Email usage drops in Canada

I'm a geek and some would say an early adopter for most technology. Late last year I got a kick in the gut (read ego) when my suggestion to my 25 year old niece to send some information via email was met with, "Email? That's so old school." I was floored.

It's one thing to know that THIS generation uses SMS as their primary messaging medium and another to have it brought home that it's to the detriment of email. But this is not just an anecdotal family story that I'm offering as my discussion point.

First, an Ipsos Reid survey reported that Q1 2010 numbers showed that email usage by "online Canadians" had declined 35% since 2008. Two years previously the average amount of weekly emails was 198. In Q1 that average was at 129. And of course, for that younger demographic, that average per week amount of emails was even lower at 116.

Secondly, even more recent numbers indicate that Q4 numbers were equally on the downward slope. comScore's study, comScore 2010 Canada Digital Year in Review, reveals that while Canadian online users are the most engaged world-wide, our email usage dropped 28% since Q4 2009. Over that same period, "email minutes", the time we spent per email, declined 11%, from roughly 5.9 million to a little more than 5.2 million email minutes.


Engagement with E-mail Sites Also Sees Decline in 2010

E-Mail Experiences Slight Decrease in Unique Visitors

Still, while forward thinking projects will need to consider how best to include SMS communications in the assortment, in the short-term, business or B2C communications will continue to rely on email as a valid touch point.

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