Life Through Email: Pew Internet Survey (Part Deux)

Elliot Kort

Category: Strategy

08.18.2011

Nine out of ten dentists agree: they use email online. Well, not dentists. Everyday Internet users, actually: a recent survey conducted by Pew Internet – of the Pew Research Center – found 92% of online adults use email, and 61% use email every day. Last week we wrote about how Pew reported similar usage of search engines.

The study points out, “Email and search form the core of online communication and online information gathering, respectively.” As adults continued to spend more time online (between 2002 and 2011), the percentage of email users remained constant. This tells us one thing: early adopters and latecomers alike saw (and continue to see) the vital role email plays in their lives.

A lot of people – including us – preach the importance of fully embracing social media and making platforms like Facebook and Twitter a cornerstone of online campaigns. People live on social media. It’s your online neighborhood, where users interact with friends, family, coworkers, classmates and – in some cases – random people with similar interests.

If social media is your digital neighborhood, your email inbox is your online home. So how do you reach those 92% who check their email regularly? What about those 61% who log on every day, let alone those of us – not pointing fingers, but you know who you are – who check their iPhone/BlackBerry/Android every 10 seconds?

Remember that most Internet users check their email regularly. Remember that people like to receive engaging content, but hate spam. Make email signup a central goal of your website, particularly on the homepage. Implement an engaging email campaign that regularly updates your audience on your organization’s latest developments. Contacting supporters regularly makes them feel like a part of your team, like a valued member of your online community.

This survey hasn’t uncovered any revelatory nuggets of information previously left unturned. That email is a vital part of daily life online is well established. But the fact that email use hasn’t slowed or lost momentum goes to show that investing in email marketing remains a simple, reliable way to connect with supporters and gain their advocacy

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