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Published 18 September 2012 05:04, Updated 19 September 2012 10:34
Social media is all the rage, but for most Australians email’s kung-fu is still strong. Illustration: Karl Hilzinger
If you want to reach Australian business contacts, don’t neglect email. While social media may be the hot medium, almost three-quarters of Australians check their email first thing each morning, while only 17 per cent make Facebook their first port of call, a survey of Australian daily online habits shows. After email it was news sites (6 per cent), a person’s own company website (1 per cent), with Google+ and Twitter ranking last (0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively).
Australians are not unique in their primary reliance on email. In the UK, 73 per cent of consumers check email first and in the US, it is 58 per cent.
“Despite the ‘social media revolution’, email is still strong,” says Lee Hawksley, managing director of online marketing company ExactTarget, which conducted the survey of 1400 consumers. “This trend should influence the way in which marketing messages are disseminated to Australian consumers in the morning.”
The trend was the opposite among younger users, with most 18-to-24 year-olds saying they checked social media ahead of email in the morning.
But even within this group, those in full-time employment tended to check email first.
“This behaviour reflects the more formal nature of email as a communication tool,” Hawksley says.
Personal computers remain the dominant tool for accessing online information. As many as 74 per cent of respondents said they used a PC to read their first online content of the day, with 14 per cent using a mobile phone. A further 7 per cent said they waited until arriving at work or school to do so.
By the evening, the use of email drops off and social media use increases. The number of respondents saying email is the last thing they check online in a day being 41 per cent, still the single largest medium but diminished.
Next was Facebook with 27 per cent, news sites (9 per cent), entertainment (5 per cent), search/portal sites (4 per cent), “other” (3 per cent), own company website (2 per cent), Google+ (2 per cent) and Twitter (1 per cent).
“Consider reaching consumers through social sites in the evening but remember that a number still finish their evenings with the inbox,” Hawksley says.
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