Are All Webmail Users The Same?

The big 4 webmail services are Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail and while their users should generally behave in the same manner there are subtle differences that a marketer bar graphshould be aware of. The most obvious one is that Hotmail is used by more home users and I would think a younger audience versus Gmail which is used by a lot of business people.

MailChimp, an email distribution service studied success metrics for marketing e-mails sent through  these 4 services showed that Gmail users were most likely to open and click on e-mails. Another important metric, open rate, varied from a low of just over 20% for e-mail sent to AOL users to a high over nearly 31% among Gmail users. The click rate, or the number of times users clicked on links on e-mails sent to Gmail accounts was more than 7.4%, compared with rates between 4% and 5% for Yahoo!, AOL and Hotmail users.

Open Rates
Hotmail-23.8 %
Yahoo! Mail -24.5 %
AOL- 20.1%
Gmail- 30.9%

Emails Sent
Hotmail – 63.5 million
Yahoo! Mail – 54.8 million
AOL – 28.8 million
Gmail – 29 million

According to comScore, Gmail is the third-most-popular e-mail property among US Internet users, though it posted the highest growth rate between July 2008 and July 2009. Unique visitors to the service rose 46% to nearly 37 million.

Top  Email Properties (thousands)
Yahoo!Mail – 87,224 (2008) 106,166 (2009) Up 22%
Windows Live Hotmail – 45,886 (2008) 47,115 (2009) Up 3%
Gmail – 25,304 (2008) 36,959 (2009) Up 46%
AOL – 45,111 (2008) 36,407 (2009) Down -19%

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sara Kmiecik says:

    Very interesting statistics. We will definitely be using these with our email marketing clients.

  2. marketing320 says:

    I agree that these are interesting results and good facts to know. I am not an email marketer, but I am wondering what difference knowledge about these numbers would make to me. If my target has a hotmail account, do I forecast a different result compared to a target that has a gmail account based on the open rates?

    1. Mike Blaney says:

      Yes I think that the Gmail users tend to be business users and Hotmail has more consumers. Whenever I see a Hotmail account I tend to discount the results, but this is not based on anything more than past experience.

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