Marketing emails on mobile devices are gaining momentum, but brands need to optimise content to drive sales

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Research from agile email marketing company Movable Ink highlights the growing importance of email on mobile devices. According to the UK Q1 2015 Consumer Device Preference Report71% of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device. However, people are still more likely to make purchases using their desktops.

The study found that generally more emails are being opened on mobile devices such as smartphones (42%) and tablets (29%) than desktops (29%). Lead times for emails opened on mobile devices are the morning hours and evenings, with Apple devices being used considerably more often (62%) than Android devices (9%) to open emails. Ultimately, this means marketers should ensure their email campaigns are designed for smaller screens during these hours.

71% of emails were opened using a mobile device in Q1 2015

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Based on 120m B2C emails within a variety of sectors such as retail, travel and media, findings also show that people are still more likely to make a subsequent purchase using their desktop (39%), compared to 37% on tablets and only 25% on smartphones.

Shoppers still prefer to use desktops to make a purchase

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According to Vivek Sharma, CEO at Movable Ink, brands will need to optimise their emails for mobile devices in order to acquire new costumers through mobile. He adds:


“Given that over 70% of engagement is happening on mobile devices, it is something all brands should consider. Marketers should not only think about the form factor and [creating] simpler messages on a mobile phone – they need to think about the post-click experience and how to make it as frictionless as possible.”

Among ways to improve the engagement of mobile email campaigns are the use of more responsive design templates as well as shorter messaging, given that mobile users aren’t interested in reading lengthy content on small displays. The post-click experience is an area to leaves much room for optimisation, according to Sharma.

On average, tablet users spend more time reading emails compared to those on smartphones. Android users (50%) showed more patience and read emails for longer than iPhone users (39%).

Android users are reading emails for longer than those on iPhones

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Sharma believes that read time is a metric growing in importance. He says:

“It is an interesting measure of engagement, especially if you’re a media brand with a lot of long-form copy (in your emails) and you want to measure if people are reading it. Is it valuable copy, even if they’re not clicking through to your website? It’s also important if content marketing is a big part of your email programme.”

These findings clearly demonstrate the need to combine a variety of data such as time of day, location as well as device used in order to influence purchasing behaviours more effectively and create personalised email campaigns.

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