Mobile, mobile, mobile…it’s on every marketer’s mind for sure, especially in the ClickMail offices as we update our ESP guide for 2015: A lot of what we talk about in the upcoming guide is mobile-related.
Mobile is a player in the marketing landscape for sure, and that’s why marketers need to build responsive emails and landing pages. It’s why marketers need to notice when subject lines are suddenly first in line (with Google Inbox) and when mobile shopping rates skyrocket (as they did when the 2014 holiday shopping season kicked off at Thanksgiving).
But as with all things email, there are caveats too. MailChimp and Litmus have released some new numbers that remind us that opens don’t equal engagements when it comes to email. Just because someone opens an email doesn’t mean they are engaged with it. It usually takes a click to signify engagement. And the clicks aren’t necessarily happening.
Opens vs. clicks
As the report says, at least 43% of emails are now opened on a smartphone or tablet. However, an open is not a click through and it’s most definitely not a conversion. MailChimp looked at over 395 million emails to determine if behavior differs between devices, and it does: Although desktop and tablet users have unique click rates that are almost equal at 3.8%, desktop users are much more likely to click on multiple links within an email. Clicks in this case can be a sign of usability. Consider an email on a smartphone, for example, with calls to action that are tiny buttons or text-only links—not very clickable which translates to not very usable!
Responsive brings relief
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There is one easy way to make emails more usable (and therefore engaging) no matter the device, as this study shows: responsive design. Using responsive design means creating emails that are more readable and usable on big screens and small ones. MailChimp found that using responsive design increased unique clicks on mobile devices by 15%. When testing was used and the link order considered, the first link in emails on mobile devices had a 30% higher click-through rate than non-responsive emails!
Test to be sure
The study also demonstrates that it’s not simply a matter of switching to responsive design, however. Note that it wasn’t until after testing and optimizing that the click-through rate on mobile devices made the huge jump. You still must make sure your emails are rendering in a user-friendly way. That kind of testing understandably leads to the potential for even more improvement.
People are going to only become more mobile in the coming days, weeks and months (and how knows what the years will bring?). It’s our job as marketers to keep up with changing expectations, and to make sure our well thought out offers, content and design are usable and therefore engaging regardless of device.
To learn more about responsive design for your emails, contact us.