The titanic shift we are experiencing from desktop to mobile usage is undeniable. It is forcing marketers to rethink everything they do, from search engine optimization and web design to social media and retail marketing. This shift has never been more critical to any other channel than email marketing. According to data from the US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q4 2013 from Movable Ink, over 65% of emails in the U.S. are now being opened on mobile devices. That’s a slight uptick from 61% in the previous quarter. Now here is the scary stat if you are an email marketer: As the shift to mobile email opens increases, the click-to-open rates are decreasing. According to Campaign Monitor, clicks-to-open rates in mobile email have declined from 13.6% to 11.5% over the course of 2013, and that decline continues into 2014. So why are click-to-open rates decreasing? It’s because most email marketers are still thinking desktop first. Here is an example of “desktop first” thinking from a major furniture brand. This is the landing page from one of their promotional emails. The desktop version has lots of interactivity with fancy hotspots you can scroll over for more information.
Here is the mobile version of the same page where the call to action is to print a coupon. Can you tell that the mobile version wasn’t fully optimized?
To their credit, at least they have a mobile version of the page. Which brings me to the most important statistic of all. According to an eConsultancy report, just one-quarter of companies optimize their emails for mobile. Only 6% integrate mobile into their overall email marketing plans. The bottom line is that if you are one of the 94% of companies that do not consider mobile first in email marketing plans, then you are considerably behind in how your customers want you to engage with them. Change that and I guarantee the ROI of your email marketing will grow substantially.