As the 2012 holiday season approaches, email marketers should be paying closer attention to how mobile-friendly their messages are. A new report from Knotice found that 36.0 percent of emails were opened on mobile devices in the first half of 2012. This is up from 27.4 percent in the second half of 2011, and up even more from 20.2 percent in the first half of last year.
After tracking about 807 million emails sent across 11 industry segments during the first six months of 2012, Knotice found that 25.9 percent of emails sent in the first half of the year were opened on mobile phones, while 10.2 percent were opened on tablets.
For mobile phones, the breakdown of mobile email opens by operating system is as follows:
- iPhone: 19.7 percent
- Android: 5.9 percent
- BlackBerry: 0.02 percent
- Palm: 0.04 percent
- Windows: 0.06 percent
- Other: 0.14 percent
For tablets, the breakdown is:
- iPad: 9.6 percent
- Android: 0.4 percent
- Other: 0.1 percent
Knotice also found that consumer services and financial services boasted the highest mobile open rates of all industries. According to the report, 34.0 percent of all consumer services emails were opened on mobile phones in the first half of 2012, while 8.2 percent were opened on tablets. Meanwhile, 32.7 percent of all financial services emails were opened on mobile phones, while 7.41 percent were opened on tablets.
Financial services had the highest click-to-open (CTO) rate on mobile phones and tablets, follows by consumer products. Knotice defines CTO as “a percentage of unique click-thrus on links within an email to the total number of unique opens of that email.”
The company attributes the lag in mobile and tablet click rates to the fact that most email marketers haven’t optimized their email content for mobile users yet.
Knotice points out that mobile opens happen most frequently during non-work hours, since computers are mostly used during the workday.
For email marketers who try to take solace in the “myth of multiple opens” – the belief that mobile inboxes are a filter and that consumers will save emails to view on their desktops later – Knotice highlights that nearly 98 percent of email opens occur on just one type of device, up from about 95 percent six months ago.
A separate report from Responsys tells marketers that mobile email is especially important on days when consumers are out and about. This means the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year, is crucial; as is Thanksgiving Day, when consumers are with their families and watching TV. Black Friday and Christmas Day (when online shopping is the only way to shop) are also important days for emails.