A new report from eMarketer reveals that consumers opened nearly a third of all emails sent in the first quarter of 2013 — a record-breaking number driven primarily by mobile devices. “Email Benchmarks: Key Metrics and Trends for 2013” showed that this number jumped about four points from the last quarter of 2012, marking the highest rate of email opens in recent years.
The eMarketer report shows that both the increased adoption of mobile devices and triggered emails based on user actions have prompted this boost in email performance.
Why does mobile have such a significant impact on email performance? For one, most email readers check for new messages periodically throughout the day. With mobile devices, users can stay connected and engaged with their email at all times, even when they’re not sitting at a computer.
Additionally, eMarketer quoted Eplison’s VP of Digital Solutions, Pam McAtee, as saying that mobile users read email on their devices in a very specific way. Typically, they will first open an email on their mobile device, and then they later use a desktop to convert. They also use mobile devices to clean up their inboxes.
Triggered Email Automation
Triggered email automation has also increased the number of opened emails. Many companies have begun to send triggered emails based on specific actions users took on the website in question. For example, if a user had filled and then abandoned a shopping cart, a triggered email would supply a reminder of perused products. eMarketer found that users opened one-half of such triggered emails, according to data from Epsilon. Not surprisingly, personalized emails enjoyed higher conversion rates.
Decline in Email Conversion
Although open rates have increased significantly, eMarketer looked to data from Experian Marketing Service, which showed conversion rates as declining in the first quarter of 2013. In fact, the transaction-to-click rate fell more than 15 percent since the last quarter of 2012. This shows that although mobile is driving email opens, it hasn’t quite translated to email conversion.
With more than 40 percent of emails being opened on mobile devices, companies would be wise to start targeting the mobile user in subsequent email marketing campaigns.
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