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August 10, 2010

68 Percent of Surveyed Consumers Use Mobiles for Email

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

Email remains an opportunity for marketers using the mobile channel, a study by e-dialog (News - Alert) suggests. The survey of 13,000 consumers in 13 countries shows that 68 percent of respondents use their mobile devices to check their personal email while doing something else on their desktop PCs. The interesting finding there is not that so many mobile users now routinely check their email on their mobiles, though that is a more-widespread pattern of behavior than many would have thought.

The interesting factoid is that mobile users use their devices to check email even when in front of their PCs. That might be as surprising a finding as users watching video on their mobiles when they are in front of their PCs or in their homes.

Also, an increasing number of consumers across regions are purchasing products and services based on promotional SMS messages. About 57 percent of Asia-Pacific, 21 percent of European, and 14 percent of U.S. consumers report they have done so.

A majority of consumers (58 percent) report they been driven to make a purchase in a store or over the phone by a marketing e-mail. And while websites are the preferred place for consumers to opt-in, they are also very willing to subscribe to e-mail messages offline, for example when placing a catalog order (46 percent), at the point-of-sale (29 percent), or when they get a text message (13 percent).

In addition, two-thirds of consumers indicated that e-mail inspired purchases have prompted them to further research a brand and its products while more than half say it spurred a peer recommendation.

The key finding of the e-Dialog survey is that email remains the digital channel that consumers most regularly. Globally, 96 percent of consumers have an email account with 86 percent saying they prefer to receive new product information by email.

Not only is email popular, it is also vital in driving offline conversions. The majority (58 percent) of global consumers surveyed said that an email marketing message had driven them into an offline store or encouraged them to ring a contact centre.

About 66 percent of respondents said they would frequently act on an email they read on their mobile device.

When we turn to social media, 42 percent of respondents said that email was the primary driver to their social networking activity.

Just under half of all global consumers (42 percent) said they would share news about new products with their peers on social networks, making it even more important for marketers to embed social sharing mechanisms in their emails.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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