Almost three quarters of Australian consumers (71 per cent) still check their emails as a first digital priority in the morning, according to ExactTarget’s Digital Down Under report.

The report, which analyses the daily online habits of Australian consumers from morning to night, also shows in a distant second and third place, consumers choose Facebook (17 per cent) and news sites (6 per cent) as their early morning online activity.

“Email is simply the first priority as consumers start their digital day and goes to show that despite the ‘social revolution’ email is still a strong. This trend should influence the way in which marketing messages are disseminated to Australian consumers in the morning,” Lee Hawksley, managing director of ExactTarget said.

Across the US, UK and early morning priorities are similar to Australia. In the UK, 73 per cent of consumers check email first, and 58 per cent of Americans choose to do the same which tells us this is a global trend.

The only group to start their day with social media were the 18-24 year olds.

“It’s not surprising that Facebook is this age group’s go-to morning channel, but 18-24 year olds who are employed full-time are still more likely to start their day like the rest of the adult consumer population, using email more readily than Facebook (42 per cent vs. 38 per cent). This behaviour reflects the more formal nature of email as a communication tool,” Hawksley said.

When evening rolls around, consumer priorities tend to shift from business to leisure. Email usage decreases in the evening, but it remains the most popular channel for Australian consumers. Forty seven per cent say that email is the last thing they check online in a typical day.
Social media is about personal communication, interaction and leisure – activities that are more common in the evening. This explains why more people tend to spend time on social channels like Facebook (27 per cent), Twitter (1 per cent) or news and entertainment (9 per cent and 5 per cent respectively) sites before turning in for the night. Activities associated with leisure are more likely to be successful when using social media in the evening.

“While there is an increase in evening online social activity, the steadily high incidence of checking email into the evening demonstrates its prominence in the lives of Australian consumers,” Hawksley said. “Consider reaching your consumers through social sites in the evening, but remember that a significant number of consumers are still closing out their evening with the inbox.”