind.
A recent comScore survey backs up the call to mobile, demonstrating there does indeed seem to be a shift towards mobile email usage, especially among younger users. comScore found that the number of visitors in November 2010 to web-based email sites declined by 6 percent in comparison to November of last year and email engagement declined at a greater rate. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who checked their email from mobile devices rose by 36 percent.
According to comScore, fewer Americans overall 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 services. Total minutes spent were down nine points from last November and total pages viewed dropped by 15 percent. comScore is quick to point out that email is still one of the web’s most popular activities and reaches 70 percent of the US online population each month. It’s not dying, it’s just evolving.
Again, we see the sharpest decline among the younger users, with the 12-17 demographic number of visitors to web-based email providers dropping by 24 percent. Engagement fell almost by half with a 48 percent decline. In fact, among the younger web users, engagement is down by varying degrees across the board.
While younger people seem to be moving away, older folks seem to be using email more with a 16 percent increase in visits for the 55-65 demographic and an eight percent increase in visits for the over 65 age group.
It seems the predictions of 2011 being the year of mobile for marketing may be right. Comparing November last year to November of this year, comScore recorded an increase of 36 percent in the number of people who state they used email via a mobile device. Those who access email every day via a mobile device rose by 40 percent.
Mobile email usage grew by double-digits across all age demographics. Again, not surprisingly, the younger age groups were more likely to use mobile compared to older segments. From a gender perspective, males were 14 percent more likely to use mobile email.
The data we are seeing continues to illustrate the importance of mobile in online and email marketing. Optimizing your campaigns and strategy for mobile marketing is simply no longer a consideration, but an absolute necessity.