For years, the assumption has been that texting and social media would eventually sentence email to the communications graveyard alongside fax machines and word processors, but an August Adobe survey found that email usage is actually increasing in the workforce.
The survey, which polled U.S. white-collar workers who own smartphones, found that a majority of respondents — 72 percent — reported that email remains the most commonly used method for communicating with colleagues.
And while the total number of hours employees spend each day dedicated to work email has remained the same compared to 2017, the survey found employees are now spending more time on average — 2.5 hours more — checking their personal email this year.
A majority of employees — 52 percent — said they check their personal email every few hours while at work , and nearly the same number — 49 percent — said they check their work email outside of normal business hours. Nearly a third — 28 percent — said they occasionally check their work email while they’re on vacation, and 42 percent said they check their personal emails during this time. 44 percent said they check their email while they’re getting ready, eating breakfast or having coffee in the morning. A quarter — 25 percent — said they believe they check their email too much.
Not surprisingly, 85 percent said smartphones are the means by which they check their emails. Most respondents — especially older respondents — said they expect their work and personal email use to remain the same over the next two years.
Due to its continued popularity, email also retains enormous potential as a marketing tactic. Half of the respondents surveyed across all age groups — 50 percent — said email is their preferred contact method to receive an offer from brands, and 31 percent said some email offers they’d seen over the past year were compelling enough to open.
For workers over 35, email’s preference as a top choice for receiving branded content was higher, at 55 percent. Not surprisingly, it was much less popular among younger professionals. Only 32 percent of those 18 to 24 and 44 percent of those 25 to 34 said email was their preferred venue for receiving branded content.
When asked what respondents would change about branded emails if they had a choice, 39 percent of all respondents expressed a desire to make content more informative as opposed to promotional. Making content more personalized was also cited by 27 percent of respondents.
Research for the 2018 Adobe Consumer Email Survey was conducted by Canadian market and social research firm Advanis. Research was conducted online in late June.