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We are using 'Share This' as basis for sharing pages. However, it does not support the user scenario where the user has their email addresses saved in a client application. This client could be Exchange, Mail for Mac or even the iPhone mail app. I am trying to determine a rough percentage of users that would play this scenario. If it is considered low I will think through whether de-prioritise this and implement later if necessary.

Has anyone seen any empirical evidence at all and to what customer base did it apply to?

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Litmus has a very large survey that has estimated Outlook's market share at 43%, iPhone clients at 4%, Apple Mail at 4% and Thunderbird at 2%. Of course that includes Outlook Express in the Outlook figures but I don't know if that works for your situation either. Campaign Monitor has a different and more recent view indicating a much larger 16% iOS client users and 11% Apple Mail users, and a smaller 23% Outlook users.

They must be using different metrics as I doubt Apple Mail and iOS mail grew quite that much in the last year, but I think the general picture shows that a significant amount of your potential users may be using such an email client. Of course it depends on your specific audience, but I wouldn't want to alienate anywhere near such a significant portion of users.

As Roger Attril mentioned the Campaign Monitor site's numbers only detect email clients that open images; here's their fine print:

The email client a person is using can only be detected if images are displayed. This can give an inflated weighting to email clients that display images by default, such as Outlook 2000 and the iPhone. It will also provide a lesser weighting to those that block images by default such as Gmail and Outlook 2007. Those email clients that aren't capable of displaying images, such as older Blackberry models and other mobile devices cannot be included in this study.

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Just as a note on this, since you mentioned the discrepancy and potentially differing metrics, did you see the fine print at the bottom of the Campaign Monitor page? –  Roger Attrill Sep 20 '11 at 17:25
    
I did not! Thanks for noticing, I bet that does add to the discrepancy edited my answer. –  Ben Brocka Sep 20 '11 at 18:30
    
This is great Ben. Thank you for finding these. Having a look I think you are right that they must be using a different method of measuring because there is not a 1:1 correlation of reduction in the use of the exchange client compared to the increase in other clients between the two sites' research. Looking at iOS, I could believe the number. They currently differ by 12%. This increase could be offset by combined reduction Yahoo and Hotmail of 8% use. The other 4% could be explained by the fact that iOS is becoming more synonymous with business use. Again, thanks. –  Darren Sep 23 '11 at 14:10
    
I would trust Litmus' test a bit more as their Fingerprint email analytics tool (litmus.com/email-analytics) is pretty amazing and doesn't seem to fall prey to the image-display issue that Campaign Monitor uses. On the flipside their data is older and only from mailing lists using Fingerprint. –  Ben Brocka Sep 23 '11 at 14:29
    
Keep in mind that market share != percentage of users. While Exchange might be in use on only 50% of machines, users tend to use more than one machine. 80% of site users might be using exchange while at work. 20% while at home. –  DA01 Sep 23 '11 at 15:29

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