The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently released the latest installment to its Communications Report 2010-11 series.
The report is the second of the series and uncovers the latest trends in communication channels used by Australian consumers along with preferences and behaviours of email, mobile and social network users.
Here are some highlights from the report and the implications for your email marketing.
1. Smartphones are revolutionising how we communicate
The growing popularity of internet-enabled phones, particularly smartphones, has created fundamental shifts in how many consumers access the internet and how they communicate more generally. At April 2011, 64 percent of consumers with a 3G mobile phone were estimated to use the internet via their mobile phone; this rose to 87 percent of smartphone users.
Consumers are now truly ‘mobile’ in how and where they can access your content. Emails are being opened quicker than ever before and social networks provide a channel to interact with their peers and your company in real time. This means you need to have resources available after sending an email campaign to monitor customer reactions and join in where appropriate.
2. Email and social networking tie as the most popular activities conducted on mobile devices
74 percent of Australian mobile phone users aged over 18 send or receive email with their smartphone. The same percentage uses their smartphone to access social networking sites, making these two activities the most popular.
A lot has been said about the rise of social media and how it is supposedly going to bring an end to email. But as indicated in the Communications Report, social media (along with email) is an extremely popular activity. So it’s important you look for ways to connect social networks with emails to help you grow your audience, promote your business and drive customer engagement.
3. Web hosted email applications are becoming more popular
In recent years, web hosted email applications such as Gmail and Hotmail have become more popular, with 68 percent of adult internet users in Australia using these services in the six months to April 2011.
Each web hosted email application has its own way of rendering your HTML email. So what looks good in Gmail may not look the same in Hotmail. Be sure to conduct email testing to preview how your email will display in the most popular email applications.
4. Most people have multiple email addresses
The majority of consumers have multiple email addresses, often for different purposes—such as an address provided by an employer, an educational institution and their home ISP.
It’s important to consider the nature of emails within your list and how this impacts your content and send time. For example, sending a promotional email to a work address at midday during someone’s lunch break is likely to get better results than sending it at 10am.