Email Reading Time On The Rise, Gmail Now The Top Client

Consumers are spending 21% more time reading emails than they did three years ago, according to the State of Email Engagement, a study by Litmus.

Of the emails tracked worldwide, 61% were read for at least eight seconds, 23% were skimmed, and 15% were given a glance.

Mobile beat the average, with 66% of all emails being read for more than eight seconds.

Overall, average email engagement time has gone from 10.4 seconds to 13.4 seconds, from 2011 to 2018.

This improvement is due to several factors, from “pervasive mobile access to new interactive functionality, and email marketers' increasing savviness in how to present relevant and exciting content," states Cynthia Price, vice president of marketing for Litmus. 

Another piece of news is that Gmail has emerged as the top email client for the first time, despite the fact that webmail has declined -- beating Apple iPhone, according to the study, which compares both email delivery services and devices 

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Gmail and Apple iPhone appear to be tied for first place, with 28% apiece.

Outlook and Apple iPad are tied for third, with 9% apiece.

Yahoo Mail accounts for 6.6%, making it the second-most popular webmail client, and Google Android accounts for 3%. 

Meanwhile, the study found that 42% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Webmail has fallen to 39.9% (as of March this year), from 44.3% last June. Another 18% are opened on desktops, where Outlook is the most popular client. 

Email reading times vary by country. The most popular time frame in the U.S. is morning, with 21% of reads occurring between 9 a.m. and noon, and 7% taking place between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Mobile opens are steady from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but webmail and desktop opens peak in the morning and then fall off.

The numbers are similar in Canada, where 8% of all reads occur between 10 a.m. and 11 am. Then they fall off in all reading environments.

In contrast, the most popular email reading time in the UK is between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. This is largely driven by an increase in mobile opens, which spike around 6 p.m.

Germany’s read rates are high from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and hold steady until about 8 p.m., with rates ranging from 5.5% to 6%. 

Spain sees most emails being read between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. The rate falls off between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., then hits another peak between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Litmus analyzed over 10 billion emails sent globally by its clients.  

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