Among 100+ other industry categories, Compete’s category profiles include an aggregate view of all US internet users engagement with web-based email clients. At first glance, there’s some surprising data in there. If you were to ask me what the most popular email client was before reviewing this category, I would say Gmail without a doubt.
Based on unique visitors from the US IBP (internet browsing population), Gmail doesn’t even hold a candle to Hotmail (94% larger than Gmail) and Yahoo Mail (190% larger). Gmail’s buzz is obviously much larger than it’s bite.
Granted, Gmail is younger than Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. According to Wikipedia Hotmail was established in 1994, Yahoo Mail in 1997, and Gmail in 2004, so there’s certainly an opportunity for Gmail to gain market share as it matures.
When looking at the Email category as a whole, it doesn’t look like growth in market share will come from new web-based email users. Overall monthly unique visitor traffic (a direct indicator of email usage) to the entire Email category has been trending down. In fact, traffic has decreased 11% year over year.
Perhaps the Web-based Email market has reached saturation? It will be interesting to see where monthly traffic levels off and how market share changes over time.
Access to Category Profiles is part of Compete PRO Enterprise.
Drew is responsible for strategy and execution of marketing initiatives for Compete.com, including affiliate, blog, email, lead generation, paid search, and social media. Before Compete, Drew worked for office supply giant, Staples, Inc. where he had the opportunity to manage multiple online marketing channels for Staples.com, including affiliate, SEO/SEM, and comparison shopping engines. Follow Drew on Twitter or link him on LinkedIn.