Topic: Mobile

Experian Marketing Services, a global provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting and cross channel marketing, reveals that if the time spent on the Internet for personal computers was distilled into an hour then 27 percent of it would be spent on social networking and forums across US, UK and Australia, and 23 percent of total US mobile internet time is spent reading and writing emails.

Online Browsing
In the US, 16 minutes out of every hour online is spent on social networking, nine minutes on entertainment sites, five minutes shopping and three minutes on email. For comparison, in the UK 13 minutes out of every hour online is spent on social networking, nine minutes on entertainment sites, and six minutes shopping.  Australian Internet users spend 14 minutes on social sites, nine on entertainment and four minutes shopping online.

Click on image to see full size graph


Mobile Browsing
If we analyse US browsing data for mobile devices, email accounts for the largest time spent on average –  specifically speaking, email makes up 23 percent of time spent on mobile devices, followed by social networking at 15 percent. Entertainment had the third highest time spent with 13 percent, then shopping with 11 percent.



As smartphone and tablet usage continues to grow, mobile has become an absolutely crucial part of email marketing strategy and with email opens steadily increasing on mobile devices this has become more pertinent than ever.

Especially now that according to Experian Marketing Services’ (EMS) Quarterly Email Benchmark Study Q2 2013 half of subscribers open their emails on a mobile device ONLY, compared to 23 percent on desktop-only and webmail-only. ”With mobile devices now crossing the 50 percent of unique opens, marketers must bring device optimisation to the forefront of their email marketing campaigns,” says Bill Tancer, General Manager at EMS.

The EMS report reveals that merely one percent of opens went to the non-mobile group (Other), in which subscribers used both webmail and desktop, and that just three percent of subscribers opened emails on all of these three platforms, with at least one open on a mobile device (mobile-combo). In spite of the small number of email opens in the ‘mobile-combo’ and ‘other ‘categories, these two see the highest engagement rates, highest click-to-open rates, and are also considered more profitable than the other platform types.



A look further into the increasing impact of mobile devices shows that iPhone was the leading mobile device for opens and clicks, whereas iPad was dominant when it comes to transactions and shopping, and both Apple products put Android at a distant third in all areas. Nevertheless, Android still plays an important role in email marketing and Bill Tancer, General Manager at EMS advises that “While Apple products ranked high for both mobile and tablet metrics, marketers must consider both iOS and Android in their mobile email marketing strategy”

So seeing as mobile opens have now crossed the 50% mark and there are just a couple of month’s to go before the holiday season,  with email still being the biggest driver of sales and revenue, what is your mobile email marketing strategy?

I have been reading about the new digital divide between those who own smartphones and those who don’t, and those who have access to broadband, and WIFI, and those who don’t.  Today we look at another digital divide that is occurring – the divide between consumers behaviour on desktop and mobile, and the way marketers are responding to that behaviour.

Mobile, defined as smartphone and tablet usage, has grown significantly in the last few years and is no longer a marketing phenomenon but a prominent fixture in the way consumers interact with brands. However, as mobile continues to grow and becomes a primary mode of email consumption, it remains a puzzle for many marketers.

Just how big is this mobile thing? Well apparently by the end of June 2013 over 70 percent of all activity on Facebook and Twitter was on a mobile device. There are in excess of 219 million mobile-only users on Facebook and this segment is growing by 30 million a quarter! So how about your emails? As consumers integrate smartphones more and more into their lifestyle, and check their emails throughout the day on their mobile device, they are moving away from viewing email exclusively on desktop. Subscribers respond via the most convenient device at the time they receive the message, regardless of device preference. In fact, 61% of users view emails either exclusively on a mobile device or use mobile and desktop interchangeably.

According to Yesmail’s ‘Email Marketing Compass – The Mobile Effect‘ report which was released recently, 61% of consumers are now viewing email either exclusively on a mobile device or using BOTH mobile and desktop devices interchangeably.  What is interesting is that while 49% of email opens happen on a mobile device, the click-to-open (CTO) rate on mobile is significantly lower than desktop’s 21%. What’s interesting is consumers open emails on their mobile device half of the time, but do not take any action. However when consumers open the same email on desktop, they engage and open then at a much higher rate. This significant difference between mobile and desktop click-to-open rates suggests a disconnect between the way marketers cater to consumers who open on mobile vs. those who prefer desktop.

Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive says “While it may not be surprising that more consumers are opening promotional emails on mobile devices, it is surprising that these consumers are less likely to actually click through those emails. And it is not news that marketers should be increasing their mobile marketing efforts, but what is often overlooked is that reaching consumers via mobile is useless if they’re not reacting”

I think it’s safe to say that mobile-first must become your focus. And ours – while our client’s emails are all tested and designed to look great on mobile our own websites are lagging (and currently being optimised!) as you can see from the slightly embarrassing comment on this blog post!

Social is mobile. Email is mobile. Digital is mobile. Put down your copy of the yellow pages and your brick cellphone. Welcome to the mobile age.

For more on mobile,  see our other blog posts here.


As a follow up to our previous post about the mobile optimised email by Foodily, We bring you part #2 which is featuring….

Last Minute is a travel deal site that gives you access to last minute deals, cheap hotels, and so on.

Check out the beautiful desktop version of the email below.  Click the preview below to see the full email.

For comparison, let’s look at the mobile optimised version below. The responsive design means that it automatically adjusts to my mobile screen, the design elements move around, it has simpler content with easily clickable elements.
The differences between the desktop version to the mobile are, the header only shows only the left portion of the image.

Moving down the email, we see the intro automatically adjust to the space, and the call to action buttons form a stack, where they move and align themselves one on top of the other.

Moving down, the next section is the blog, and again we see the content adjust to one column wide and ‘stack’ itself up so the right hand half of the content moves so it is under the main image.

Finally the footer of the email – the buttons move from being 4 buttons wide and 2 high to being 4 high and 2 wide. Followed by easily clickable social media links.

What do you think of Last Minute’s email?  Do you receive this email? Love to hear your thoughts!

With everyone talking about mobile optimised emails we wanted to take a moment to feature one especially great example of someone who is doing a fantastic mobile optimised email.

Foodily, for those of you who may not have come across it, is a site all about recipe sharing with friends. Foodily is the world’s largest social recipe network where you can discover and share any recipe on the web, including your own.  The idea is you use Foodily to keep track of all the recipes you love in one complete recipe box, and you get new recipe ideas by following friends and experts.

Each week, all these delicious recipes and ideas from people you follow are then collated into an email and sent to you! Basically, all the recipes in the email are pulled in using dynamic content rules which are based on the people you follow on the app. So it is completely personalised.

The point we really wanted to talk about was that they have a desktop version of the email and a fully mobile optimised version – and both are simple, functional and beautiful.

Check out the beautiful desktop version of the email below. You will see that it is highly visual, has two columns’ of recipes, it shows you who the recipe came from, it even provides a link to download Foodily from the app store.



For comparison, let’s look at the mobile optimised version below. It’s an entirely different email! You will see how this has been created so that it automatically adjusts to one column wide, you can see the intro text drops down beneath the logo, it does away with the header promoting the app, the email has larger font, simpler content with easily clickable elements.


Let’s look at the central part of the email now. The two column recipe layout continues, with rows upon rows of tantalising recipes!

Now looking at the mobile optimised version of the content you can see the previous asparagus recipe, they then have this cake recipe, then a call to action to see all the rest of the recipe’s. This means the email is very short, very simple, and very easy to read.

Now let’s look at the footer’s of both versions. In the footer of the desktop version, you will see it looks fairly standard, with footer text, call to action boxes with people to follow, with traditional small links suitable for a mouse to click on, and small font.


Now for comparison, let’s look at the mobile optimised version, you will see how those call to action boxes have increased in size, the font size is larger, the boxes drop down one under the other to suit the narrower layout.

I hope you enjoyed this great example mobile optimised email. We welcome ideas, other email examples, and any questions about how to optimise your emails for mobile. Just email

Companies really need to start embracing the power of mobile. Smartphone and tablet use is surpassing desktop use everywhere you look, and mobile is proving to be the best way to reach customers and get them to take action.

If your company has still not implemented a mobile campaign or mobile optimised emails, or if you still think that simply putting ‘view online version’ at the top of your email is sufficient, I hope the following statistics will help change your mind!

1- 61% of people said that if they tried to access a website on their mobile device but couldn’t because the site isn’t optimized for mobile, they would visit the website of a competitor.

2 – 30 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, with this rate expected to climb to over 50 percent by the end of 2012.

3 – In 2011, the use of mobile devices to read emails increased by 34% while the use of desktop PC’s to read emails went down by 11%.

4 – 63 percent of U.S. smartphone users say they would delete an email not optimised for their mobile device.

5 – Only 2.4 percent of smartphone users said they would open an email on both their mobile devices and computers.

6 – 82% of smartphone users check and send email with their device.

7 – 90% of smartphone owners access the same email account on mobile and desktop.

8 – More email is read on mobile than on a desktop email client or via webmail.

9 – Stats say 36% of email is now opened on a mobile device, with 33% for desktop and 31% for webmail.

10 – Year-over-year, from March 2011 to March 2012, email opens on mobile devices grew 82.4 percent.

11 – Apple devices account for 85 percent of all mobile email opens.

12 – Email readership on the iPad has increased 53.6 percent year-over-year.

13 - Outlook is still the king for desktop email client reads, accounting for 68 percent of all opens. Apple comes in at a distant second with 29 percent.

14 - Yahoo Mail! has the most web mail readership at 37 percent. Hotmail comes in a very close second with 29 percent and Gmail is in third place at 6 percent.

15. 91% of smartphone owners have their phone within 3 feet at all times.

And here are my favorites just for fun:

- The average person will wait 26 hours before reporting a lost wallet. The average person will wait 68 minutes before reporting a lost phone.

- The average response time to an email is 90 minutes. The average response time to a text message is 90 seconds.

Marketing Sherpa recently released the 2013 Marketing Benchmark report. It’s the latest and most comprehensive collection of email marketing research stats and insights in market.  We bought it and whilst we can’t reproduce it for you due to copyright reasons, we are happy to share some of the findings.  You can also get an excerpt of it here.

As Marketing Sherpa says, “email is a venerable tactic that is often dismissed as being too rudimentary for today’s focus on real-time information. Yet, email continues to endure, and even thrive, under such scrutiny, continually proving its worth through better delivery practices, more advanced design, and strategic integration with other channels”

A few of the key insights from the report are:

60% of organisations using email reported that email marketing is producing a positive return on their investment (ROI)

83% report they are involved with tracking, reporting and analysing their email metrics – yay – no ‘set and forgets’ around here! And the metrics that organisations track the most? Clickthrough rate and open rate are the most popular by far, both sitting at around 90% – the next most measured metric is unsubscribe rate at 75%.

It appears that content is still king – the most effective tactic of all is content and in particular for B2B marketers, whitepapers and other premium content was considered the most effective of all. As we have said before, it is still not worth sending an email unless there is content worth reading, sharing or discussing. And this is shown as a key goal as 67% report that the top goal for the next 12 months is to deliver highly relevant content.

And for the biggest question of all – which is the best day to send? Well the results are in! Tuesday (At 26%) and Wednesday (At 23%) were, by far, considered the most effective days to send overall.  We find that this depends on the business you are in to some degree – read our earlier analysis here.  Further, retail email with a mobile friendly design is showing good results when sent on a Saturday or Sunday.  We see that while the open rates may be slightly lower, the click through and action rates can be very strong indeed.

Despite the rise of ‘mobile’, 58% of people are still not designing emails to render differently on mobile, let alone mobile specific versions of their emails.  However that same 58% recognises the pervasiveness of smartphones and tablets and they expect that mobile will dramatically affect or change their email marketing program in the next 12 months.   And with the continuing rise of the use of mobile as our primary device, it is not surprising to hear most say that they realise all their email designs and strategies need to be revamped for mobile compatibility.

But mobile isn’t everything – Social Media is only 1% behind mobile at 57% as the next most important aspect, and most recognise social media as a primary communications tool and is becoming one of the main ways they interact and engage with their audience.

82% believe their list is growing slowly or not all.  Data ages, people change and your list shrinks.  Without a process for active planning for acquisition and a continual focus on growing your list, your list will shrink and the quality will deteriorate. Keep in mind that both paid search and co-registration programs performed poorly in comparison to other list growth tactics such as offering exclusive content or using the good old website registration page.

And in terms of improving your email deliverability? This area is lacking somewhat. 60% of you provide an easy unsubscribe process, (But that’s still 30% of you who don’t) And only 50% of you remove bounces, and worse still only 40% report they regularly clean their lists. There is some work to be done here!

What about triggered emails? This powerful area of email marketing often brings the greatest results however it is sorely underutilised. Just 50% of respondents report they deploy welcome emails. That is 50% of people who don’t! And most other types of triggered email activity are only being used by 19% – 35% of respondents. Overall, surveyed marketers did not appear to commonly re-engage subscribers, as just 15% indicated their organisations sent win-back emails, and just 9% sent shopping cart abandonment reminders. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.

One of the biggest things that may be stopping people achieving all their email marketing goals is the fact that 54% report inadequate staffing resources, expertise or time, as noted in this comment: “Our greatest challenge is time. We have been doing email campaigning for about 18 months, so we are still learning. We have a robust database but lack time and resources to mine it like we could.”

One other area of concern that came out of this report was a lack of capability to properly segment and target recipients, as little more than half of respondents indicated they could segment their lists by email engagement behaviour (55%) or purchase history (53%), and just 38% said the same about user-declared personal preferences. Even fewer (28%) could segment based on user device habits. “This is telling, as it shows a distinct gap between marketer actions, and the wants and needs of subscribers”

So what’s the bottom line? “Email remains a marketer’s most effective tool in terms of content reach. But, even the widest-cast net won’t produce results if your readers aren’t compelled by your content, or, even worse, aren’t receiving it at all. Proper list growth and management, alongside engaging, consistently delivered content, are the keys to maximizing email effectiveness.” have recently sent out a campaign, in which they have sent out a survey to find out how their subscribers read their email.

Within their email they had a section with a call to action image saying ‘how do you read your email?’ and that was linked to this survey



This quiz asked recipients  things like what their email behaviours are like on mobile vs desktop, and asked subscribers about what time of day they are the most likely to read emails on their mobile, what is the most frequent type of emails you read on your mobile, what are some of the most annoying things for subscribers when they try read your email on their mobile,  and what would prevent you from making purchases on your mobile.

It is really valuable to see where and how your subscribers are reading your communications. Not only does it allow you to know what time of day they are reading them, you know if they are reading on tablet, smartphone or desktop, and by learning their preferences, you get a clearer idea on who your subscribers are, what’s the best time to send your email, and you can then start to assess demographic and preferences of your subscribers so ultimately you can send more timely, relevant emails.

So take a page out of ‘email book’, check out their email survey, and start thinking about how much or how little you know about how your subscriber’s read your emails and see how easy it is to find out.

If you’d like to know how to make sure you send mobile-friendly emails download our *free* white-paper here, and of course if you need a hand to redesign our specialist email design team is right here and ready to take your brief.


The Year of The Mobile? 

Industry pundits have been predicting for some years that “this year” (whichever year they happen to be in) is The Year Of The Mobile. We’re not sure that any year is going to stand up to that sort of hype, but let’s label 2013 “The Year That Mobile Really, Really Matters”.


Let’s overwhelm that simple enquiry with a deluge of data:

In October 2012, Statistics New Zealand announced that more than half of New Zealanders are now accessing the Internet via a mobile phone. That official benediction confirms what other researchers have been reporting:

  • 36% of Kiwis have shopped online via a mobile device during the past 12 months (NZ Online Shopping Survey, PwC and Frost & Sullivan, July 2012)

Nielsen New Zealand’s “The Year That Was” report on 2012 notes that smartphone ownership has grown by over 11% in 2012 (1.7 million New Zealanders now have a smartphone) and there has been 52% growth in the number of people using their smartphone features. Tablet ownership has more than doubled to reach 395,000 and electronic book readers are now owned by over 5% of New Zealanders.

And from the study “Our Mobile Planet New Zealand”, Google/Ipsos OTA Media CT, May 2012:

  • 59% of smartphone owners access the internet on their smartphones at least once a day
  • 80% of smartphone owners use their phones for communication
  • 55% to stay informed
  • 86% for entertainment
  • 38% of smartphone owners search on their mobiles every day
  • 66% have researched a product or service on their phone
  • 53% have searched for product information
  • 35% for information on restaurants, pubs or bars
  • 27% for travel information

International research (reported in the book Go Mobile by Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner) confirms that mobile means money:

  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action
  • Over half lead to purchase
  • Mobile coupons receive 10 times higher redemption rates than print coupons

And fast:

  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour (

As you’d expect, mobile searches are used for enquiries on the go:

  • 74% of smartphone users use their phone to help with shopping
  • 79% ultimately make a purchase as a result

All in all, it’s now not merely nice to have but essential that your website is mobile-friendly.

How does your website stack up ?

  • Do you have a mobile version of your site that’s designed for today’s modern cellphones? Early mobile versioning software was very text-based, but today’s searchers (the post-iPhone generation) expect visual pizzazz, even on the ultrasmall screen.
  • How does your site actually look on a mobile phone? Does it support or denigrate your brand?
  • How quickly does the site load? 60% of mobile web users say they expect a site to load on their mobile phone in three seconds or less — and 74% won’t wait more than five seconds before moving on.
  • Are there any broken or hidden images? iPhones and iPads don’t display Flash files, so if your website relies on Flash you have a problem.
  • Is the site easy to read on a small device? Users hate having to zoom just to read the basic content.
  • Are links easy to click on with thumbs? We live in a touchscreen world, but human thumbs haven’t shrunk.

A few more numbers to shape your thinking. Yahoo! has assembled a collection of compelling statistics:

  • 75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly site
  • 76% want mobile pages to fit their screens better
  • 74% want the option to navigate to a full site
  • 69% say they want mobile sites to have bigger buttons
  • 52% say they’re less likely to engage with a company if their mobile experience was bad
  • 48% of users become annoyed with sites that have not been optimised for mobile devices
  • 48% say that if a mobile site isn’t working well, it’s an indication of the business simply not caring [which, when we think about it, is a horrible thing to say]

Okay, we think you get the drift.

Once your website is a mobile wunderkind, however, what else can marketers do to take advantage of mobile opportunities?

According to xAd‘s “Mobile-Local Performance 2012 Year In Review“, advertisers now have the power to reach audiences in the following ways:

When users are in or around specific businesses or locations

Ability to target users that are in or around areas of interest which may or may not have a stated postal address available for the entire target area such as airports, colleges and universities, marathon routes, etc.

The ability to leverage anonymous geo-specific behavioral data, such as past mobile searches and visitation behaviors to target users at the exact moment when they are in need of your products or services.

Ability to serve targeted ads to audiences that are attending a specific event such as sports game, concert or industry conference.

In 2012, xAd found that the most popular form of mobile audience targeting in the U.S. was, unsurprisingly, Place-Based (67%) followed by behavioural targeting (20%).

What Categories Are Best For Mobile Marketing?

According to xAd, the most-searched-on-mobile categories of 2012 were:

1. Restaurants
2. Travel
3. Health & Beauty
4. Retail
5. Professional Services
6. Financial/Insurance Services
7. Auto
8. Real Estate
9. Entertainment
10. Business Services

So how effective can mobile marketing be?

From xAd:

Calvin Klein used place-based and geo-behaviour-targeted advertising to promote the availability of its products at local retail stores. The resulting campaign exceeded the client’s CTR benchmark by 26% while helping to increase local sales during the campaign period.

From The Drum:

Debenhams UK reported that it had generated an additional £1m in sales in five months through a smart phone app that allows customers to scan QR codes in advertising and store windows, and ‘snap’ product barcodes to display information such as customer reviews.


H&M saw a click-through rate of 2.3 percent when it geo-fenced (i.e. served mobile marketing messages based on the geographic boundaries of) stores locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to generate excitement around the David Beckham Bodywear line.

Credit: Michael Carney, Marketing Monitor

A February 2013 analysis of email marketing messages distributed by Vision6 on behalf of Australia-based companies found that open rates had held pretty steady at around 22% over the preceding two years.  The study is produced twice per year for the preceding 6 month period.  In the graph here you can see the four periods compared shows some fluctuations.  Open rates hold steady, while click to open rates, bounce rates and overall click through rates all show slight declines.

Overall summary of Metrics for email marketing in Australia

The most popular day to send email was Thursday for the first three periods, and then Wednesday overtook for the last period reported on July – December 2012.

While the overall CTR was 3.83% in industry splits, the Retail and consumer products had better luck than most, registering a CTR of 4.6%.

Email marketing metrics Australia by industry

Vision6 also found sharp growth in the use of mobile devices to access email, a reminder that marketers should take care to ensure their messages are properly formatted for smartphones and tablets. In the second half of 2012, one-third of email marketing messages were opened on mobile devices. That’s up from the first half of the year, when mobile accounted for around one-quarter of email opens.

Read more at Emarketer