Email Up, Opening Down

According to a new Yesmail Email Marketing Compass report, an analysis of email metrics over the last five quarters, through Q2 2014, has identified key trends and outlined major implications to help marketers plan for the defining holiday season.

Over the last year, the number of emails being sent to subscribers’ inboxes has grown by over 9% year-over-year. And, as more emails are received, recipients open fewer of them, evidenced by an overall email open rate trending down by 3%.

The declining number of openers suggests that subscribers are becoming increasingly selective, says the report. And, as the open rate declines, the decision to click is becoming an even more selective act. Unique clicks saw a 14% decrease, YoY. This is a changing pattern of consumer interaction with email where active subscribers are consistently (and increasingly) opening, but clicking a lot less frequently, concludes the report.

The mixed message, says the report, is that the inbox continues to fill up, fewer people are opening, but the subscribers who are still engaged are opening more than ever.

  • YoY increase in Average Opens per Opener   6%
  • Emails in subscribers’ inboxes have grown by over 9%
  • Unique clicks have decreased by 14%

While mobile opens account for 64.5% of all email opens, mobile clicks make up only 35% of all email clicks. Based on the sheer number of mobile devices and the fact that email is the most popular smartphone activity according to a recent study by the International Data Corporation and Facebook, opens on mobile trump desktop opens almost 2:1 says the report.

But, while consumers are opening email on mobile nearly twice as often as they are on desktop, they are still only half as likely to click via their mobile device. Though the average mobile click-to-open rate has been trending up over the last five quarters, reaching 9.3% in Q2 2014, it has yet to match the desktop click-to-open rate of 22.6%.

Judging from the discrepancy between mobile and desktop click-to-open (CTO) rates, conversion in the form of a click is the biggest challenge for mobile email marketing, and converting on mobile introduces additional challenges. Due to screen size, divided attention span while on-the-go, and varied user experience, mobile email viewers are less likely to click on a message than their counterparts sitting at their desks. Unless the email speaks to consumers’ needs in the right context and requires an immediate action, mobile clicks will not improve significantly enough to match desktop clicks, opines the report.

Mobile Activity By Industry (% of Email)

Industry

Mobile Clicks

Mobile CTO

Desktop CTO

B2B

50%

5%

14%

Consumer Services

59%

15%

28%

CPG

53%

8%

26%

Entertainment

47%

7%

38%

Financial Services

51%

2%

12%

Healthcare

41%

14%

34%

Hospitality/Travel

57%

8%

19%

Insurance

59%

21%

32%

Marketing/Advertising

38%

5%

17%

Publishing

42%

13%

26%

Retail/Wholesale

56%

8%

18%

Technology

43%

4%

30%

Source: Yesmail Interactive, August 2014

Currently, consumers are still in the early-to-mid stages of adopting the mobile path-to-purchase, and he slower adoption also translates into a slow increase of the average order size. In addition, some retailers have yet to fully optimize their email content and design to allow their subscribers to react to their offers on-the-go, anytime, anywhere.

Recognizing that getting mobile subscribers to click is harder for marketers than enticing desktop users to click, this challenge applies to mobile purchasing as well. However, the number of mobile purchases has grown considerably year-over- year, says the report. In Q2 2014, purchases completed on-the-go comprised 22% of all purchases, accounting for a 40% increase YoY.

Click To Purchase

 

Desktop

Mobile

Q2 2014 Percent of Purchases

78%

22%

Q2 2014 Percent of Revenue

84%

16%

Source: Yesmail Interactive, August 2014

In Q3 2013, the average order value on mobile (AOV) was only $9 lower than desktop. In Q2 2014, the AOV for mobile was $28 lower than that of desktop, $55 vs. $83. 

Average Order Value

 

Q3 2013

Q2 2014

Desktop Order Value

$88

$83

Mobile Order Value

$79

$55

Source: Yesmail Interactive, August 2014

On the upside, says the report, over the last year, mobile conversion has grown as a proportion of desktop conversion. In Q3 2013, the mobile conversion rate was three times lower than the desktop one, In Q2 2014, mobile conversion rate was only a third lower than desktop conversion rate.

Conversion

 

Q3 2013 Conversion

Q2 2014 Conversion

Desktop

3.7%

2.7%

Mobile

1.3

1.8

Source: Yesmail Interactive, August 2014

Following a discussion of relevant content, timing and the engaged subscriber, the report concludes by noting that…

Listening to what email data is saying can significantly improve holiday campaigns and result in better subscriber engagement, shorter purchase cycle, larger active database segment, and higher revenue

A path toward a record-setting fourth quarter, requires that marketers must address the disconnect between mobile opens and mobile clicks. Two thirds of opens happen on mobile devices, but mobile accounts for only a third of clicks. And, says the report, content must be relevant to the subscriber and inspires continued engagement with a click.

For additional information from Yesmail Interactive, please visit here.

 

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