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The Future of Email: Mobile-Only Viewership

Mobile-only viewers jumped 64% during H2 2013

Mobile usage isn’t declining any time soon, and Q4 2013 research by Yesmail Interactive found that this trend is shaping the future of email. Mobile email’s share of all opens grew 5% last quarter to claim 55% of the total.

As a result, revenues generated via mobile grew 52%, compared with 18% for desktop. In addition, the number of mobile orders jumped 58% to account for 18% of orders generated by marketing emails.

Mobile-only viewers were the main source of growth, jumping 64% during H2 2013. Hybrid viewership—checking emails on both desktops and mobile devices—declined by nearly 40% quarter over quarter and 72% since Q2 2013. Desktop-only viewers grew by just 5%.

More people may own smartphones now compared with six months ago, and users may be turning to their phones for more activities, but tablets have been key in the rise of mobile-only email viewers. Orders made via such a device increased 65% quarter over quarter, claiming 60% of mobile orders. Since tablets were a popular gift during the holiday season, this surge was likely due to the rise in ownership, Yesmail noted.

As mobile-only viewership becomes the norm, marketers are recognizing the need to optimize emails for mobile, but are they acting on it? Results from a February 2014 study by Ascend2 suggest they’re not. Just 28% of marketers polled worldwide said their company was optimizing email for mobile devices. This was the least popular response, trailing tactics such as content marketing and targeted emails.

While they weren’t implementing mobile-optimized email, marketers didn’t seem to find this hard to do—just 4% of respondents said so, the lowest response rate once again. With consumers increasingly turning to mobile to read all of their emails, marketers may want to look into implementing this “easy” tactic.

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