Mobile behavior varies dramatically across demographics: 70% of consumers age 18-29 say they send text messages using their mobile phone, compared with 49% of those age 40-49 and 11% of those age 65+, according to a Merkle Inc. study of mobile adoption and use.

However, despite those differences, SMS (short message service) texting is no longer the exclusive domain of younger demographics: 26% of all consumers who use text messaging say they have opted in to receive mobile marketing communications via SMS.

Mobile Web

One-half of online consumers (50%) now have a mobile phone that can access the Internet. Among that population, 56% say they access the Web via mobile device and roughly 40% access the Web at least once a day.

Consumers with an Internet-enabled phone are also one-third more likely to be active on top social networks. 

Mobile users under age 40 are more likely than older users to access the Web via mobile device, with the highest penetration among consumers age 30-39 (66%).

Below, other findings from the View from the Mobile Inbox 2010, which examines the adoption and use of mobile by demographic.

Email via Mobile Device

Over four in ten online adults (44%) say they check their personal email on their mobile at least occasionally, while 25% check it at least once a day.

Among those who check email on their mobile, roughly 82% of permission email time is reportedly spent on a computer, while 18% is spent on a mobile phone, up 3 percentage points from 15% last year—and signaling the importance of email campaigns that render correctly across multiple devices.

Some 14% of those with a Web-enabled phone use it primarily for work.

Email Use by Age

Younger users are more likely to check personal email—and to do so frequently—on a mobile device; those two elements move in tandem with age:

Those who use a mobile device to check their personal email are more likely to be "hyper email checkers," or those that check their email 4+ times daily.

Social media users are also more likely to check their email 4+ times daily (50%) than are non- social media users (32%).

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Mobile Phone Behavior by Gender

Though women are more likely than men to text (51% vs. 46%), men are more likely to have an Internet-enabled mobile phone (53% vs. 47%)—likely because men are 3.3 times more likely than women to have an Internet-enabled phone for work purposes.

About the data: The View from the Mobile Inbox 2010 study uses survey data from Merkle's eighth annual View from the Inbox study of email and related digital media; that study was conducted in the fall of 2009 among 3,281 US adults age 18+.

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SMS Marketing Reaches Users of All Ages

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