Almost two-thirds of the 3,500 respondents said…

Almost two-thirds of the 3,500 respondents said they felt that
email brought them closer to family and friends — significant
when combined with the fact that 91% of them used email on a
regular basis. That’s 91%. It took VCRs 25 years to achieve
such market penetration.

What did people in this study seem to be doing online when
they weren’t doing email? Half were going online regularly to
purchase products and services, and nearly 75 percent were
going online to search for information about their hobbies or
purchases they were planning to make. Sixty-four percent of
respondents visited travel sites, and 62 percent visited
weather-related sites. Over half did educational research, and
54 percent were hunting for data about health and medicine.

A surprising 47 percent regularly visited government web
sites, and 38 percent researched job opportunities. Instant
messaging was used by 45 percent of these users, and a third
of them played games online. Even with all the hype in the
media, only 12 percent said they traded stocks online.

What does this mean to e-marketers? It means that if you’re
constructing a site for goal-oriented consumers, you’d better
make sure you can help facilitate their seeking. Rather than
focus on entertainment, flash, and useless splash screens, the
most effective sites are those that help people get the
information they want when they need it. Straightforward data,
information that invites comparison, and straight talk are
going to win the day.