Over 50 Percent of Unique Email Opens Now Mobile

As smartphone and tablet usage continues to grow, mobile devices have become an indispensable part of email marketing strategy.

Nearly half of subscribers only opened emails on a mobile device, compared to 23 percent on desktop-only and webmail-only, respectively, according to Experian Marketing Services’ (EMS) Quarterly Email Benchmark Study Q2 2013.  Their report reveals that merely one percent of unique opens went to the non-mobile group (other), in which subscribers used both webmail and desktop. Three out of each hundred subscribers opened emails on all of these three platforms, with at least one open on a mobile device (mobile-combo).

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“With mobile devices now crossing the 50 percent of unique opens, marketers must bring device optimization to the forefront of their email marketing campaigns,” says Bill Tancer, General Manager at EMS. “Also, given data about multi-platform consumption of emails, marketers must consider the path from initial communication to conversion.”

In spite of the small number of email opens in the mobile-combo and other categories, these two platforms have seen the highest click-to-open rates. They were also considered more profitable than any other platform types. In fact, mobile-combo achieved $1.28 revenue per opener, compared to other categories’ $0.97 revenue and mobile-only group’s $0.10, although mobile-only has received the highest unique clicks.

“Higher consideration purchases happen on larger form-factors (desktop and tablets),” says Tancer. “However, given the high percentage of unique opens, marketers must structure their email marketing strategy to capture attention on mobile device, then complete the sale on tablet or desktop.”

A deeper look at the impact of mobile devices in the study reveals that iPhone was by far the leading mobile device for opens and clicks, while iPad was used by nearly 50 percent of subscribers for transactions.

iPhone shared more than half of unique clicks (57 percent) and unique opens (68 percent), much more than the total unique clicks and unique opens received by iPad and Android phones. However, at 40 percent, iPhone was second to iPad’s dominant 48 percent when it comes to transactions. Combined, Apple products put Android phones in a distant third with 12 percent of all transactions.

Nevertheless, Tancer suggests that Android products still play an important role in email marketing. “While apple products ranked high for both mobile and tablet metrics, marketers must consider both iOS and Android in their mobile email marketing strategy,” Tancer tells ClickZ.

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