This year has seen a lot of marketing trends come and go, but one of the most important ones has been context. When we’re talking about customer context, we’re actually talking about the new reality of email marketing: customers could be anywhere and doing anything when they’re checking their email. Continue reading
Earlier this year, we conducted our first-ever analysis of conversions driven by email on mobile devices. Our latest edition of the US Consumer Device Preference Report continues this analysis to see to see how online consumers were purchasing products today.
To our surprise, it seems that desktop conversions are making a rebound after last quarter. In our analysis of 267,000 conversions, we discovered that desktops made up 52.57% of all conversions (an increase from Q1).
We also looked at email opens on a device level, read length on different types of devices, and when people are opening their emails during the day.
Think about how many times you checked your email in the past twenty-four hours. How many times were you on your computer? How many times were you scrolling through your inbox on your phone?
If you’re like most people, you’re probably accessing the majority of your emails on mobile devices. In our most recent US Consumer Device Preference Report, we found that more than two-thirds of emails are now being opened on mobile devices.
While we’ve previously talked a lot about why it’s important to build responsive emails, it’s important to think beyond building an email that looks good on a small screen.
Mobile email marketing isn’t just about responsive technology; it’s about consumer behavior. Marketers know that they need to create more relevant messages and one of the best ways to start is to make emails that are hyperlocal.
As the mobile inbox becomes the predominant way that consumers experience email, marketers have to ensure that emails can react to changing locations. By geo-targeting your email campaigns, you can make them much more relevant – and help drive traffic to retail stores.
Defying the Digital Myth
It’s easy to think that the brick-and-mortar experience is dying off, but research shows this isn’t true. One recent survey found that 65% of consumers still want the traditional retail experience. And, to help with that, email marketers should test out campaigns that drive consumers to retail stores, instead of websites.
That’s why geo-targeting in email can have such a big impact on campaign results. An email for a sale at a shoe store is much more effective if there’s a dynamic map included that shows the location of the nearest store. The same goes for rewards/loyalty programs, reservations, and appointments.
Mobile is more of a state-of-being than a channel. If you’re sending out a major deal, someone who’s at the office and checks their phone should see a different map than someone who’s at home. That same email should show different locations once the subscriber goes to a new location or returns home.
By continually updating the email content in real-time, marketers can create hyperlocal sales that will see higher click-through rates and engagement, and ultimately higher retail sales.
The truth is that most consumers, when given the option, will still try to find a store and try out the items before buying. When marketers give them that option, customers will be more loyal to the brand and have a much more memorable experience that just pointing and clicking.
Want to learn more about how brands can use geo-targeting to drive in-store traffic? Download our case study to see how Allen Edmonds used geo-targeting and the amazing results they saw.
You’re out having lunch somewhere and you check your email. Your favorite shoe store has sent you an email with a one-day only offer. But going out and buying shoes wasn’t really on the agenda, so what do you do? If you’re like most people, you probably delete it just to keep your inbox under control.
But what if the email had a personalized map that showed you that a store was right around the corner? Geo-targeting for email marketing can personalize a customer’s experience and transform an email into a useful shopping companion.
We’ve discussed how Steve Madden used geo-targeted emails to personalize the customer experience. Using email to show the location of nearby store to customers can help increase foot traffic to retail locations.
Another benefit of geo-targeting is highlighting places where products or rewards points can be redeemed. Recently, AIMIA did just that and saw some significant results.
When marketers think of “responsive emails,” we usually think of emails that are optimized for mobile. Basically, if you can easily click something from a smartphone and it looks good, then it’s responsive.
A lot of the time, that’s as far as responsive design efforts go. The reality, though, is that customers who check email on their smartphones are likely doing far different things than customers who are checking email on their home computers.
Responsive design according to mobile device is great, but responsive design according to mobile behavior is better.
That’s why the Apple Watch is our chance to redefine responsive email. Whatever the adoption rate for this watch, it shows that screens – and our relationship with them – is going to keep evolving. For mobile emails to stay relevant, they need to provide utility at every touchpoint, from laptop to television, from phone to watch.
And to redefine responsive emails, we need to first redefine email.
As with every Apple event, the Apple Watch announcement is – deservedly or not – one of the most hyped tech conferences of the year. Smart watches have been done before. They haven’t performed too well, either. There are serious questions about whether the Apple Watch will be a success or a failure, if it will redefine wearable technology or turn into another Google Glass.
But, if it’s possible, let’s put aside that debate for a second and focus on something else: the impact that this kind of wearable technology is going to have on email marketing.
For the past few years, we’ve heard that it’s “the year of mobile.” Companies are frantically building mobile-first strategies and websites because so much traffic is coming from mobile devices. Our own research has previously found that more than two-thirds of email opens occur on mobile devices.
There’s no doubt that people are browsing websites from tablets and smartphones. Last year, comScore found that mobile visits (mostly from apps) account for 60% of total web traffic. Organic mobile traffic is lower, at about 30% of total web traffic as of last year.
But does that mean that desktops are getting replaced by mobile? In the world of eCommerce, it looks like mobile devices are shopping companions, but desktops remain the shopping destination. Black Friday 2014 is a great example – while IBM found that mobile traffic accounted for about 50% of online traffic on Black Friday, mobile sales accounted for only 27.9% of total online sales.
So, really, more than two-thirds of online sales occurred on desktops during Black Friday last year. That shouldn’t be a surprise – at the beginning of 2014, research showed that desktops were converting at about a 50% higher rate than mobile devices.
The reality is that the “year of mobile” is always going to mean the “year of multiple devices.” And that has big implications for email marketers.
Sometimes, when you do research and you notice something that’s really striking, you just have to GIF it. This is one of those moments. We’ve been researching how US consumers use their mobile phones when it comes to emails since early 2013 and just completed our latest US Consumer Device Preference Report for Q4 2014.
This time around, we noticed that the trends that were emerging in 2013 fully took hold in 2014 – the most popular mobile device kept getting more popular, the attention spans of people on different devices continued to crystalize, and desktop email opens continued to dwindle.
What really struck us about 2014 was just how dramatically people across the country are adopting mobile devices and using them as the go-to way to access their emails.
We put together a GIF to help show that adoption rate in action:
As we can see, there was a spike in adoption at the beginning of the year, probably when people were trying out new devices from the holiday season and traveling for vacation. From there, mobile email use falls a bit, but starts growing rapidly in Q3 and Q4.
By the end of 2014, only nine states were more prone to opening emails on desktops, and only slightly. Every other state in the country has officially become mobile-first when it comes to email. At this rate, we fully expect that, by the end of 2015, mobile devices will be the first way people check their emails in every state.
Want to see all the findings from our mobile email research report? Download the US Consumer Device Preference Report for Q4 2014 here:
The endless march of mobile kept going right through the rest of 2014. According to our latest research, email opens on smartphones in the US are now at an all-time high. Not only that, the states that favor the desktop for email over mobile devices has dropped to nine, down from eleven compared to our Q3 2014 research.
About 50% of email opens now occur on smartphones. That’s right – not all mobile devices, just smartphones. Email opens on mobile devices now account for nearly 67% of all email opens, while just around a third of emails are opened on desktops.
With more and more email opens taking place on mobile devices – but not necessarily purchases – many email marketers have been faced with a new uphill battle to prove the impact of their efforts on revenue. The question they keep getting from management goes something like this: “smartphones are smart, but are they smart for our email marketing business?”
Looking at aggregate data from leading retailers who are currently using Movable Ink’s Insight module within our new agileEMAIL platform, it’s clear that email marketing to mobile users is a critical driver of sales, even if the final sale occurs somewhere other than on smartphones themselves. Here are some of our preliminary findings:
- A little over 60% of consumers who initially open their email on a smartphone end up purchasing through desktops, with another 25% purchasing through tablets. Only 15% of smartphone-first openers complete transactions on their smartphones.
- Consumers who open email on a smartphone or tablet first, and then convert on a desktop, have a 14% higher average order value (AOV) than desktop-only purchasers.
- iOS device users outspend Android device users by more than 20%. This is consistent with other studies we’ve seen tracking the differences in mobile shopping behaviors between iOS and Android users. With Movable Ink, you’ll now have the ability to unearth the precise AOV of your email subscribers based on the devices they are using.
We’re excited to see how these trends take shape across different verticals, different geo-locations, time of day, etc., and how the numbers will evolve over time.
Please let us know what you think about these early findings by posting a comment below. Are you surprised? What other data would you like to uncover?
Lastly, if you’d like to know more about Movable Ink’s agileEMAIL platform and our Insight module, request a demo and one of our product specialists will get back to you shortly.