People increasingly open their emails on mobile devices. MarketingCharts mentions research from Knotice, showing that in the first 6 months of this year the share of mobile email opens has risen to 36% in the US. Mobile email opens are opened emails on tablets and mobile phones.

To prepare for the mobile tipping point, the company advices marketers to ramp up to a mobile first mindset, know your mobile audience and its behavior, and even advices email marketers to become mobile marketers. Or in other words: marketers need to start designing with mobile in mind right now, also in email marketing.

The number of mobile email opens has risen significantly in H1 2012 – source Knotice
The number of mobile email opens has risen significantly in H1 2012 – source Knotice

The Knotice “Mobile Email Opens Report” showed users opening their email on mobile devices rising sharply in the first half of 2012, going up about 80 percent as compared to the first half of 2011. The share of users opening emails with mobile devices hit 36% in the first half of this year.

Mobile phones tallied 25.9 percent of email openings, up from 20.6 percent last year. Tablets inched up to a 10.2 percent share, slightly higher than the e-mail opening number of 6.8 percent in 2011.

iPhones came in number one as the preferred device to unseal emails with 19.7 percent of the total. Android came in a distant second with a 5.8 percent share. The iPad beat the Android tablet with a 9.6 percent vs 0.4 percent for the Android. The share of email opens on iPads and iPhones grew 47.2% and 25.6% in 2012, respectively.

Mobile email opens per industry and device

By looking at the Knotice study more closely, it’s revealed that the consumer service industry had the highest number of email opens on mobile phones with a 34 percent share. Financial services came in next with a 32.7 percent share. The next three, with the percentages, are:

  • Entertainment at 26.5 percent.
  • Cable and telco at 25.7 percent.
  • Retail industries at 24.4 percent.

These numbers should now make it more clear for content marketers on where to target campaigns and branding efforts with emails.

Following are industries and percentages of emails opened on tablets:

  • Retail with 11.1 percent.
  • Hospitality with 10.2 percent.
  • Cable and telco at 10.1 percent.
  • Education at 9.2 percent.

Next, the report looked at click-to-open (CTO) numbers for tablets and mobile phones. Both devices are far behind the CTO numbers for desktops. Looking at the numbers by industry, the financial sector had the highest CTO numbers with 21.8 percent for tablets and 15 percent for mobile phones. The desktop CTO stood at 30.1 percent.

The need to design for mobile email opens

The Knotice report hints that the disparity between mobile devices and desktops is due to marketers not properly targeting the mobile devices and failing to optimize email messages for mobile users. A July, 2012 Pardot study seems to bear that out, MarketingCharts points out.

This particular report “The Changing Role of Email Marketing”, by marketing automation vendor Pardot (see infographic below), indicated that only one-quarter of B2B marketers designed and optimized their emails with mobile devices in mind.

The Knotice study reveals that consumers are checking emails with a good deal of frequency. Users also tend to open emails quickly with mobile phones, usually within 90 minutes of delivery. With tablets and desktops, the opening is slower.

The multiple email opens myth:

The final piece of marketing data from Knotice shows that an email is only opened once on one device 98 percent of the time. Only 1.4 percent of the emails that were opened on mobile first, are opened a second time on a desktop.

The myth of multiple email opens source Knotice
The myth of multiple email opens – source: Knotice

This brings some urgency to content marketers to be certain that the only-one-chance email is properly targeted and optimized for the mobile device user. The chance of a mobile user giving that email a second look is virtually nil.

The Knotice survey breakdown: The data is based on a sampling of more than 800 million e-mails. The survey looked at 11 industry sectors over the first six months of 2012.

Download the Knotice “Mobile Email Opens Report” (PDF opens).

The mentioned infographic by Pardot:

How B2B marketers are using email via marketing automation provider Pardot
How B2B marketers are using email via marketing automation provider Pardot