Survey results released today point to a significant market opportunity for consumer mobile email. However, unlike users of corporate wireless email solutions, consumers overwhelmingly want to be able to control who they receive emails from on their cell phone and cite "low cost" as a very important mobile email feature. The online poll of adult consumers in the United States was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Critical Path, Inc.
The survey results reveal a potential market size of more than 40 million(1) U.S. consumers, aged 18 or older, who would like email access on their mobile phone. More than three quarters (82 percent) of survey respondents want to be able to choose which emails reach them on their cell phone, citing emails from their spouse or significant other as most important.
"The polling results clearly show that consumers have unique needs and behaviors, and that the solutions business executives use will not satisfy the mass market," said Mike Serbinis, CTO of Critical Path, a leading provider of messaging software and services. "Consumers don't want to receive every email from their regular inbox on their phone, especially when most of it is spam. They want the messages that matter, and they want an affordable service that is easy to use and works on their current phone, with their current email account."
Results also show that consumers are extremely cost-conscious, with 71 percent of respondents ranking "low cost" as a very important feature of a mobile email service, followed by "ease-of-use" at 63 percent, and "no need to upgrade devices" at 53 percent. Additionally, 96 percent of consumers are not willing to buy an expensive cell phone just to get mobile email.
"There is a big opportunity for wireless carriers to drive data revenue with the consumer mobile email market, which is largely untapped," said Serbinis. "However, the key to success will be to listen to what consumers are saying and not just retro-fit enterprise-focused services. Consumer market segments, such as 18-24 year olds or mobile phone users over 35 who have high income but are not tech savvy, have different needs than business executive users. Carriers 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:
* Spouses Matter Most: 69 percent ranked emails from a spouse or significant other as priority emails they would like pushed to their mobile phone.
* Ex's Matter More than the Boss: 67 percent do not want emails from their boss sent to their mobile phone, they would rather hear from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.
* It's Got To Be Easy: Despite having a college degree, 63 percent of these respondents said "ease-of-use" was very important for a mobile email service.
* Wives Matter More Than Husbands: 8 percent more males than females ranked emails from their spouse or significant other as most important; yet more than 10 percent of males don't want to get these emails during personal time.
* Existing Mobile Email Services Don't Matter: Less than half (49 percent) of respondents were aware of whether or not their existing mobile phone had email capabilities.
* Lifestyle Matters: 32 percent of 18-34 year olds said email on their cell phone would make their lives easier, compared to 12 percent of respondents over 55.
(1) Figure based on number of U.S. adults as of June 2005 (220.3 million) United States Census