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Mobile Email Access Increases 80 Percent From October: Return Path


By Ken Magill

Though desktop applications and webmail still account for the lion’s share of how most people read their email, mobile access has surged 80 percent since October, according to a just released study by email deliverability and security firm Return Path.

Mobile access now accounts for 16 percent of how people read their email, according to Return Path.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of email access is done via webmail while 36 percent is accessed through desktop applications, according to Return Path.

Also, mobile access may be rising at the expense of webmail access, the study determined.

As mobile access has risen, webmail access has dipped slightly while desktop access has remained steady, according to Return Path.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to desktop usage Outlook is the No. 1 application, accounting for 63 percent of desktop email access, according to Return Path.

Apple Mail accounts for 31 percent of desktop access, according to Return Path.

In other findings, when people read email tends to affect how they access it, according to Return Path.

While desktop readership is highest on Tuesdays, mobile readership is highest on Saturdays, according to Return Path.

Also, webmail access is lowest on Wednesdays and highest on Sundays, according to Return Path. Desktop readership is lowest on Sundays, the study determined.

Mobile usage tends to be steadier from day to day than the other modes of access, the study determined.

Along with the growth of mobile, the Return Path study noted a 15 percent increase in iPad email access since October with a pronounced spike in January.

The January iPad spike was probably a result of Christmas gift giving, the study said.

“We expect to see this [iPad-usage] percentage grow in the coming months, especially with the release of iPad 2,” the study said.

The expected continued increase of email access through tablet devices may make rendering—or how the message appears—less of an issue than where and how people get their messages, said Brian Dreller, senior product manager, Return Path.

“At the very least, it behooves you to adapt to what your audience is doing,” he said.

Get the whole report here.


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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Sravanthi
Date: 2011-06-07 06:40:25
Subject: @Best format for Mobile

Neil, I read about fluid html/css layouts a while ago. You may want to research on this. Not sure if you knew about it already, so just suggesting.
Posted by: Dave Hendricks
Date: 2011-05-18 11:15:01
Subject: Mobile Performance

LiveIntent has real time reporting on this. Here are the numbers for the last two months based on a wide range of publishers in all categories: IE: 51% (webmail) Safari: 14% (webmail) Firefox: 12% (webmail) iPhone: 8% Other (prob new blackberry): 5% Outlook: 3% iPad: 3% Android: 2% Blackberry: 1% This is based on the open behavior of mail recipients over 500 newsletters and multiple categories, newsletters and standalone. Our numbers are different than ReturnPath's would love to understand their methodology and see how it compares to ours. Dave
Posted by: Neil
Date: 2011-05-17 15:30:23
Subject: Best Format for Mobile

Does anyone have an opinion about the best format for mobile? We feel that ASCII (plain text) without any line breaks offers the best mobile experience rather than HTML but I'd like to hear from others. Ken, you should report on this important topic.