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.