By John Landsman, Director of Strategy and Analytics

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As if there were ever much dispute about mobile among seasoned marketing emailers, any remaining debate must surely end.  Every mobile penetration metric has grown robustly over the past few years, and continues to do so steadily.  By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion, and 80% of email users are expected to access their email accounts via a mobile device.

We now see up to 70% of emails being opened on mobile devices (including tablets), and as high as 60% of email conversions are occurring via mobile.  These device penetrations do vary by time-of-day and day-of-week.  There’s also a pattern of using both mobile and desktop device-types during a single journey from email to conversion.  But there’s no denying the critical importance of mobile in supporting email-driven ecommerce.  Or the chilling statistic that almost 70% of email recipients simply delete emails that aren’t mobile-optimized.

So the opportunities for leveraging mobile are definitely there, as well as the risks in failing to do so.

Still there is resistance.    According to one 2015 study, 17% of B2C marketers still have no strategy for mobile email, and 34% have only the basics for mobile email optimization in place. We also know that a relatively low percentage of marketers are currently mobile-optimizing all of their email.  And we still hear from some marketing email professionals that their investment in mobile optimization may not yet have paid off with what they consider convincing lifts, despite consistent industry research to the contrary.

Are you one of the skeptics?  Start by taking a really hard look at how your emails — all of them — are actually rendering on the most common mobile devices — both Apple and Android; smartphones and tablets.  Make sure your Management sees that too.  What content is distorted or cut-off altogether?

Are product and pricing details legible?  Are the various interactive elements visible and useable?  As a professional, are you really comfortable sending marketing emails that look bad to prospects and customers?  How do your competitors’ emails look?  If they’re mobile-optimized, and yours aren’t, then you’re on the short end of the competitive stick, and you need to think carefully about the long-term effects of maintaining the illusion that mobile-optimization isn’t important.

And while we’re at it, there’s the matter of your ecommerce website.  This too requires mobile-optimization.  I once received a peevish email from a client whose open rates were falling, even after she’d mobile-optimized her emails as recommended.  Turns out her company’s website wasn’t yet mobile-ready.

It’s somewhat wasted effort to mobile-optimize your marketing emails, if the customer is then forced onto a non-mobile-optimized website and the disappointing experience that will give mobile users.  We know that consumers are more likely to purchase from a mobile-optimized website, and more likely to leave a site that is not mobile-optimized.

The bottom-line for marketing emailers is that if you reinforce a disappointing email or website experience because both aren’t mobile-optimized, your customers will be far less likely to engage with your emails or buy what you sell.
Mobile-optimization is really the industry standard now, and you need to meet it.


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