Open rates of email on mobile devices continues to rise and according to recent research, users tend to look at their emails on mobile devices around mealtimes. In an October 2012 study, TailoredMail analyzed 150 million emails sent between August 2011 and September 2012 and determined that 14% of all opens and clicks happened between 6am and 8am, 12% from 6pm to 8pm and 9% from 12pm to 2pm. The study suggests that people check email on mobile devices while away from their desk either while commuting or eating a meal.
Most marketers who use email in their mix know that email timing is important for its effectiveness. Timing can affect open rates, engagement and revenue, however, most don’t test or optimize for delivery timing.
Further data from the study indicates growth in the numbers of emails opened on mobile devices with 39% being opened on mobile devices in September of this year, up from 21% in September 2011. While more emails are opened on mobile devices, click throughs are not keeping pace, which leads to speculation that mobile email is being scanned when it’s convenient and then saved for later use on a desktop.
As a marketer using email it’s important to consider these issues. If you have never tried to optimize by delivery time and day, try it. Look at your own inbox, are there any newsletters or emails that stand out based on delivery day or time. One that comes to mind for me is Chris Brogan the author and marketing consultant. I get a newsletter with valuable information on Sunday mornings that always get read. Would I read them if it was a different day or time? Not sure, but I can tell you that I don’t get them from anyone else on that schedule so they stand out and are memorable because there is less clutter. Also, if click throughs are not keeping pace with opens on mobile, your emails better be worth looking for when the reader goes back to the desktop or it will be buried and lost forever.
Another concern is mobile optimized formatting. If you are using an email service provider that automatically formats for mobile, that’s great. If you are not, look for the best format for your email based on your audience. The issue of click throughs not keeping up with mobile opens could be related to this issue. If emails are not formatted properly, people might scan but not act, so get the formatting right.