One of the most surprising consequences of shifting consumer media behavior patterns coming out of the pandemic is what platform they use to receive in-bound marketing email messages. Given that this is a "Mobile Insider" column, you've probably already figured out what device has been most ascendant. But the real surprise is by how much.
According to research released this week by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), the smartphone has leapfrogged desktop or laptop computers as the dominant way consumers new receive email marketing messages -- and by a wide margin, too.
The study, which is based on research conducted among 2,000 consumers in the U.K., finds smartphones are the go-to device for email among 79% of consumers, up from 62% in a similar survey in 2021.
Conversely, desktop/laptop computers fell from the most cited device (64% in 2021) to a distant second (37%) this year.
Tablets also declined by three percentage points, but remain the third favorite device for receiving email marketing messages, while both smartwatches and smartspeakers also gained a point.
Devices aside, I think the net finding here is that email has evolved into much more of a mobile consumer experience from what used to be a relatively stationary one.
I'm not 100% sure what the implications of the shift are for most brands, but another finding in the study is something all marketers should think about: The worlds of B2B and B2C are increasingly converging, at least in terms of email.
"The rise of hybrid and remote working seems here to stay, and they appear to have accelerated the use of professional email accounts to receive brand communications," the DMA study concludes, noting, "In 2021, 50% of consumers revealed they did not have a work email address – that figure now stands at just 23% in 2023."
“Mobile is more prominent than ever in this year's statistics," explains Pauline Bull, marketing director at Deployteq, which conducted the research for the DMA. "We see trends even more in favor of mobile as internet data becomes more accessible and the need for immediate gratification rises; it's easier to check emails on a phone than on a laptop! Therefore, it's now more important than ever to have a user-friendly platform that spans across multiple channels such as WhatsApp, mobile app, SMS, and email to help tailor your communications directly to customer preferences in a few clicks."