Multi-Channel Marketing Gets More Complicated . . . Again

By | December 7, 2012

In this industry, we’ve been talking for a long time about multi-channel marketing and pairing print with email as part of a larger, more comprehensive marketing strategy. With the rise of mobile, this multi-channel strategy has become more complicated, and now there is new data to add to the mix.

Once again, it’s about mobile. More and more emails are being opened on mobile devices (both on mobile phones and tablets)—so much so that the need to accommodate the unique needs of mobile devices is becoming impossible to ignore.

For example, just this past weekend, MediaPost reported that an analysis of 2.8 million emails, Knotice found that during the heavy shopping period around Thanksgiving (November 20-26, 2012), 45% of emails sent by retailers were opened on mobile devices. That was a 50% jump from the same period in 2011.

Knotice also found emails opened via tablets doubled compared to the same period last year.

I have a 2012 infographic from Litmus that reports similar results. According to its analysis of more than 1 billion email opens, more email is now read on mobile (36%) than on a desktop (33%) or Webmail (31%). In addition, it found that opens on mobile devices increased 80% over the first half of 2012. More than 80% of opens were on an iPhone or iPad.

[Update: I just saw another set of data this morning. As reported in Online Media Daily, Return Path found consumers are significantly more likely to open email on mobile devices (37%) than through Webmail using a browser (30%). This is right in line with the data reported by Litmus.]

Reading email on a mobile phone is not the same as reading it on a desktop. So as the percentage of email being read on mobile phones increases, if you’re offering email marketing as part of a multi-channel marketing strategy and aren’t accommodating the unique needs of mobile, it’s time to start.  This means shorter subject lines. Simpler pitches (for multi-tasking users). Even clearer KISS (keep it simple, stupid) calls to action.

You should be helping your multi-channel marketing customers do those things anyway, of course. But as the the email market continues to fracture, and as print is increasingly tied to the success of integrated multi-channel marketing programs, understanding not just the needs of email marketing but mobile phones and tablets is becoming just another part of marketing and selling print.

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5 thoughts on “Multi-Channel Marketing Gets More Complicated . . . Again

  1. Joe Manos

    Great post Heidi.

    Your data mirrors our customer base data and what our customers are doing for their customers using mobile as part of their Marketing Automation Programs.

    A key requirement for success is technology…for example our solution identifies what type of mobile devise the responder is coming from tablet versus mobile phone, IPhone versus Droid.

    This step allows for page optimization to enhance the user experience. We are in our third generation of mobile optimized pages.

    You hit another key aspect for mobile – page layout – less is more. If you leverage the Best Practices for mobile page design and clear value drivers for mobile users you can experience exceptional results.

    Having said that – technology alone isn’t sufficient to get the average service provider to the next level – they need the training and Best Practice insight that some leading providers of Marketing Automation Solutions provide.

    As you point out regularly in your posts – the entire area of Marketing Automation is rapidly evolving and you better be out in front of the changes if you want to achieve success for your customers and yourself.

    Put another way…if you want to be a relevant resource for customers!

  2. Patrick Whelan

    So I know this is missing the overall point but can’t the 31% that is webmail be opened on either a mobil or desktop device? And if so, then we really don’t know if more is opened on mobil or desktop devices. At the same time though, I guess it can be presumed the webmail percentage is split alone the same lines as the mobil / desktop.

    As Joe pointed out, it’s a great article and gives us lots to think about. Thanks again!

  3. Heidi Tolliver-Walker Post author

    I don’t know, but since this is Litmus data, I will contact Litmus and find out. I did ask one other source, but the answer was as you stated above, so I’ll have to go directly to the source.

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