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Are You Optimised for These Popular Student Email Providers?

There are few things that take the wind out of your sails like a broken email. All the genius and effort that went into crafting the most compelling subject line, the perfect message and the right imagery are lost when things go wonky in your recipients’ inboxes.

We understand that this isn’t news. Testing across different devices and browsers is standard practice. But, in a recent analysis we performed across our partner universities, we were amazed at the variety of email providers students use – and how it varies by country. If you’re testing for only the email providers that are commonly deemed popular – like Gmail and Yahoo! – you’re at risk of missing the mark with some of your prospective student cohorts. Just take a look at the table below.

This table summarises the top 10 email providers from a sample of more than 75,000 prospective students across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

We then dug a bit deeper to see how email providers compare by country. Below is a look at some of the countries that are of interest to our clients.

China and Bulgaria immediately stand out as the majority of students in each country use an email provider outside the top three providers identified on a larger scale. Each country has an email provider unique to the region – QQ in China and ABV in Bulgaria –  that are highly used among students. Emails not tested against these email providers may suffer formatting mishaps and consequently cause damage to your brand and open and click-through rates with these audiences.

Given the diversity of email providers around the globe and that student behaviour stands to change as email providers come in and out of favour, it’s important to keep a pulse check on the email providers your target audiences are using. Comprehensively testing for all relevant email providers the next time you launch an email campaign will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward across the board and optimising engagement with your audiences.


We love discussing data, so we’re happy to chat if you’d like more information about this analysis or the types of data and reporting we share with our clients more broadly. Feel free to reach us.