Are You Designing Emails for Seniors – Part 1 A Few Numbers

A study released a few weeks ago has revealed quite astonishing numbers on the usage of Web-based email sites in Japan. While the older population is increasingly using this service and spending the most time per person on email sites, “the most dramatic decline in the email category was observed among the youngest segment, the 15-24 year olds, with 7 percent fewer visitors and a 34-percent decrease in minutes per visitor.” Mobile phone usage was cited as one of the main reasons why youths are abandoning Internet email.

“The number of people age 55 and older using Web-based email grew 88 percent during the past year to 7 million users in November and now accounts for more than 20 percent of all visitors to the email site category. This age group spends the most time per person on email sites at 121 minutes per visitor in November, up 11 percent from the prior year. Internet users between the ages of 45-54 also contributed to significant growth in email usage, increasing 20 percent to 5.5 million visitors in November, while their usage increased 108 percent to 108 minutes per visitor.”

An American poll conducted in October 2008 by Harris Interactive tells us that Internet usage for the 50+ population now represents 32% of all adults (18+) online. Interestingly enough, the 18-29 population is now less represented online (23%) than 50 to 65 year-olds. The 65+ group accounts for 10% of adults online today.

The U.S Census Bureau predicts, “In 2030, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 and older, nearly one in five U.S. residents is expected to be 65 and older. This age group is projected to increase to 88.5 million in 2050, more than doubling the number in 2008 (38.7 million).” And since these baby boomers are the ‘leaders of the consumerist world’ it might be a good idea to start taking care of them in your email campaigns too!

Next time: Are You Designing Emails for Seniors – Part 2 A Bit of Advice

Author Isabel Lapointe

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