Yesmail Study: Gmail Has the Most Engaged and Fastest-Growing User Base

New report from Yes Lifecycle Marketing finds that Gmail users are the most active and account for more than two in five new subscribers in marketing databases

PORTLAND, Ore. – Feb. 11, 2014 – Despite Google’s recent controversial changes to its email service, including the introduction of inbox tabs and hosted images, a new Yes Lifecycle Marketing study shows that Gmail boasts the most engaged user base among the four major providers.

The report released today by Yes Lifecycle Marketing finds that 19 percent of Gmail users were active in the past 12 months – compared to 14 percent for Yahoo, 12 percent for Hotmail and 10 percent for AOL. The number of Gmail users is also growing far faster than any other free email service, accounting for more than 40 percent of all new subscribers in the last three months of 2013.

Yes Lifecycle Marketing based its findings on an analysis of more than 6 billion marketing emails sent on behalf of clients in the fourth quarter. The numbers suggest that the changes Google made to Gmail last year have had a minimal effect on engagement and growth for the 10-year-old email service.

“It is remarkable that Gmail, with its sometimes controversial practices, accounts for close to 15 percent of all database subscribers and, moreover, boasts the most engaged subscriber base,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “This, perhaps counter-intuitive finding, demonstrates the importance of measurement and analysis before marketers deploy new strategies.”

The big four freemail providers account for 60 percent of subscribers in marketing databases, and Yahoo is the most popular, totaling 23 percent of all users. At 14.2 percent, Gmail is close to overtaking Hotmail (14.7 percent) for the No. 2 spot.

Other findings from Yes Lifecycle Marketing's Email Marketing Compass: The Subscriber Domain Edition report confirm Gmail’s continued rise in popularity:

  • Eleven percent of Gmail users were active in the past 90 days, higher than Yahoo (8 percent), Hotmail (7 percent) and AOL (6 percent).   
  • Gmail users accounted for 43 percent of all new subscribers in the fourth quarter, significantly higher than Yahoo at 32 percent, double that of Hotmail and more than seven times the number of new AOL users.
  • Gmail has the lowest percentage of subscribers who have never been active at 70 percent, while AOL has the highest at 79 percent.
  • A third of Gmail users have opted into marketing databases in the past 12 months, compared to 21 percent or less for the other three major providers.
  • Engagement with Gmail users increased the most during the holiday season, jumping 25 percent between Q3 and Q4. 

To download the full report, “Yes Lifecycle Marketing’s Email Marketing Compass: The Subscriber Domain Edition”, click here.

About Yes Lifecycle Marketing
Yes Lifecycle Marketing is a solution provider that brings together multichannel marketing platforms and data, with creative and strategy services honed on the optimization of delivering relevant marketing messages. This gives marketers the ability to source best-of-breed technology and creative and strategy services from a single vendor at a cost-effective price point. For more information, visit www.yeslifecyclemarketing.com.