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Mobile Email Marketing: A Look Back at 2013
To all those who murmur of email’s demise and all the marketers who claim email marketing can’t hold a candle to social, 2013 would kindly like to disagree with you. The year’s overall numbers have come in and the numbers don’t lie: email marketing is alive and well, thanks in large part to the continually growing prevalence of smart phones. As the general public comes to rely more and more on their mobile devices, it puts the onus on marketers to think conscientiously and strategically about their email marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at the evidence.
A Growing Concern: Mobile Email Rises to the Top
Email has ascended to the number one most popular activity conducted on a smartphone, outranking even Facebook, web browsing, getting directions and playing games. Of all smartphone users, 78% of them are checking their email on their mobile devices. Impressive, yes?
But we all know there’s a difference between checking email and actually opening it, but there’s good news on that front, too. The percentage of overall email that was opened on a mobile device finally topped the 50% mark in 2013. That means mobile email outranked desktop email at 27% and webmail at 22%, and those numbers are only going to grow. In fact, the number of mobile email users is predicted to increase by 28% in 2014 and another 23% in 2015. We can expect to see that experience significant growth, with some analysts predicting that as many as 1.8 million people will access their email almost exclusively via a mobile device by 2017. (Source: The Radicati Group)
Left to Their Own Devices: Email Clients, Operating Systems and Smartphones vs. Tablets
iPhone and Outlook were the #1 and #2 email clients all year in 2013. 38% of all emails were opened on iOS, while Android email opens increased 57% in 2013 and Gmail email opens increased 50%.
Why are those numbers important? The stats clue marketers in to the possible activity and performance standards of their overall lists. Though the playing field is more even than it used to be, there are some differences between the successful transmission and opening of emails based on the email client the recipient uses. For example, Gmail discarded its practice of automatically blocking images in emails, and Gmail opens increased from 3% to 6% as a result. Since open tracking relies on an image being downloaded, it makes sense that Gmail opens would have increased with the addition of images being displayed automatically.
In device news, iPhone users spent 15 seconds or more viewing each message. On the other end of the spectrum, iPad users accounted for the largest percentage of users who spent 3 or fewer seconds viewing an email. Android smartphone users came in at a close second, with 35% spending 15 seconds or more viewing an email. And while Apple smartphones and tablets accounted for 50% of total email opens, Android smartphones and tablets represented 14% of all email opens in Q4 2013, up from 10% in the previous quarter. (Source: Movable Ink)
Multi-Tasking: The Rise of Second-Screen Activity
There is a growing prevalence of people engaging in what’s known as second-screen activity, or using multiple devices simultaneously. New survey results from Deloitte indicate that 81% of Americans almost always or always engage in another activity while watching their home TV, with that figure rising to a high of 88% among 24-29-year-olds. And while nearly 57% of second-screen users are viewing relevant content, some studies show that multi-screen behavior often involves unrelated activities. (Source: MarketingCharts.com)
Marketers can use both of these scenarios to their advantage. For example, if you know the TV viewing habits of your target audience, you can schedule your email delivery times to be in sync with a show your audience is likely to be watching. Similarly, by creating content tie-ins with relevant subject matter, you can establish a clear link between their current activity and a secondary activity. If they’re already looking at their phones, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t look at your content over something else.
Some of this flies in the face of what has been considered common knowledge about email sending times and subject lines, but being nimble can get a marketer’s greatest asset in developing a successful email marketing strategy.
- Tags: Email Marketing