Silo Disconnect: Mobile And Email Operate On Separate Tracks, Study Finds

Mobile and email seem made for each other. But brands are failing to integrate them, judging by An Inside Look At Mobile Marketing, a study by marketing platform Iterable.

For starters, only 20% of the firms studied had a cart or browse abandonment email campaign. And the silo walls appear impenetrable. 

Iterable’s team acted as mobile-first consumers in January, engaging with 30 brands from their mobile accounts and signing up for their apps. They quickly found that mobile data is “not being incorporated into email campaigns — and vice versa.”

For instance, 23% of firms included a “download the app” prompt in their emails — after the app had been downloaded.

On the positive side, all 30 brands design their emails for mobile. And 53% of all messages came via mobile. What’s more, some design their app messages like emails.

Here are some company emails that Iterable studied, along with pluses and minuses.



Target was the only brand to explicitly mention the team’s actions on the Target app in an email, noting that an account had been created.

Emails from Adidas' running app, Adidas Runtastic, came from a different sender name and address and were mobile-friendly, saying “View Web Version” at the top. And they were “short and to the point for easier mobile consumption,” Iterable notes.

On the other hand, New York Times Cooking sent an entire email devoted to downloading its app, but it arrived 15 days after the Iterable team downloaded the app.

And Saks Fifth Avenue collected the team’s email address on mobile, but used it only to send a welcome email and a cart abandonment email. Then it sent intermittent push notifications.

“While these show a good connection between mobile behavioral data and email campaigns, it also shows a disconnect when incorporating mobile first customers into larger cross-channel campaigns," the study states.

The solution — apparently — is to send SMS.

Iterable claims that SMS engagement is between six and eight times higher than email. Moreover, 50% prefer SMS updates over email, and 56% choose SMS over phone interactions.

Resy used SMS for their booking confirmations, whereas other restaurants sent email-only confirmation messages.

Curology “eliminated data silos between email and SMS and sent personalized daily SMS reminders to members to apply their treatments.”

The most popular channel is push. Of the 30 brands in the study, 70% sent at least one push notification with an average of 8.4 push messages sent over the three-week period.


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