Mobility and the relevance of email: learnings from the UK

Recent research in the UK, conducted in October 2014 by the Direct Marketing Association UK (amongst others), shows the increasingly important role of mobile in the email usage:

  • In August 2013, only 10% of respondents said they opened emails on their mobile phone or smartphone. In September 2014, that proportion had risen to 17%.
  • In August 2013, 19% of users read subject lines on their mobiles and smartphones vs. 29% in September 2014.

Although the use of desktop PCs and laptops for email decreases, those devices still remain the most popular for email activity. Three-quarters of respondents use them for the most important activity: opening and reading their messages. Nevertheless, the usage of multiple devices, with mobile used for scanning the message/content and PC for reading, should be kept in mind.

The research showed that emailing was still a core activity of consumers' daily lives, no matter which device they use:

  • As from September 2014, consumers spent on average, 2.02 hours using email at home.
  • This was down slightly from August 2013 (2.07 hours), but well up on the 1.88 hours average from August 2010.

This is a trend that is echoed by numerous behavioral studies about consumer usage of digital.

mobility_and_the_relevance_of_email_2A March 2014 study by the Office for National Statistics found that more UK consumers (75%) sent or received email than they partook in any other type of digital activity. And a May 2014 survey found that nearly 80% of consumers had used email in the past three months, beating any other digital activity by lengths.

mobility_and_the_relevance_of_email_3So what's not to like? This question becomes even more pertinent when you consider the fact that consumers seem to quite like email marketing as well. When done correctly, taking into consideration consumer content preferences and behavior, digital marketers will keep liking the channel's ROI. Although the survey results cover the UK, the same digital behavior – albeit with a slight delay – occurs in Belgium.


Email is as relevant today as it has ever been. This digital marketing channel offers marketers a structured and highly effective way to connect with an audience. It gives the opportunity to build a valuable target database and allows you to reach your audience at the right moment in their lifecycle.

Posted on
Nov 7, 2014