A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Mobile Email – Reading Habits vs. Clicking Habits

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Is mobile the be-all, end-all for email? It depends on your audience and what you want them to do.

We read recently on MarketingProfs that, according to a survey by Yesmail Interactive, roughly half of all email opens occur on a mobile device, but mobile accounts for a far smaller percentage of clickthroughs.

In fact, click through rates on the desktop are about double the CTRs (click-through rates) on mobile devices.

When you combine this with industry-specific data on CTRs, an interesting picture emerges. Groupon and Yelp have very high interaction rates on mobile devices – almost 20%. Banks and other financial service providers bring up the rear at about 2%.

What this says to me is that content and audience expectations have everything to do the behavior we see on email interaction.

First, mobile users are more likely to be interested in what Groupon, Yelp and similar services have to say immediately, while they (the users) are out and about using their mobile devices. The bank may have a message for me, but unless it’s clearly urgent, it’s going to be set aside until I’m back at my desktop.

One of the reasons for this is expectations for the user experience. Groupon and Yelp sites are more likely to be mobile-friendly, more likely to make it easy to complete the interaction promised in the email.

My bank, on the other hand … well, I never try to do anything on the website – and they have a reasonably OK website for a bank. If I can’t do it in their mobile app, I’ll wait until I’m back at my desktop.

Where does this leave the 30% of consumers who read their emails only on a mobile device? That’s difficult to say, as the experience you’re likely to have upon clicking through to the web in an email will vary greatly depending on whether you’re clicking through from a tiny smartphone screen, a full-size tablet, or something in the middle.

Regardless, these are numbers worth watching. Mobile continues to grow in importance both for email and for the web. You have to know your audience and how they want to interact with your content in order to meet their needs via email and the web – and to know whether a dedicated app would provide ROI.




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