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The Mobile Revolution: Email Edition

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It’s become so ubiquitous that most of us don’t even think about it anymore. But take a second to look around yourself as you walk down the street or drive down the highway and notice how many people you see are talking, texting or just looking at a smart phone at any given moment of the day.

We’ve been thinking about mobile and considering a few numbers lately:

Of the roughly 245MM adults in America, 85% of them are active online. That’s more than 209MM people. More than 150MM, or 61% of them actively use email every day. More than 157MM, or 64% of adults own and use a smartphone. That’s up from only 86MM, or 35%, in 2011, a huge jump. Almost 85% of all 17-29 year-olds and 78% of college grads own and use smart phones.*

Revolution is often an overused word, but by any description, it’s the only word that applies to the way Americans communicate with each other and the handheld way in which they interact with the world today.

How do people read email?

The sheer gravity of mobile digital influence shifted so much in so short a time it feels almost tectonic. With so many American consumers interacting with their email on mobile devices, the opportunity to marketers is immense and evolving quickly.

A few other numbers we’re considering:

Depending on which study you read and the audience you’re targeting, somewhere between 40-70% of all emails will be opened on a mobile device. A Litmus study recently revealed that fully 68% of Gmail and Yahoo messages are opened on mobile devices, a clear illustration that webmail users prefer mobile interaction.

Clearly, consumers love email on mobile.

Curiously, there is still a noticeable gap in how emails are designed and presented. According to Marketing Profs, more than 40 percent of all email promotions are not optimized for mobile viewing.**

There is no doubt many email marketers are missing an opportunity when they choose not to design in responsive templates that render readable emails on all devices.

How do people interact with email on mobile?

Success in email has always been measured in small numbers and activity on mobile is no exception. When success on a large list is measured in two or three percentage points on click through rate (CTR), there are many aspects of a campaign that can move the needle in a meaningful way.

And today, because of the way consumers interact with their email and their multiple devices, we’ve found that we need to look at results in terms of an email lifecycle. How do we communicate with readers who open their emails more than once?

According to one recent study by MarketingProfs, of the 40+ percent who opened an email first on mobile, only 8 percent actually clicked through. But another 23 percent of those, opened the email a second time and clicked through on a different device. Clearly your email campaigns have a life beyond what you might call first strike capability.

How should you measure success?

CTR is the classic and truly only real measure of success in email. It’s the first part of the story that leads them into your site where they will then learn more, apply now, sign up, make a purchase or otherwise engage you. Your emails need to be the introduction to a customer journey and the lift in CTR is the indicator that you’re giving them an effective “once upon a time.”

That said, an important part of optimizing your process comes from the tools you use to measure success and your ability to adjust your strategy in a timely, effective way.

Traditionally, you send out a campaign, then wait for the results to come in. But what if you could get live, real-time results and adjust the content you already sent in response to those analytics? What if you could change the story for your readers when they return to open your email a second time?

Movable Ink is devoted to dynamic ideas like these and opening the door on optimizing email communications in ways that were never possible before. Historically, optimization meant post-campaign analysis, a rethinking of strategic approach and creation of new email template to start the time-consuming, often cumbersome process all over again.

When you can track the performance of your email campaigns live in real time using agileEMAIL, and you can adjust your content on the fly, pulling in personalized, live, even streaming content directly using an RSS feed or an API call, “optimization” becomes a much more meaningful term.

There is a steady, consistent and truly revolutionary change affecting the way your readers interact with your digital communications. Marketers who choose not to acknowledge that truth and adjust the way they do things will be left on the outside looking in.

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