Email marketing and marketers have been going steady for years. Decades, even.
There have been ups and downs. Chain emails, the lack of an opt-out function, and spam can be safely qualified as “downs.” But there have been good times, too.
After all these years, email marketing still remains the most valuable digital marketing tool. It’s a direct connection with customers and there’s no doubt that it works. In 2014, companies attributed 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel, compared to 18% in 2013.
But something is missing. A recent report from Adobe found that two-thirds of marketers are less than satisfied with their email marketing efforts.
As we approach Valentine’s Day this year, it’s clear that the magic between marketers and email has fizzled. But what could rekindle the flame? Adobe found three things marketers want from email above all.
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.
What we’ve been calling “The Mobile Takeover” is in full effect across the Atlantic — in fact, even more so than here in the United States. 72 percent of all email opens took place on mobile devices in the UK in Q1, compared to 66 percent in the US.
Strikingly, tablet opens in the UK are already at near parity with desktop opens (26 percent and 28 percent, respectively). This mirrors the trend we’re seeing in the US, and confirms our view that tablets are on their way to becoming the “household PC of record” for consumers’ personal computing needs.
Some other key findings from the “UK Consumer Device Preference Report: Q1 2014″ include:
• Apple asserts its dominance over Android. iPhones and iPads accounted for 62% of all opens
in Q1 compared to just 9% for Android devices. And iPads had a share of opens more than 14 times greater than Android tablets.
• The South East & North West regions of the UK are email marketing hotspots. When it came to opening emails, London, the South East of England, and the North West of England were this quarter’s regional winners with around 50% of all the UK’s measured opens coming from those locations.
• Tablets own the night. Smartphones rule the roost during the early hours and throughout the
middle of the day. As the afternoon turns to evening, tablet usage explodes taking share from
the smartphone and desktop pie.
38% more email opens took place on Black Friday as online retailers started the battle for consumers’ inboxes earlier than ever
Black Friday was the biggest day of the year for brand email marketers so far this holiday season, with marketers seeing 38% more email opens than they did on Cyber Monday, according to our research. With competition for consumers’ attention – and wallets – fiercer than ever, brands started their holiday email marketing programs early.
Our study also found substantial differences in the devices used to open email marketing messages throughout the holiday weekend:
Thanksgiving Day was the biggest day for smartphone opens. On Thanksgiving, 59.9 percent of marketing email opens occurred on smartphones; by comparison, 45.5 percent of all marketing email opens in Q3 2013 took place on smartphones. Black Friday was the second biggest smartphone day, with 57.5 percent.
Cyber Monday was the biggest day for desktops. While still beat by smartphone opens (45.5 percent), Cyber Monday showed the strongest showing for desktops, with 40.1 percent of all marketing email opens.
Tablet use surged over the weekend. 19.3 percent of Saturday’s opens and 18.7 percent of Sunday’s took place on iPads and Android-based tablets.
In total, the volume of Movable Ink-powered emails between Black Friday and Cyber Monday increased a whopping 3,085% year-over-year, as leading brands continue to embrace innovative Agile Email Marketing technology and strategies to cut through the clutter of the inbox.
“Black Friday is now officially the biggest day of the year for email marketers,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Movable Ink. “It should come as no surprise that in a controversial year where many leading retailers opened their brick and mortar locations on Thanksgiving Day itself, that they’d be just as aggressive in starting their email marketing sales events ahead of Cyber Monday. The surge in mobile opens should also make marketers take notice – without mobile optimization in place, a lot of money could have been left on the table.”
About Movable Ink’s 2013 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Research: The findings above are based on data collected through Movable Ink’s Agile Email Marketing platform between November 20 and December 2 2013. The data reflects aggregate statistics across Movable Ink’s customer base, which includes more than 100 enterprise B2C marketers from the retail, travel, financial, media, and telecommunications industries. Because determining email opens requires images to load, the percentages for some devices and platforms might be over or underrepresented.
iPad dominates when it comes to brand marketing email opens on tablets, according to Movable Ink’s latest research, the US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q3 2013. The data reveals that despite the nearly equal market share between the two, consumers are 15 times more likely to open brand emails on an iPad than on an Android tablet.
“This quarter’s report shows that tablets are gaining momentum, quickly becoming a primary driver of email marketing interactions,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Movable Ink.
The report, based on aggregate email open data from over 100 enterprise B2C brands, offers critical insights into the current email marketing landscape:
The growing role that tablets are playing in the mobile shift
The latest in the battle between iOS and Android
Differences in email engagement across smartphones, desktops, and tablets
Ready to get started with video-in-email? Join Movable Ink, Silverpop, and Invodo on Wednesday, August 28 at 1:00 EDT for a one-hour webinar on “Bringing Email to Life with Video.” Get examples, technical steps, and tips for incorporating video into your agile email campaigns. Register for the webinar here.