September 4, 2008, 12:00 AM

Mobile e-mail users offer marketers attractive target, report says

Consumers who check e-mail via mobile phone are career-motivated, image-conscious and more open to e-mail marketing than conventional e-mail users, a new Forrester Research report says.

12% of mobile phone users check e-mail via their phones at least weekly, according to a new report by Forrester Research Inc., which expects this number to grow.

Because more mobile phone users will be checking e-mail, e-mail marketers must familiarize themselves with this unique group of consumers, says Julie M. Katz, a Forrester Research analyst and lead author of the report, “Who Uses Mobile E-mail?”

“Online mobile consumers represent the next generation of e-mail users: They’re career-motivated, image-conscious and more open to advertising than traditional e-mail users,” Katz says. “To better serve mobile e-mail users, marketers should solicit mobile preferences from e-mail subscribers and format messages for a cleaner look on handheld devices.”

The report paints a picture of mobile e-mail users. The average user is 44 years old, employed full time and makes $77,500 a year. 23% of mobile phone users who send and receive e-mail on their phones are 18 to 28 years old, 17% are 29 to 42, 13% are 43 to 52, 9% are 53 to 63, and 5% are 64 or older.

Mobile e-mail users are very conscious of trends, the report says, and are more focused on their personal image. 25% are interested in owning the best brands and 25% look for products consistent with an image they like. And online mobile e-mail users are less price-sensitive than all other e-mail users, the report says.

What’s more, mobile e-mail users are more open to e-mail marketing, the report finds. Unlike regular e-mail users, online mobile e-mail users are less annoyed by the volume of marketing messages and more than half spread the word about products they like to their friends.

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