Email Opens Are On The Rise, Mobile Is Only Helping

For email marketers, it sometimes doesn’t seem that it’s getting any easier to get your message delivered to people in their inboxes. Major webmail offerings like Gmail will often bury leg...
Email Opens Are On The Rise, Mobile Is Only Helping
Written by Chris Crum
  • For email marketers, it sometimes doesn’t seem that it’s getting any easier to get your message delivered to people in their inboxes. Major webmail offerings like Gmail will often bury legitimate, opt-in email messages in the spam folder (and that’s just one of many factors that can kill an email campaign). The good news is that email opens are on the rise. So are clicks.

    Have you seen an uptick in email opens of late? Let us know in the comments.

    A new study out from Epsilon and Email Institute (via Marketing Charts) finds that the use of “triggered messaging” in email is up 10.3% year-over-year, with triggered messages yielding 75.1% higher open rates and 114.8% higher click rates compared to “business as usual” (BAU) messages in Q3 2012.

    Epsilon introduced triggered message benchmarks earlier this year. The firm’s Jill LeMaire explained at the time, “Triggered messages are identified by their campaign naming, such as Trigger, Welcome, Thank You, Confirmation and Saved Cart.”

    “It’s no surprise that triggered messaging improves customer engagement, builds loyalty and drives sales,” said Judy Loschen, VP of Digital Analytics at Epsilon. “The challenge is the integration of triggered message systems, as with other real time systems, can be an overwhelming and often lengthy process that requires significant investment to yield the pay-off. Over the past year we’ve seen many marketers investing in the implementation of triggered message systems because the return on investment is significant and the results are immediate.”

    The firm’s quarterly BAU analysis of 6.4 billion emails across multiple industries (from about 170 of its clients) found that non-bounce rate remained strong at 96.1%, while open rates actually increased quarter-over-quarter (+6.5%) and year-over-year (+14.6%), resulting in an overall open rate of 27.2%. Click rates also increased 0.1 percentage point (2.7% overall) from Q2 to 4.5%.

    MediaPost shares some highlights from a speech by Evan Shumeyko, global director of CRM for OgilvyOne from the MediaPost Email Insider Summit on Monday:

    Evan Shumeyko, global director of CRM for OgilvyOne, said Monday that social media is growing, but “email is still a prevalent and dominant platform.” One advantage is that it offers an ability to capture customer data that outpaces the social space.

    He cited a statistic that 82% of people are comfortable sharing personal information over email. “To me that is your competitive advantage,” Shumeyko told email marketers in a keynote address at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit.

    “That sharing of information via email is a powerful, powerful moment that you can exploit, and it’s something that your peers in social do not have,” he added.

    Return Path has released some findings about mobile email usage. According to them, mobile open share has increased by 300% since 2010, and shows no signs of slowing, with 4 out of 10 emails sent being read on a mobile device. Take a look at open rates by platform:

    Open Rates By Platform

    Here’s a breakdown of country and device for email use:

    Email use by device

    Daily Email Use

    “The US can sometimes be thought of as a bellwether for these trends,” says Return Path. “Brazil and Europe are mindful to watch their open rates for significant shifts to mobile. On the other hand, jumping on the mobile bandwagon too soon may be costly and have the opposite effect intended.”

    “While people check email more on a daily basis on desktop computers compared to mobile, the clear takeaway is that they are checking emails on multiple devices daily,” the firm adds. “Are your marketing emails optimized for both?”

    Return Path also points out that, despite popular belief, more people are actually buying with their mobile phones form home or at work, than when on the go. That’s something else to keep in mind.

    On the go?

    Interestingly, open rates are much higher among Apple device users, when it comes to mobile (which for this study’s purposes, does include tablets).

    Open Rates by device

    According to the firm, the iPad has seen an “ever-increasing” email open share over the past year, and October is actually the first time they’ve seen email opens from these devices decrease. The launch of the iPad Mini, however, will likely correct that.

    Return Path analyzed data from its internal tools, tracking about 1.8 billion data points from April to October to come up with all of this info. You can find a whole infographic about it here.

    Do you believe the iPad has helped email open rates in general? Is the continued rise of smartphone and tablet use a good thing for email overall? Share your thoughts.

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