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Mobile Takes an Increasing Share of Email Opens

Smartphone and desktop see similar email open patterns

Email remains one of the most critical marketing channels—if not the most exciting. And as more consumers access on mobile, there is a growing imperative to make sure emails are smartphone- and tablet-optimized. However, that doesn’t mean marketers can forget about the desktop just yet.

In May 2013, research from marketing solutions provider Harland Clarke Digital found that consumers primarily in the US used the desktop to open 55.2% of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketing emails. The smartphone took one-quarter of email opens. And when adding in the tablet, mobile’s share of exclusive email opens rose to nearly one-third. There was also some frequency of consumers accessing the same marketing email on two or more devices.

Some have argued there is a stronger correlation between the smartphone and desktop, as opposed to the smartphone and tablet, and this is certainly the case in terms of when consumers were most likely to open emails. Desktop and smartphone email opens happened most often between 10am and 4pm—during the typical workday. Tablets, meanwhile, saw the greatest percentage of opens in the evening, between 6pm and 10pm.

In keeping with tablets as at-home, lean-back devices, the greatest percentage of email opens on tablets occurred between Friday and Sunday.

eMarketer estimates email ad spending in the US is still growing but is near maturity. Total spend on email is expected to reach $229.3 million this year.


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