Nearly Half of Emails Opened on Mobile Devices in 2013

Mobile optimization continues to become a priority for email marketers as nearly half of all emails in 2013 were opened on smartphones and tablets, according to a new study published by Knotice, a data-management platform and email service provider.

Mobile Device Statistics

Knotice analyzed 1 billion emails covering 11 industry segments from throughout 2013, with a focus on their open rates on mobile devices and desktops, and found that 48 percent of emails opened during last year were on mobile, up from 20.24 percent in 2011.

Smartphones remain the top device at 30.88 percent of opens as well. While tablets account for 17 percent of email opens, this figure has actually increased over 40 percent since 2012. In terms of operating systems, iOS prevails with a 41 percent share of mobile opens (more than 82 percent of which coming from iPhones), compared to Android’s 6 percent.

Mobile Device Statistics

The report also covered open rates by time of day. As to be expected, open rates on desktops are at their peak between 7:00AM and 11:00AM, while mobile usage increases after work hours into the evening. While this data may seem to suggest marketers send non-mobile-optimized emails in the morning and the opposite at night, Knotice urges first analyzing the brand’s actual data, perform A/B tests and take action from there.

The three industries with the highest open rates (over 50 percent) were financial services, consumer services and hospitality, the latter two enjoying a rate of over 54 percent.

The steadily increasing rate of mobile usage of emphasizes that it must be a priority for brands now and in the future, in which marketers will want to ensure consistency across all platforms.

When designing websites, Knotice suggests “designing for mobile first,” then build a desktop version based on its design. Adding to a website optimized for mobile is a smaller feat than trying to cut down a desktop design to a fraction of its size, the service noted.

Other tips Knotice offers for mobile designs include the following:

  • Incorporate a text-based call to action.
  • Never use an image as a sole call to action.
  • Keep the most important content above the fold.
  • Test all images prior to sending.
  • Never use a large image in the upper left corner.
  • Use at least size 14 font for easy reading.
  • “Design for chubby fingers,” that is, provide enough space in your buttons so they are easily tapped.
  • Optimize landing pages for mobile as well.

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