I've been trying to find this out for months, but I have yet to see a report or statistic that is dated 2007, or even 2006. I need to find out the average percentages of currently used email clients.
Unfortunately email clients are not like browsers that have a unique user-agent, so we can't know exactly what email client someone's using. This means that ultimately you can never get an accurate number as to how many people are using specific email clients. Hence the lack of published results available.
At the same time, you can get a good idea about the popularity of different web-based clients such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail, which still has a big impact on how you should design your emails.
For the best stats on this, check out this article.
Well, surely there is a way to send some sort of poll that can be used to get at least some sampling.
That's true, I guess that might give you a bit of an idea. I have seen one of these a few years back but can't track it down unfortunately. There was a survey done about 2 years ago by EmailLabs that found more than 75% of business email users use a version of Outlook and a further 9% use Lotus Notes.
For a little more reading, here are some more recent figures on the web-based market:
Yahoo Mail - 250mm
Microsoft Hotmail - 200mm
AIM - 70mm
Gmail - 60mm
AOL Mail - 40mm
I'm not sure that any gathered statistics would be of any real value unfortunately. Mail client usage varies a great deal by demographic, and you'd really only want to know the figures for your actual lists rather than as a whole.
It's a given fact that Outlook is dominant for businesses, but for a quick idea of web clients on your list just plug it into Excel and do some maths:
=COUNTIF(A:A,"*hotmail*")/COUNTA(A:A) gives you a percentage of email addresses in column A that use hotmail. Rinse and repeat for other webmail domains.
Nice tip Stormy.
Thanks Dave. Thinking further on this, I recall a seminar with Communigator where their product actually presented you with a 'top 5' domains that are on your list, to help prioritise design elements of the email (eg: if you find that 98% of your list is using web-based clients, you might feel ok with using designs that might not look so good in Outlook 2007 but display fine on web clients)
Potential idea for CM/MB?
Certainly stormy, that's definitely worth considering. Cheers for passing that on.
A further point to consider is the rise of clients like Gmail, which lets your route your email through it while still keeping your own domain name - meaning you can't necessarily rely on counting by domain name anymore.
That's actually a very good point Mat.
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