Infographic: Email Opens on Mobile Devices SPIKE again in 2013

Email Open Rates on Mobile Devices Catch Desktop Opens!

Last year Inbox Marketer set forth to gain insight into the email open habits of our clients’ customers. We analyzed millions of email opens across all sectors of industry within our North American client lists and concluded that the preference for opening emails on smartphones was much higher than we initially predicted. As of December 2012, we determined that 44% of all emails opened by our clients’ customers & prospects in Q4 2012 were opened on a mobile device. Having analyzed the trend line data we predicted that this wasn’t simply a seasonal spike, but rather a much longer trend that wouldn’t reverse itself anytime soon.

Well, it happened – at 49% of all opens, email mobile opens have pretty much reached the intersection point with desktops thanks to a 5% growth over the last quarter!

We also found a few notable points during our research:

Growth Isn’t Sector-Specific

We analyzed three different sectors (Financial, Telco, and Retail) to see if growth was occurring at different rates in different sectors, but our results showed a growth of 5% in each of the respective sectors. Telco came in with the highest at 51%, surpassing desktops!

Majority of Clicks Still Occur on Desktops

It was important to know whether the growth we saw in mobile opens was affecting email click through rates. We identified where users were clicking first if they opened an email on both mobile and desktop and discovered that 62% of first clicks are occurring on desktop devices.

what about clicks


We were a little surprised at this trend and developed a few hypotheses as to why clicks on mobile devices would be so disproportionate to open rates:

  • Mobile readers may just scan for content quickly and decide later to actually revisit the offers and click through
  • Though half of emails are opened on mobile devices, email marketers may still be sending desktop version of emails, making it more difficult for mobile readers to read and navigate, resulting in fewer first-clicks on mobile devices
  • Mobile readers may be “click-shy” after having received non-mobile-optimized emails for so long now and they just expect a bad experience (i.e., desktop-friendly landing pages, long forms, tons of images, etc.)

It’s Time to Optimize

  • Email marketers have to review their campaigns and optimize their email templates. Consider responsive or scalable emails, of course, but also think about:
  • Reducing the number of CTA’s you send to mobile users; endless scrolling the length of an email might affect clicks; build in testing plans and see what works best
  • Think of the whole mobile user experience for your campaigns; mobile users don’t want to pinch and zoom in on a web page, fill out 10 form fields on a landing page, or scroll through a bunch of images to read the offer; streamline emails, landing pages, and forms for mobile users

It’s been important for some time, but now it’s absolutely critical that email marketers think “mobile-first” when planning email campaigns. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore or stop making desktop versions completely; it just means, consider the mobile audience along with your desktop audience. Go scalable or responsive and provide your audience with better email experiences.

View all of our findings in the infographic below:

Mobile Open Infographic

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Tags: Mobile, E-marketing, Research, Strategy, Best Practices, Direct Marketing