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StatReport: Mobile’s Impact on Email Marketing 

Email Marketing

I believe email marketing is important, and I often discuss the role it should play in your business toolkit. I’ve written about how to craft the perfect email and send it to the right people at the right time. With little overhead and exponential gains, all businesses should focus energy on their email marketing campaigns.

It would be an obvious statement to say mobile is popular, but what if I told you a whopping 92 percent of us carry a mobile device in our pockets? That’s a lot of marketing potential. Learn what kind of impact mobile is having on email marketing—and how you can harness it for your business.

Mobile Affects Email Opens

Let me start with this compelling statistic: According to emailmonday’s report, “The Ultimate Mobile Email Stats,” mobile email accounts for 15 to 70 percent of all email opens. This number varies based on target demographic, email type, and product. That’s a lot of variation, so it helps to have some additional context:

  • Forty percent of all people ages 14 to 18 read their email on mobile first. For those ages 19 to 34, that number is 29 percent. For baby boomers, it creeps closer to eight percent.
  • Fifty-five percent of consumers ages 56 to 67 say they will never read their emails on mobile first.
  • While there is some discrepancy between demographic groups, we tend to open more email on mobile than desktop overall—at an average rate of 55 percent, according to a 2016 Litmus study.

This trend appears to be holding strong. According to Experian’s Q4 2015 Email Benchmark Report, there was a two percent increase in mobile email opens between Q3 2015 and Q4 2015 alone. This number on its own might not seem so remarkable, but this might: In the past three years, mobile email opens have increased a whopping 180 percent, according to Campaign Monitor’s report, “Email Interaction Across Mobile and Desktop.”

Know Your Mobile Email Opens by Industry

As we’ve seen, the rate of mobile opens varies by demographic, but it also varies by industry. Consider these statistics:

  • Food service, sports, and entertainment have a mobile readership rate of 57 percent, according to IBM Marketing Cloud’s report, “2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.”
  • Following at a close second is the hospital, health care, and biotech industry, with a readership of 55 percent.
  • B2B emails tend to be among the lowest with mobile opens, with an average rate of about 28 percent.

Trends between industries can vary wildly, with relative differences over 200 percent or more, according to a 2014 study by Knotice.

Best Practices for Your Email Marketing Campaign

This is a lot of great information, but it means nothing unless you know how to apply it to your email marketing campaign. These statistics suggest some basic best practices for your email marketing campaign:

  • Know your industry and target audience inside out. As we’ve seen, there’s a lot of variation between mobile email behaviors among different groups and in different industries. You’re going to take a radically different approach if you’re a health care organization targeting baby boomers as opposed to a retail store targeting millennials.
  • Create mobile-friendly emails. Mobile emails are still more popular than desktop opens regardless of industry. It’s well worth the effort to make your emails optimized with mobile in mind.
  • Know the difference between opens and reads. I know how much time we all put into creating engaging content, so I hesitate to be the bearer of bad news. Chances are you already know: Just because a person opens an email, it doesn’t mean they’ll read it.
  •  Segment emails by device. You can segment emails by targeting certain demographics, pain points, personas, or behavior. Making emails specific gives them a laser focus that results in more opens and click throughs, and ultimately more sales. Read more about email segmentation to learn how and why it is a smart tactic for marketers.
  • Aim for a three-second read. Three seconds is the average amount of time a person spends skimming your email, so optimize your mobile messages with that snippet of time in mind.
  • Keep your subject lines short. Readers should be able to read the entire subject line from their mobile device.

Chart for email marketing headline character limit

Image source: The Campaign Monitor

Mobile has made a decided impact on email marketing, and its popularity will only continue to grow. Implement these best practices and watch your conversions increase.

Photo Credit: cjohn259 Flickr via Compfight cc

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