Email Client Market Share: Where People Opened in 2013

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2013 was a big year for the email marketing world. Mobile opens finally hit and surpassed the 50% mark, while Android moved from the #6 spot to #3 spot and now represents 12% of total opens. In April, following months of anticipation, finally replaced Hotmail. After a brief trip to the #4 spot, ended the year at #7 and represents 6% of opens.

Google caused quite the commotion with the introduction of Gmail tabs in May, not to mention the addition of image caching and automatic image downloads in December. While the introduction of tabs resulted in a 24% decrease in Gmail opens between May and November, it had little effect on clicks and unsubscribes.

With the elimination of automatic image blocking in Gmail, opens increased from 3% to 6% that month. Since open tracking relies on an image being downloaded, it makes sense that Gmail opens would have increased with the addition of images being displayed automatically. We’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on Gmail opens this year!

Between the replacement of Hotmail with, major Gmail changes, and a continuous increase in mobile opens, email client market share stats saw quite the shift in 2013. In this infographic, we take a deep dive into these statistics!

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view.


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Stats to tweet:

  • 51% of emails are now opened on a mobile device—Tweet this
  • Mobile email opens increased 21% in 2013—Tweet this
  • iPhone and Outlook were the #1 and #2 email clients all year in 2013—Tweet this
  • 38% of all emails are opened on iOS—Tweet this
  • Android email opens increased 57% in 2013—Tweet this
  • Gmail email opens increased 50% in 2013—Tweet this

Care to check out a more detailed month-by-month look at these stats? Browse through each month’s highlights and video from 2013 below:

  • bzle

    I’d love to know what markets saw the biggest increase in mobile opens. My suspicion is that email campaigns hitting consumers (say a Spotify or Best Buy emails) would have a lot more mobile opens. I’m guessing email campaigns aimed at work email addresses would have far fewer mobile opens. But who knows. Do the numbers support that?

    • adrianat

      I would also like to know this. We design emails that could intersect with both consumer and professional markets so with all this talk about mobile opens, I wonder how we should change our strategy.

      However, many people do link their phones to their work email, so the trend may still apply.

      • Justine, Litmus

        Our recent analysis on ~6 million webmail account opens found that 61% of webmail users open email on mobile. While I’m sure some work-related email goes to webmail accounts, arguably this would give you a more consumer-centric view of email habits:

        I’d definitely recommend checking out Email Analytics to run the numbers on the emails you’re designing/sending—and look into implementing a “mobile first” design strategy, so that your emails look great on both desktops and mobile devices.

    • Justine, Litmus

      While we don’t have enough information to break these figures down into B2B vs. B2C, we did recently run an analysis on ~6 million webmail account opens, which would arguably lean toward consumers. You can find that data here:

      We did find that 61% of webmail users open email on mobile—about 10 percentage points higher than our aggregate figures. Anecdotally, we also hear from many of our retail customers that their mobile read rates are often in the 60-70% range.

      • bzle

        Interesting. Thanks for the insight and the link! There’s a lot of data there!

  • ericmgarza

    Quick question: do Gmail opens also include opens from the Gmail app on IOS?

    • Justine, Litmus

      Yes! Opens in the Gmail app on iPhone and Android show up in our stats as a subcategory of Gmail opens. As of December, we saw about 0.5% of all Gmail opens happening in the iPhone app (about the same in Android). Since the latest version of the Gmail app on iOS and Android will no longer block images be default, I’d expect those numbers to rise. We’ll keep you posted in our monthly market share videos!

  • joshcarlson

    You didn’t mention the importance of images on/off by default in this report. Because images are enabled by default in iOS results are skewed higher for iphone/ipad.

    • Justine, Litmus

      Hi Josh, we do mention this in the footer of the graphic: “Some email clients may be over- or under-reported due to image blocking.” The impact of image blocking in Gmail is also covered in our recent market share update video:

  • remi_grumeau

    can’t tell world widely but here in France, some carrier used to charge extra €10 for POP usage on their 3G network. Most of regular people doesn’t need emails so bad from their phones, so they were just using Gmail from the mobile browser.

    • Justine, Litmus

      Interesting! These stats would also include emails read using Gmail in a mobile browser. Did the mobile carrier also charge for IMAP usage?

      • remi_grumeau

        Of course :)

  • Uzay

    en büyük fenerbahçe ve mhp

  • Syed Alam

    So 2014′s winner will be Android.

  • EDMdesigner

    It would be nice to see what % of the market does the Gmail App own on iPhone and Android. Do you have an idea? Since this is not clear from the data on

    • Justine, Litmus

      Opens in the Gmail app on iPhone and Android show up in our stats as a subcategory of Gmail opens. As of December, we saw about 0.5% of all Gmail opens happening in the iPhone app (about the same in Android). Since the latest version of the Gmail app on iOS and Android will no longer block images be default, I’d expect those numbers to rise. We’ll keep you posted in our monthly market share videos!

  • Jason Gegere

    A great and overall clear review! The fact that Google introduced “tabs” seems to have changed nothing in the long run. They have a great ability to funnel junk mail from eye balls. If users are looking to something they will find it, in their inbox.

    • Justine, Litmus

      I completely agree, Jason! As I recently heard onstage at the Email Evolution Conference, “The decline in opens from Gmail tabs came from people who didn’t care before. Now they care less!”

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  • Robert F.

    I personally like Clyton. It has a configurable Spam filter that is ‘second to none’. I’ve been using it for over a year now and it is great. I’ve used everything from Outlook Express, GMail, Thunderbird, EMClient, Postbox, Zimbra and so on and Clyton takes the cake. It was developed (and being monitored/updated) by Greg Wittmeyer and distributed by him through Gammadyne Corporation.

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  • Peng Chao

    Does Apple Mail stands for the Mail App from OSX or the from iOS? Do iPhone, iPad, Android include both native mail apps or third-parties? Is there a percentage shows the ratio between native and third-parties?

    • Justine, Litmus

      In most of our materials, we’ll refer to the Mail App from OSX as “Apple Mail” and the on iOS simply as “iPhone.”

      Android is the only OS that includes third-party mail apps (Apple products only include the Mail app).

      In some cases, tracking the difference between a native and third-party app is difficult—you can read more here:

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