I’ve been looking at some interesting data this week on how we are receiving and viewing e-mail. When you think mobile, it is easy to think of the responsive web site v application as being the big talking point. What is more important though as we transition to mobile as our main channel for web access is the impact this is having on e-mail open rates and response rates.
Felix Wetzel of Evenbase, wrote a great blog post this week which looks at mobile and mobility. I recommend you give it a read to get the full context. In the post, Wetzel says:

“Before work, mainly in the morning, is the most common time to check email alerts. Many rely solely on alerts to learn of opportunities – saves having to check the source repeatedly. Reviewing alerts often takes place on the move using mobile or tablet devices to bookmark interesting roles and positions for further research at a later time”

Email marketing company Litmus recently published research based on tracking over 1 billion emails during 2011 and 2012. In the early months of 2011, desktop dominated email openings, with Outlook dominating. Month by month webmail and mobile grew in popularity, with levels of mail openings in all 3 platforms converging in Feb 2012.

In April 2012 mobile featured in 36% of openings, desktop represented 33% and webmail 31%. From July 11. Desktop opens decreased month on month, with webmail peaking in Dec 11 before dropping 3% by April 12. Mobile mail grew from 18% in June 11 by 100% over the next 12 months. The situation now is that whilst the other platforms are decreasing, mobile is continuing to grow in open rates. If you are using email for updates or communicating with potential candidates, then you need to be thinking about how mobile friendly your emails are.

Interestingly, iPhone is now the most popular device for opening e-mail, with 20% of opens, Outlook now stands at 18%, Yahoo mail at 13%, Apple mail at 9%, Hotmail at 8%, iPad at 7%, Android at 7% and Gmail at 5%. When you look at these stats, you clearly need to be looking at your emails on an iPhone and other devices to see what your target audience sees. I’ve scrolled back through the mails I’ve received today on my Blackberry, and over 20% of them show empty boxes, with images that don’t show on mobile. I’m not going to respond to any of them.

The mobile audience for e-mail is dominated by iPhone with 57%, iPad 22% and  Android 20%, (Blackberry stands at 0.08%).

To make email mobile friendly you need to:

  • Keep emails short,clear and to the point. We know how easy it is to hit delete, and our attention span on mobile is shorter.
  • Check any links go to mobile optimized sites and are easy to find and click.
  • Links to job postings should go direct to the job, without requiring other actions before seeing the detail.
  • As with all email messaging, A/B test to see what works.
  • Think times that you mail. In Wetzel’s post, Felix notes that most job updates are opened in the morning during commute times. You can get your mail opened if you send it at these times.
  • Run analytics on all your mail notifications to find the best times and styles for yours.

Wetzel makes a great point around mobility and message that is worth considering when drafting content:

“We also know that individuals use their commute to check job alerts, which means, in order for a busy commuter to make full use of the alert, they tend to expect details of the jobs available within the email on the move.   As internet connection might be patchy, the results need to contain enough information to allow the decision to skip or save without having to click-through to a website.”


You can read all of Wetzels post HERE 

The full research from Litmus is featured in the infographic below the post. If email plays any part in your communication or messaging, you need to think mobile, iPhone in particular.


You can see the original HERE