Mobile email: Here’s what you need to know

McKenzie Gregory


As an email marketer, you’ve likely heard it a thousand times by now: “Think mobile.”

It’s completely justified – after all, mobile is taking over our industry in a big way. But just knowing that you need to put mobile at the forefront of your strategy doesn’t mean you're fully prepared to do that, exactly… especially now that “thinking mobile” means so much more than using tappable CTA buttons and the right font sizes.

So here’s a roundup of some of the latest developments in the world of mobile email, how they’ll affect your current email program, and some actionable tips to take with you moving forward.

First, the stats...

To start, if we’re going to generalize:

• Mobile email will account for 15-70% of email opens, depending on your target audience, product, and email type. (eMailmonday– “The Ultimate Mobile Email Stats” 2016)

But let’s dive a little deeper:

• 75 percent of Gmail users access their accounts on mobile devices. Gmail now has 900 million users. (Google / TechCrunch “I/O Developers Conference” May, 2015)

• The iPhone is the most popular platform in the mobile email space (60%) followed by Apple iPad (21%) and Google Android (18%). (Litmus “Email Analytics” March, 2016)

• By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion. (The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018")

• The biggest turnoffs people have with mobile email are: Receiving too many (44%), Not relevant (37%), Too small to read and interact with (32%), Website and landing pages not mobile optimized (26%), and Not well formatted for mobile phones (21%). (LiveClicker and The Relevancy Group “Exploring the Benefits Real-Time Email – Driving Marketing Effectiveness,” 2015)

Mobile-aware email design makes up 27% of emails in June 2016, increasing from 15% in June 2015 and 15% in June 2014. (Litmus and Salesforce Marketing Cloud “2016 Mobile-Friendly Email & Landing Page Trends”)

Responsive email design usage has increased to 50% in June 2016. This was 41% in June 2015 and 26% in June 2014. (Litmus and Salesforce Marketing Cloud “2016 Mobile-Friendly Email & Landing Page Trends”)

• 45% of consumers have unsubscribed from promotional emails because the emails or website didn’t work well on their smartphone. (Litmus and Fluent “2016 Mobile-Friendly Email & Landing Page Trends”)

The takeaway here? No matter whose numbers you put the most stock in, it’s crystal-clear that mobile has become a dominating force in email marketing… and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.



Noteworthy advances (and what experts are saying about them)


iOS 10

Since iOS Mail accounts for 44% of all email opens, this update and its effect on email rendering have had a huge impact on our world. Plus, what should we think about (and DO about) that terrifying list-unsubscribe banner? Experts weigh in.

Litmus: 9 Things You Need to Know About Email in iOS 10
The Email Experience Council:  iOS 10: What it means for email marketing
Moveable Ink: What iOS 10 Means for Email Marketers (And What You Can Do)


Gmail updates

In a much-anticipated leap for the email design community, Gmail now supports responsive design. But how will these updates change how we code for email?

Gmail: Better emails, tailored to all your devices
Emma: Ask Logan: What should designers know about Gmail’s updates?
Email on Acid: Gmail Update: Support for Embedded Styles and Media Queries Has Arrived!



When you think mobile, are you also thinking about devices like Apple watches? Read up on how to deal with this mostly uncharted territory in the email industry.

Memeburn: What effect could wearables have on email marketing?
Litmus: How To Send a Hidden Version of Your Email That Only Apple Watch Will See


Interactive email

Interactive email isn’t new, but it IS endlessly cool – and it's starting to take off in a big way. Here’s what it can mean for your marketing ecosystem as a whole, plus how it’s a game-changer for your mobile audience.

Email Monks: Interactive Email Design Elements: Mailable Microsite Is the New Name!
Email on Acid: How to build an interactive carousel for email
Dave Bailey: 2017 is the year of interactive email



Let’s talk mobile: What is your brand doing to fully embrace mobile email marketing? Sound off in the comments!


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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