The Email Generations: All Age Groups Prefer Email Over Messaging Apps

Brands hoping to reach people at their work desks have one tool for doing it -- email.

A new study by Spike shows that 77% of U.S. workers prefer email, and a mere 23% choose messaging apps, although all of those surveyed use both. Moreover, email leads among all age groups, although younger people are slightly less in favor of it.

The study shows that 31% of 18- to-34-year-olds prefer email, as do 48% of those in the 35-65 age range and 35% of those ages 55 and over. 

After email, the youngest cohort is most likely to like messaging (26%) and phone calls (23%). The oldest workers are most apt to like phone calls (29%). Oddly, they are most prone to favoring video conferencing, although the percentages are all in the single digits. 

Males are more likely than females to prefer email, at a margin of 44% to 34%. Still, females place email first. 

Why do people like email? For 52%, it’s because email allows them to read and respond whenever they want. But 26% like messaging apps for the same reason. 



In addition, 43% say messaging is more immediate, versus 29% for email. And 33% praise messaging as less formal and 28% as more fun, beating email in both instances. 

Email also ranks as the most important communications tool use by Americans at work — cited by 40%. Other choices are phone calls (19%), direct conversation (17%) and video conferencing (5%).

The takeaway is clear: B2B messages will most likely be seen — by all groups — when delivered by email. 

Meanwhile, everyone is tired of multiple apps. A whopping 84% say switching between apps slows productivity. And 71% would use an app that combines all emails and messaging.

The respondents offer these reasons for their reluctance to switch between communication and collaboration tools. They say this:

  • Creates mixed communication — 21%
  • Makes it harder to find information — 21% 
  • Slows down productivity — 18% 
  • Wastes a lot of time — 17%
  • Is a major distraction — 13% 

Spike surveyed 1,000 Americans. 

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