Mobile has increasingly become the preferred medium for opening email. Mobile email opens increased 21% in 2013 (from 42% to 51%), surpassing all other email open devices such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and Apple Mail. More than half of retail brands’ marketing emails are opened on a mobile device, but mobile email’s click-through rate of 10.7% lags behind that of desktop (20.4%).
Most brands have not fully optimized their emails for mobile devices, which is partially why interaction rates remain low. All of the 90% of brands that engage in email marketing send messages that load successfully on mobile, but only 56% meet are fully readable on the small screen. (Criteria for readability are legible links, large text, and elongated formatting.) Only 13% of brand use a responsive design template to ensure fonts, images, and layout are optimized for the small screen.
Jimmy Choo, REI, and Maybelline – featured in L2’s Intelligence Report: Mobile & Tablet – are among brands that have pared down their complex desktop templates for mobile. The Jimmy Choo mobile email has only four categories to choose from: Men, Women, Collection, and New Arrivals (or Pre-Order Option). REI has also narrowed the mobile email template to REI, Outlet, Travel, Deals. On the other end of the spectrum, Cartier has crammed 12 links into an email that occupies only 60% of the screen.
Failure to design emails for smartphones is a missed opportunity, as consumers have shown interest in reading retailers’ emails on the go. Perhaps email click-through rate on mobile will better match the open rate as more brands become aware of the gap.