How to Reach Customers Online

If you're the sort who's fascinated by studies and statistics and are also pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to reach your customers in the attention-spanless abyss that is the Internet, a new Nielsen study might be just what you didn't know you were looking for.

Released Tuesday, the report breaks down the top 10 ways people are spending their time online, with the top three hardly being a shocker: social networks, online games, and e-mail. 

Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just [those] three activities... leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie. 

What's the most surprising about the findings here is that e-mail usage has dropped a whopping 28 percent in a single year, from 2009 to 2010. Of course, there's a dropoff on data in the last year, but if Google is any indication, there's been far more hullabaloo internally about Google+ than Gmail.

But if you still believe in e-mail marketing, don't despair: The study also found that e-mail usage on mobile devices is still king -- it rose 41.6 percent.

Read the full study over at Nielsen.

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