Nowhere near ready to give up the inbox
With reports of young people abandoning e-mail to communicate via social networks, Facebook developing its own full-featured Webmail system and predictions that in a few years even business users will have exchanged traditional e-mail for social sites, it would appear that the success of social networks was hurting e-mail usage.
Based on data from customer relationship marketing agency Merkle, time spent with personal e-mail as of fall 2009 was even with the prior year. Nearly three-quarters of respondents spent at least 20 minutes a week e-mailing friends and family.
Merkle also found that social network users check their inboxes more frequently than those who shun social sites.
Merkle noted several reasons for the increased e-mail usage among social users, including demographics and that social site notifications are often sent to traditional inboxes.
Those inboxes, in most cases, are the same ones marketers are trying to reach. A strong majority of social network users surveyed said they used the same e-mail address for their social activities as they gave for permission e-mail marketing campaigns. As networked users check on their updates avidly, they are also putting themselves in the reach of e-mail marketers.
“There is no doubt that social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have grown in popularity across demographics,” said Lori Connolly, director of research and analytics at Merkle, in a statement. “Yet, we are seeing consistent social use of the email channel, as well as evidence to support the idea that social networking and email use are actually more related than previously thought.”
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Check out today’s other article, “Organic Search Still Reigns.”