UK Financial Adviser email client usage – what’s most popular

UK Financial Adviser email client usage – what’s most popular

While Email design is similar in many ways to typical HTML page composition, the lack of agreed standards can bring its own problems. To explain, if your message does not display correctly in a recipients email client you are potentially missing out on the opportunity of engaging with that person, educating them about your product or service, or at the very least, giving them quite an unfavourable impression of your brand.

While I’ve touched on the issue that designers encounter when looking at certain email clients such as Outlook 2007 previously, I’ve never been able to provide firm numbers around email client market share for certain audiences key to the financial services community. One such audience that companies such as investment managers are always trying to influence and inform are UK financial advisers. The majority of financial services marketers assume that in this B2B space Outlook is the dominant email client of choice. While I think this is a sensible conclusion to draw, designers will be aware that there are radical differences  between Outlook 2000, 2003 and the latest generations 2007 and 2010 and that not taking account of these variations between the versions can substantially impact on how your emails are displayed.

The good news is that I’ve been able to collect and collate some numbers on the state of the financial adviser email client landscape in the UK. This has been possible through the use of a recently launched tool from Litmus called Fingerprint. You might recall from one of my earlier posts that Litmus produce tools for email and browser testing allowing you to ensure that your labour of love is displayed to your target audience as you intended.

Fingerprint, their new offering provides data on which email clients your recipient audience is using. It works through the insertion of a single line of HTML code to existing email newsletter templates. The next time you send out a campaign, Fingerprint’s patent pending technology will deliver near-realtime statistics, showing you exactly which email clients your customers are using.

A little over 4 weeks ago, working with a client, I starting inserting this HTML code in communications to UK financial advisers. I wanted to get a broad feel for the market as a whole so ensured that the communications where the HTML was inserted were general in nature and were not targeted at a specific adviser audience such as top end discretionaries. The results were worth taking note of. These communications were ultimately opened by 10,138 recipients, a sufficiently large enough number to comfortably be judged statistically relevant.

IFAEmailClientusage UK Financial Adviser email client usage   whats most popular As suspected, on 86% Outlook is the most popular email client in use with financial advisers. It is important to distinguish however between earlier versions of Outlook and the latest version 2007. With 20% of the total market, financial services marketers need to pay careful attention to:

  • The use of video in email – not supported in Outlook 2007
  • Animated images such as banner ads – not supported (although the image may appear there is no animation)
  • Background images – not supported in the usual way in Outlook 2007

Interestingly, the 2nd most popular email client in use is the iPhone with a 4% share of the market – double that of Lotus Notes.

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