Digital Director at Ocean Media Group
05 April 2005 11:53am
Can anyone point me in the right direction for any relatively recent figures for how widely used any particular e-mail clients are?
I'm trying to put together some facts and figures on the potential downsides of using images in HTML emails given the increasing amount of clients that are blocking images by default.
I've googled "email client market penetration usage" etc etc, looked in the Internet Stats Compendium 2005 from this site and had a brief trawl of the Microsoft site assuming they might crow about their penetration figures but no luck so far - any ideas?
Partner at Keymail Marketing
05 April 2005 14:49pm
We are constantly asked this same question and it seems that scant up-to-date information is available. The best recent study I found can be seen here on Clickz’s website, see link below. Please bear in mind that this is a study carried out in the US (as are most), so AOL numbers will be higher than those seen in the UK.
Managing Director at Emailcenter UK Ltd.
05 April 2005 17:57pm
B2C lists tend to have a very high penetration of Hotmail & Yahoo web-based accounts and AOL users. We have seen this as high as 80%.
B2B lists tend to be dominated by Outlook/Outlook Express users with a small amount of Lotus Notes users (5%). It is more difficult to gauge which version of these they are using - if you ask a typical person they will not have a clue which version they use. Therefore it is difficult to judge how many use the new image blocking Outlook.
The other thing to bear in mind is no two lists are the same. For example if a list is mainly full of people in their teens and early twenties you will see a huge amount of Hotmail and other web based accounts. A list made up of middle aged people has a higher penetration of BT Internet / Freeserve style accounts where the email account is supplied by the ISP providing their connection.
One tip for ensuring your images always get displayed is to encourage your recipients to add your address to their safe list/address book. Most web mail accounts offer this as a single click. This also requires you to standardise on your from address as this is what the email client will use to determine whether to display the images.
Nigel WilliamsEmailcenter UK01327 810080www.emailcenteruk.com
Business Development Director at e-Dialog
06 April 2005 10:42am
With full-service clients including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Intelligent Finance we often get asked this. Unfortunately there is no 3rd party audited survey of email client usage. In addition, there is no market share study of email client usage. There are, every once in a while, measures of sales of corporate email server usage (Exchange, Notes, etc.) but no measure of how many people are using which client with these servers.
So, other than surveys where we ask our audience which client they use as part of our mailing, there is no way to know. Think of the value of such a report: who cares other than email marketers? For the cost to do it right, there is a very limited audience who wants to buy it. Note that there are very few reports of "browser share" anymore these days as well, and that is even easier to track.
Note that there is also no technical way to know. Email clients do not tell us their "user agent" when viewing or clicking a link; you may know that browsers do reveal such useful information.
Yes, if clients require we can run a "poll" or more preferred, a survey... but there is cost involved.
But most importantly, is this of major concern? That is, one should be coding to meet the needs of the major clients, because there are really only a few. It’s not hard to test html on any of them, nor is it too hard to use best practices which create mails which look good on all.
Some companies such as e-Dialog have worked for years to optimize this process, but over time, we expect others to be able to evolve their creative as well.
Primary Email Clients: Yahoo/Hotmail/Gmail/Other web clients (though these are different enough that each could be considered a client) Outlook Express Outlook Eudora Thunderbird/Netscape/Firefox-derivates Lotus Notes
There are certainly others (theBat on windows, multiple IMAP readers under Linux or Unix, etc.) and there are platform issues (Macs are becoming more and more prevalent with their own issues) but if your mail renders well on these clients, you have the vast majority of email readers out there.
Hope that helps.
Peter ____________________________________ :: Peter Duffy | Business Development Director :: e-Dialog UK Ltd | firstname.lastname@example.org :: 77 Oxford Street | London W1D 2ES :: direct: 020 7659 2716 | f: 020 7659 2100 | m: 07802 498 336 :: www.e-dialog.com
06 April 2005 17:28pm
Thanks for your replies which have been really helpful.
Head of IA at Dare
07 April 2005 09:47am
On a related note, does anyone know of a service that provides competitor intelligence for email? I cam across this service: http://www.email-tracker.co.uk and was wondering if it was unique.
sales at IPT
06 May 2005 14:26pm
Yes email tracker is unique, it's owned by IPT and has been winning awards at all the major marketing fairs.
I know as I head the team behind it !
06 May 2005 17:08pm
I'd love to find out more , email me at
Director at Chinwag
11 May 2005 14:32pm
Does email-tracker cover newsletters that aren't sent by the various parts of IPT?
11 May 2005 14:39pm
In answer to your question, email tracker will look to capture the email marketing communication being broadcast by a company's competitors whether an IPT client or not
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