The most popular email marketing clients? [Infographic]

Which email clients should we design and test for? 2014 update

It’s important to agree the target email clients you want the email to be displayed in when briefing an agency to develop a new email template or enewsletter layout. Of course, large volume senders will want the email to render in all, but for smaller businesses it’s OK to target and test a smaller number.

Traditionally the main email clients to target were the main webmail services plus different Outlook versions.

  • Hotmail
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • Gmail
  • Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010

B2B marketers would have added different versions of Lotus Notes and Blackberry with Gmail becoming more important through time amongst professionals.

In 2014 this is radically different – you also need to think really seriously about how emails will render on different mobile platforms.

This 2014 infographic has the data published from their clients for the whole of 2013 – it’s from the excellent Litmus Email Client Market Share blog which you should check out for the latest month-by-month figures if you need them.

The main summary clearly shows where you need to focus your email testing – there was little change during 2013 with small increases with the growing adoption of Android phones and Gmails change to default display of images – you can see the impact in November.


Email client popularity data from previous years

This has been superseded by the latest Litmus data, but we’ve kept it here for students of email or those who like to see the evolution of infographics – I prefer the clarity of the new one – simplicity rules!

To find the popularity of the different clients, it’s worth checking out the market share compilations. This new infographic on popular email clients from Litmus shows the current popularity of email clients that email marketers should target. It’s based on 1 billion opens from marketing emails sent worldwide over 2011 and into 2012.

For comparison – Email popularity in 2010

Litmus also had a useful review of the most popular email clients from 2010.

This compilation shows that the ones most companies should check for are as above, but Apple Mail and iPhone are getting more important and perhaps surprisingly are more important than Gmail, so those should definitely go on the list to target and test against too.

Mark Brownlow has written a companion post comparing email preview software tools.

Please share your views

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  1. Senders can also use email analytics packages (like the one Litmus offers) to get this data for their own list. Just a word of warning…the figures are based on email opens. So clients that block images by default are underrepresented.

  2. Hey Dave…

    How do you think this chart will change once they add Blackberry, Android and all the other mobile platforms.

    My guess is that mobile will become the most popular, followed by Outlook?

    Let me know your thoughts.


  3. Thanks Mark, that’s a good point, since it may undestimate mobiles esp Blackberrys which is Jeff’s point…

    Interesting, what you say is true Jeff, mobile could be second after Outlook which is another argument that we need to take mobile access to email seriously… Will be interesting to see the next survey.

  4. It would be good to know the weighting by country, we do a lot of emailing outside the UK and US, and this doesn’t reflect our experience. But we do use Litmus, and find the reporting very useful – and we’re trying to optimise for mobile, as well as desktop, as much as we can.

    • Hi Dan – thanks for your comment – good idea – I’ll ask Justine at Litmus to see what’s possible.

      It’s good to see them repeating this survey and see how the range of platforms we need to target evolves.

      • Thanks for the feedback, folks! As I mentioned to Dave, we do collect geolocation information on a portion of the opens we track, but with over 4 billion data points, I’m sure you can imagine the computing power that goes into crunching those types of numbers!

        It’s certainly something we hope to do in future, but unfortunately can’t provide at the moment. I’ll be sure to post about it on our blog when it does become available, though!

        Dan: I’m very glad to hear from a happy Litmus customer! While these stats we report can be useful for reporting trends and averages, they certainly won’t reflect everyone’s experience. I’d definitely use the data you’re collecting to optimize efforts for your specific audience.

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  7. Very relevant information and use it to set up an emailing strategy. Thanks Dave. Ari Bonilla

  8. Alexander Gorlach

    Does somebody have research on sent messages (not opened) ?

  9. Alexander Gorlach

    We are software developers for Outlook, and we are disagree with Litmus chart:

  10. Ayya, why my company using Lotus?

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  12. I like this topic. It is one of the best post from other. It is a useful and charming post. It is extremely helpful for me.

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