Recent consumer research has found that there is a large market opportunity for access to personal email via mobile phones, revealing a potential market of more than 16 million consumers in the UK. However, unlike users of corporate mobile email, British consumers overwhelmingly want to be able to control who they receive emails from on their mobile, and the majority of consumers cite “low cost” as very important.
Survey figures published today by Critical Path, a leading provider of messaging software and services, show that 84% of UK consumers want the ability to select which messages they receive on their mobile phone, and 62% rank “low cost” as a very important mobile email feature. A massive 96% of consumers are not willing to buy an expensive mobile phone just to get mobile email, but 56% of UK consumers would feel “out of touch” with friends and family without email access for just a single week.
Mike Serbinis, chief technology officer at Critical Path, said: “There is a big opportunity for mobile operators to drive data revenue with the consumer mobile email market, which is largely untapped. However, the key to success will be to listen to what consumers are saying and not just retro-fit enterprise-focused services. Consumers want an affordable service that is easy to use, works on their current phone, and can deliver messages from their current email account.”
Critical Path conducted the UK survey to research consumer attitudes about the use of email and, in particular, to gauge interest in the use of mobile email services. The research found that 54% of consumers cited access to mobile emails from their friends as most important – 20% more than those citing emails from a spouse as most important. Unsurprisingly, it revealed that the most unpopular person to receive email from during personal time is the boss – they would rather hear from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. The survey also found that 88% of respondents will still check their email for messages from family and friends while on holiday. This proves how essential email communication has become in everyday life, further highlighting the opportunity for mobile operators to seize.
“The polling results provided us with interesting insight into the UK and European mobile consumer markets,” added Serbinis. “It is clear that consumers have unique needs and behaviours, and that the solutions business executives use currently will not satisfy the mass market. Consumers don’t want to access their entire inbox on their mobile phone, especially on holiday and when most of it is spam. Consumer market segments, such as 18-24 year olds or mobile phone users over 35 that have high incomes but are not tech savvy, have different needs from business executive users. Operators who offer a simple, affordable mobile email service that allows consumers to use their current phone and choose the messages that matter will reap the biggest rewards.”
Other interesting findings:
* Husbands Matter More Than Wives: 34 per cent of females ranked spouse emails as most important – more than 6 per cent greater than males.
* Existing Mobile Email Services Don’t Matter: Less than half (48%) of respondents were aware of whether or not their existing mobile phone had email capabilities.
* Lifestyle Matters: Compared to females, 10 per cent more males said email on their mobile phone would make their lives easier, and 6% more males said they make sure not to miss emails from dates while on holiday.