It's important to agree the target email clients you want the email to be displayed in when briefing an agency to develop a new email template or enewsletter layout. Of course, large volume senders will want the email to render in all, but for smaller businesses it's OK to target and test a smaller number.
Traditionally the main email clients to target were the main webmail services plus different Outlook versions.
B2B marketers would have added different versions of Lotus Notes and Blackberry with Gmail becoming more important through time amongst professionals.
In 2014 this is radically different - you also need to think really seriously about how emails will render on different mobile platforms.
This 2014 infographic has the data published from their clients for the whole of 2013 - it's from the excellent Litmus Email Client Market Share blog which you should check out for the latest month-by-month figures if you need them.
The main summary clearly shows where you need to focus your email testing - there was little change during 2013 with small increases with the growing adoption of Android phones and Gmails change to default display of images - you can see the impact in November.
This has been superseded by the latest Litmus data, but we've kept it here for students of email or those who like to see the evolution of infographics - I prefer the clarity of the new one - simplicity rules!
To find the popularity of the different clients, it's worth checking out the market share compilations. This new infographic on popular email clients from Litmus shows the current popularity of email clients that email marketers should target. It's based on 1 billion opens from marketing emails sent worldwide over 2011 and into 2012.
Litmus also had a useful review of the most popular email clients from 2010.
This compilation shows that the ones most companies should check for are as above, but Apple Mail and iPhone are getting more important and perhaps surprisingly are more important than Gmail, so those should definitely go on the list to target and test against too.
Mark Brownlow has written a companion post comparing email preview software tools.
By Dave Chaffey
Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
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