Cool Email Viewership Stats 1-3: Mobile Usage

Email opens on mobile devices increased by 34% from April 2011 through September 2011 as compared to the previous 6 month period. Relative number of opens on webmail and desktop, however, decreased by 11% and nearly 9.5% respectively.

What this means for marketers: As more people go to their mobile devices to read email — of those that do, 43% check email four or more times per day according to Markle  — it’s important to make their email viewing experience simple. Optimize your emails for mobile readers by using clear and short email subject lines, including a recognizable name in the sender field, offering plain text and HTML versions of your email, using descriptive alt text in your images in case they don’t display, and keeping your email copy short.

Cool Email Viewership Stat 4: Usage by Timing

Desktop email usage sees a sharp decline over the weekend, but is made up for by mobile and webmail usage. Mobile email usage is at its lowest on Monday, desktop email usage is at its lowest on Sunday, and webmail email usage is at its lowest on Wednesday.

What this means for marketers: If you know where and when your recipients read emails, you know when to schedule your email sends. You should also, however, couple this data with click-through rate. Not only are most readers using a preview pane that can inflate open rates, the click-through rate is a better indication of the effectiveness of your email marketing messaging.

Cool Email Viewership Stats 5-7: Industry Usage

Return Path also looked at email viewership by industry. ‘Finance’ and ‘shopping’ show above average webmail views as compared to other industries, at 49% and 48% respectively.  ‘Software’ and ‘automotive,’ which scored the lowest in average webmail views, saw the highest percentage of average desktop views at 48% and 47% respectively. The industries leading the way in mobile email views are, not surprisingly, ‘social networking’ (27%), ‘publishing’ (26%), and ‘entertainment’ (27%).

What this means for marketers: Do you know which industries your email recipients fit into? If they’re spread across more than one, you can use the data in this report to segment your list, prioritize your optimization process for mobile, desktop, or webmail, and when combined with super cool stat #4, properly schedule your email send times.