Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
65% of Tablet Owners Access Email Weekly
Email is not dead; in fact, email is probably more alive than a lot of other communication and marketing tools being used today. But who would have thought it? Several years ago when Facebook and Twitter started to take over our lives, social media evangelists couldn’t wait to write the eulogy for email. Now social media has settled in its rightful place and the traditional online forms information delivery is once again showing that no matter the medium, ‘fast, efficient and personal’ trumps everything else.
Pew Research findings
Popular online researcher, Pew, has released new data on the use of email and its findings are really good news for online publishers—especially those that are in the business of delivering news. According to the data, 65% of tablet users access email on their devices at least once per week. A whopping 44% of those users check their email daily, proving the point that there’s probably no better medium for reaching the ‘connected’ consumer than through email.
Smartphone users are even more engaged with email and Pew found that more than 80% of them check their email once a week; daily email checks was also high among this group with a staggering 61% of them visiting their inbox.
News is also big on mobile
Pew found that trailing email in terms of popularity among mobile users was news consumption. The engagement level on both platforms (tablets and smartphones) was almost identical with 64% of tablet owners consuming news on a weekly basis. Roughly 62% of smartphone users accessed news on a weekly basis. The story was equally close for daily news consumption where tablets saw 37% daily consumption, just a shade above the 36% recorded by smartphone users.
Power users and the ‘trust effect’
The correlation is not ironclad but it is fair to say that the people who own tablets in conjunction with high-end smartphones are your typical power users—the sort of people who subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and/or The Washington Post. These power users are just the sort of people that are helping to keep email relevant because for them communication needs to be efficient and measured. The ‘noise’ which is often a part of social media isn’t conducive to the daily aspirations of these sorts of people.
This brings us to the idea of trust and ‘trust marketing’. What the Pew data shows is that people who prefer to engage still with email are more focused on trust and relationship building. Emails and news are peas in the same pod where trust marketing is concerned and brands who realize this will not only stay relevant, they’ll win the day with their marketing.
Of course, the data overall can be extrapolated to users of other devices. PC users are probably no less committed to reading their emails regularly, the only difference is that they might have a lot more ‘noise’ to contend with given the larger viewing area of their screens.
Email will continue to be the effective communication medium that it is because in the end, it’s still the most personal, most human form of communication in the digital age.