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How the Dutch Engage with Email [Infographic]

With eCommerce sales expected to reach €18 billion in 2016, the Netherlands present a major opportunity for digital marketers. Are some of your subscribers—and potential customers—based in the Netherlands? If so, are you optimizing your emails for their email habits and preferences?

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Blinker, a Dutch email marketing and email automation company, to bring you the highlights from their 2016 Dutch National Email Report so you can better understand the local email landscape and get an overview of how the Dutch read and engage with email.



Email Behavior in the Netherlands

Better understand the local email landscape in the Netherlands and how the Dutch read and engage with email.


Dutch aged 45-54 have the most cluttered inboxes, with 104 incoming commercial and personal messages per week.

On average, how many emails do you receive per week?

  • Average: 79
  • 14-17 years: 42
  • 18-24 years: 53
  • 25-34 years: 74
  • 35-44 years: 88
  • 45-54 years: 104
  • 55-64 years: 99
  • 65+: 90

Many Dutch start their day with email, especially those 45 and older.

What’s the first channel you use after getting up in the morning?

  • WhatsApp: 42%
  • Email: 33%
  • Facebook: 16%
  • Other: 3%
  • SMS: 1%

Messages from brands, the government, and utilities are all quite welcome in Dutch inboxes.

What do you use your email address for?

  • Personal communication: 96%
  • Purchase confirmations:  77%
  • Newsletters and commercial emails: 74%
  • Official government communications: 71%
  • Official communication of energy suppliers: 68%
  • Register for social media sites: 62%

Email is a powerful driver of online purchases.

In the past 12 months, how often did you purchase something after receiving a commercial email about it?

  • 1x: 18%
  • > 1x: 55%

Email is the most trusted channel when it comes to privacy.

What channel do you trust most in terms of privacy?

  • Email: 60%
  • WhatsApp: 17%
  • SMS: 11%
  • Other: 8%
  • Facebook: 1%


Nearly half of the Dutch read email on a smartphone or tablet.

What device do you use to read your emails?

  • Smartphone: 37%
  • Tablet: 11%
  • Laptop: 30%
  • Desktop: 22%

TIP: Use mobile-aware, responsive, or hybrid email design to ensure the best email experiences on mobile devices.

Gmail and Hotmail are dominant, but local inbox providers like Ziggo and KPN are popular among older Dutch.

What email provider do you use?

  • Gmail: 55%
  • Hotmail: 56%
  • Yahoo!: 3%
  • Internet Providers: 29%
  • Others: 11%

TIP: Use Litmus Email Analytics to discover which email clients your subscribers are using to read your emails, then ensure your emails display as intended in those email clients.

Morning and evening hours are the most popular times to read email.

When do you usually read your emails?

  • 07.00-09:00: 42%
  • 09:00-11:00: 35%
  • 11:00-13:00: 23%
  • 13:00-15:00: 32%
  • 15:00-17:00: 33%
  • 17:00-19:00: 35%
  • 19:00-21:00: 51%
  • 21:00-23:00: 37%
  • 23:00-01:00: 10%
  • 01:00-03:00: 1%
  • 03:00-05:00: 0%
  • 05:00-07:00: 3%

TIP: Run an A/B test to determine which send times maximize email conversions for your subscribers.


Inappropriate sending frequencies and irrelevant content are the biggest drivers for unsubscribes.

Why do you unsubscribe from newsletters?

  • The frequency is too high: 50%
  • Topics not interesting enough: 49%
  • Subject no longer relevant: 40%
  • I have never knowingly signed up: 33%
  • My inbox is overloaded: 30%
  • Other content than expected: 25%
  • Other: 1%

TIP: Send more personalized, segmented, and triggered messaging to reduce email fatigue and boost engagement.

When getting unwanted email, the Dutch generally try to unsubscribe before complaining or taking other actions.

What do you do with unwanted emails in your inbox?

  • Unsubscribe via the unsubscribe link in the email: 63%
  • I delete the email instantly: 41%
  • I click on the “this is spam” button: 32%
  • I send an email asking to unsubscribe: 15%
  • I call the organization asking to unsubscribe: 2%

TIP: Make your unsubscribe link easy to find and your opt-out process simple to avoid frustrating your subscribers into hitting the spam button.

This infographic highlights key findings from the Nationaal E-mail Onderzoek 2016, a Dutch consumer panel research project conducted in 2016 by Blinker and CG Selecties. Results are based on answers from 2,148 respondents. For more information on how the Dutch engage with email read the full report (available in Dutch only).

Blinker offers email marketing and marketing automation software and services, helping marketers to shine for the organization they work for.

Litmus is a web-based email creation, testing and analytics platform that helps more than 250,000 marketers, designers, and agencies make email better.

Understand your subscribers with Litmus Email Analytics

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Bettina Specht

Bettina Specht

Bettina Specht was the Senior Content & Lifecycle Campaigns Manager at Litmus