Study Finds Email Use Increasing, Social Media and Smartphones Play Key Roles

Study of 2,000 Global Users Dispels Myth That Emerging Media Replacing Email

INDIANAPOLIS–Research released today finds that despite rapid adoption of social media and text messaging, the rate at which online consumers are increasing email usage versus decreasing is more than double the rate for both emerging media.

Featured in the ExactTarget 2009 Email Utilization Whitepaper, the research found a positive correlation among consumer usage of email, instant messaging, social networks and text messaging, dispelling myths that the explosion of social media and texting will overtake traditional email usage.

“The total number of social media users is rapidly increasing, but often these users jump in quickly, only to curtail their use of social media over time,” said Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget’s director of research and strategy. “Email on the other hand, is woven into all online interaction, making it an essential tool that consumers continue to use more and more.”

The increase in consumer email usage is not only tied to its close-knit relationship with social media. Smartphones are driving increased usage of email as well, even among the elusive college demographic.

“Nearly 40 percent of students use smartphones and two-thirds of those use email,” said Mike Hanley, director of the Institute for Mobile Media Research in the study. “The increased use of mobile email is significant because it reverses the five-year trend of declining email use among college students.”

While the study concludes that email is here to stay, the channel is not without its challenges – particularly from increased volume and consumer’s adoption of multichannel messaging. ExactTarget’s Email Utilization Whitepaper identifies two key tactics marketers should implement to drive continued success with email:

  • To break through consumers’ inbox clutter, marketers should deliver timely, relevant and personalized emails to consumers
  • Due to consumers’ increasing receptivity to promotional messages via text, marketers should develop mobile messaging strategies.

The complete 2009 Email Utilization Whitepaper is free and available for download online at

The release of the ExactTarget’s 2009 Email Utilization Whitepaper follows Stewart’s “Research Survey Says” session at Connections ’09, ExactTarget’s annual user conference. More than 1,300 are attending the three-day Connections ’09 conference in Indianapolis that features addresses by three-time New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, academy-award winning actress Marlee Matlin and nearly 30 interactive breakout sessions ranging from emarketing best practices to building multichannel marketing campaigns.

About ExactTarget

ExactTarget is a leading global provider of on-demand email and one-to-one marketing solutions. The company’s software as a service technology provides organizations a single platform to connect with customers via triggered and transactional email, integrated text messaging, voice messaging, landing pages and social media. Supported by collaborative global services teams, ExactTarget’s technology integrates with more sales and marketing information systems than any other in the industry, including, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Omniture and Webtrends among many others. ExactTarget’s software powers permission-based multi-channel communications for thousands of organizations around the world including, Aurora Fashions, Papa John’s,, Gannett Co., Inc., The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Home Depot, Liberty Mutual Group and Wellpoint, Inc. For more information, visit or call 1-866-EMAILET.