we love data

Return Path released a research study about where people are reading their email (turns out some people do read them in their house) with insights that both confirm and rattle many of the trends we've been discussing in the marketing world. Take a look at the 7 most noteworthy stats from their email marketing report, and of course, read the marketing takeaways so you know what to do with all the awesome research.

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 (Tweet This!). Relative number of opens on webmail and desktop, however, decreased by 11% and nearly 9.5% respectively (Tweet this!).

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 (Tweet this!) -- 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 (Tweet this!).

Where email is viewed

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 (Tweet this!). 'Software' and 'automotive,' which scored the lowest in average webmail views, saw the highest percentage of average desktop views at 48% and 47% respectively (Tweet this!). The industries leading the way in mobile email views are, not surprisingly, 'social networking' (27%), 'publishing' (26%), and 'entertainment' (27%) (Tweet this!).

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.

You can find more interesting data in Return Path's report and read their predictions and recommendations based on this information.

Do you know when and where your email recipients read your emails? If you did, what would you do with that information?

Image credit: [F]oxymoron


Originally published Dec 14, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Email Marketing Metrics