Integrated Marketing Success Factors 2020 - download yours for FREE right now...

The rise and rise of mobile email marketing

Mobile email marketing popularity statistics

New in-depth mobile device usage statistics - October 2011

Comscore have released an intriguingly titled report Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits. This adds to data presented below from earlier on mobile usage of email.

Although the report title references the US, there's also data from elsewhere in the World too. In fact this is one of the main insights from the report. This is an in-depth report which is worth downloading if you're working on a mobile marketing strategy. These were the 3 main highlights for me:

1. The importance of mobile (and tablet) access to email and web will vary dramatically by country.

I included this chart since as well as showing the country differences, it also shows the breakdown between mobile and tablet which is the majority of the darker "non-computer device traffic" shown here. Tablet is around a third of all wireless access in some countries and other charts in the report

2. Mobile devices are now the predominant web access devices for big chunks of the day

This day-parting chart does refer to news sites, but it's a great indication of when mobile devices are used. Access levels aren't that far behind during the day either.

3. Messaging (email and social) are the primary mobile activities

No surprises here, but this chart shows that reading email on their phone is near daily for many.

% Emails opened on different access platforms 2011

Thanks to Mark Brownlow to alerting us to this via Twitter. As Mark says "However you measure it, mobile email is growing fast".  I thought I'd share the chart since it persuasively makes the case that your email design should work on mobile and you should think about what you're trying achieve through the communications - creating awareness and encouraging later action become more important.

The source of the data is Sydney-based Email Service provider Campaign Monitor - it's based on 3 billion emails delivered for it's clients in 2011. The Comscore report mentioned earlier in this post also covers this topic:

Email client usage across desktop, web and mobile 2009 - 2011

% Emails opened on different mobile platforms

The Campaign Monitor data also shows data for different mobile platforms:

Mobile email client market share June 2011

There's a clear message here - iOS dominates, so ensure your email renders well within Apple Mail as well as the 3 usual suspects: Hotmail,Yahoo!Mail and GMail. See all Email client statistics.

How do these figures compare to what you're seeing in your analytics?

Share your thoughts

  • Thanks for sharing your analysis Tim – yes slide 14 shows it too – surprising that your AM “content crush” peaks around 7AM GMT as desktops get switched on. Not sure how receptive folks will be to promotional emails then – response quite different since I suspect finger hovered over delete at that time especially.

    Still shows opportunity for engaging early on in day for crossover desktop/mobile. It’s why I aim to send our enews around 8AM to suit both behaviours.

  • Dave, great post.
    My experience is that still too few are including mobile device in briefing for emails. An even bigger challenge is ensuring landing pages and complete eCommerce processes work well on mobile devices. This requires a lot more work than the first step of designing email for mobile.

    The graph in the post with traffic by time of day has the exact same trends as the drill down I did of email activity by time of day for mobile. Early morning peak on mobile, then transferring during the day to PC activity, followed by switch back to mobile early evening. See this slide (13)

  • Great little report. Are those numbers for the UK, US, etc. I am just curious if you / your sponsors have other European data like France…?


  • An interesting instance of the change sent to us via Twitter – a big change for 9 months:

    @mfrealdo :”Our website’s traffic generated by #email campaigns using a mobile device have grown from 3.8%(nov. 2010) to 12.5% (today)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you for the additional guidance guys.

    Mark – yes mobile email is BIG and will get bigger – but this data only shows Opens – have you ever seen aggregated or client data on the relative “Click-to-Open” rate or conversion rates for retail. I suspect these are a lot lower for mobile email suggesting other communications approaches are needed to encourage action.

    Tim – useful to flag up the “responsive design” concept – Tim Watson also has some details/examples on this in the post I linked to at the top. I wonder how many new websites or email templates are briefed still without this being included.


  • The case for responsive design becomes more and more compelling. Time to stop designing for specific platforms and get serious about getting our messages across on whatever device our readers prefer to use.

  • Those charts certainly drive the point home.

    One other point to add: don’t stop with ensuring that the emails themselves render well on mobile devices.

    You need to check the destination of all the links in them. Do your landing pages also look good in mobile browsers? Some sites choose to redirect all mobile traffic to a mobile version of the site, of course. So the question then becomes whether the links redirect to pages containing the matching promotions. And so on.

    This article is a very handy resource for pointing out just how important this subject is. Thanks!

  • Mark Brownlow commented on June 16, 2011

    As well as the “opens” data, we also know that email is the biggest online activity pursued by those on the mobile Internet (link). And 300 million smartphones sold last year (link). Mobile email is BIG!

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Email marketing?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments