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Email click-to-open rates on mobile significantly trail desktop: report

August 19, 2013

A recent email from J. Jill

While 48.46 percent of retail email opens happen on a mobile device, the 11 percent click-to-open rate on mobile is significantly lower than desktop’s 21.05 percent, according to a Yesmail Interactive report released today.

The findings  from the report, Yesmail’s Email Marketing Compass: The Mobile Effect, show that consumers open emails on their mobile device half of the time but do not take any action. However, when consumers open the same emails on a desktop, they interact with them at a much higher rate, suggesting marketers are missing an opportunity to effectively engage mobile users.

“While it may not be surprising that more consumers are opening promotional emails on mobile devices, it is surprising that these consumers are less likely to actually click through those emails,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive, Portland, OR.

“It is not new news that marketers should be increasing their mobile marketing efforts, but what is often overlooked is that reaching consumers via mobile is useless if they’re not reacting,” he said.

“Marketers need to take a closer look at their mobile email designs and implement mobile-friendly aspects to make it easier for consumers to respond.”

Hybrid viewership
While mobile open rates are low in the retail sector, consumer service companies such as Yelp and Groupon, have more than 50 percent mobile open rates, the highest within the industry, indicating consumer services do a better job optimizing emails for mobile.

When it comes to email view preferences in the retail industry, 36 percent of customers prefer desktop only, 34 percent prefer mobile only and 30 percent prefer to view emails on both platforms.

The prominence of hybrid viewership indicates that subscribers are choosing to respond via the most convenient device at the time they receive the message, regardless of device preference. Yesmail recommends merchants consider hybrid email viewership as a part of the email experience.

A recent email from iTunes

Another finding is that 82 percent of mobile email activity comes from Apple. However, due to the different ways that Apple and Android report in images-off mode, the Android number could be higher.

Better email experiences
With the growth in mobile email opens, it is no longer enough for merchants to measure delivery, open, click and unsubscribe rates.

They also need to be assessing customer device preferences so they can tailor and optimize their communications to achieve better open and click rates.

To improve the mobile email experience, Yesmail recommends merchants tailor content to the mobile context, implement mobile email design and leverage mobile functionality. Mobile email strategies should include responsive design, customized content and easily clickable calls-to-action.

“Not only should retailers increase mobile email efforts for the holiday season, but they should also focus on making the mobile experience better for customers,” Mr. Fisher said. “The high open rate among mobile users means that the emails are reaching consumers in their channel preference, but the poor click-through rate proves that customers are opening the emails and simply deleting them.

“Retailers need to understand responsive design aspects to make it easier for consumers to not only open the email but also respond,” he said. “Marketers should make the layouts more simple and fonts and images bigger so consumers can easily click through links to react to calls-to-action.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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