Email opening rates on mobile decline in 2018

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. August 26, 2019

Open and click-through rates for marketing emails have seen a steady increase between 2014 and 2018, largely due to brands focusing on more quality content in light of updated privacy regulations and more relevant messaging. That’s according to the latest 2019 Marketing Benchmark Report by marketing firm Acoustic which analysed email and mobile marketing messages shared by brands across 40 countries.

“Marketers were initially skeptical of privacy and data regulations like GDPR in the UK and CASL in Canada since they restrict how brands may gain access to and use customer data,” said Loren McDonald, programme director of market research at Acoustic. “But our data shows that these regulations are actually improving results by driving change within marketing organizations, many of which are becoming more focused on consumer trust and the customer experience. In addition to improving permission and data management practices, brands are increasingly using AI to personalize emails, dissect and analyze big data, and detect when campaigns aren’t performing well.”

Although all regions saw increases in click-through rate, the US increased 20% year-on-year to 3.6% in 2018 up from 3% in 2017.

The highest-performing industries in terms of mean click-through rates were automotive (10%), followed by computer and telecoms (7.3%), energy & environmental (6.5%) and consumer products (5.6%).

Meanwhile, the percentage of emails being opened on mobile devices has declined from 49.1% in 2017 to 44.3% in 2018, whilst webmail engagement shot up to 40% from 33.3%.

However, mobile app inbox messaging outperformed push notifications. Consumers opened mobile app inbox messages about 22% of the time, compared to mobile push notifications at 5% of the time. Push notifications such as flight delay messaging or push notifications, tend to have lower opening rates, because they do not require any further action.

Mobile inbox message open rates were similar to email opening rates, whilst interaction rate (23.9%) was higher than email click-to-open rate (14.1%).