A Desktop vs Mobile Email Campaign: The Consumer Choice

email campaignAs we have mentioned before here at the Mission Suite these days every email campaign needs a mobile strategy. Mobile is simply becoming too big, too fast to ignore. According to new studies consumers are almost twice as likely to view email on a smartphone or tablet, nearly half of all emails are opened on a mobile device, and 61 percent of consumers either only open email on a mobile device, or split the load somewhat evenly between device and desktop.

Those are some staggering numbers for sure, but let’s put them aside for a moment and think about how the consumer wishes they might read your next email campaign.

It’s impossible to ignore the above numbers, but there are some other numbers in support of the old desktop standby. For example, the click-to-open rate on desktops was 22.5 percent, more than twice that of their mobile counterparts.

This presents a number of questions for email marketers who are already struggling to deal with the mobile question before their next email campaign. Even if the majority of readers are on mobile, if they never open the email how do you market to them? If click-throughs and opens are so low on mobile is it even worth targeting them? What’s the payoff? These are all questions the director of the modern email campaign must answer.

Let’s look at some more numbers. In Business to Business email campaigns open rates on desktops were around 21 percent, but dropped markedly to only 7 percent when viewed on mobile. Could this be a product of bad mobile design and development? Or is it simply a matter of mobile as a platform?

Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive, thinks the low mobile rates are due to bad design, saying, “The findings show many marketers are providing their customers with a poor mobile experience.” He believes that many marketers are still giving mobile the second-class treatment, leading to poor performance. “Brands need to implement mobile-first strategies that rely on responsive design, customized content and easily clickable calls to action. Otherwise, their messages will be deleted or go unread.”

Considering the staggeringly high use numbers for mobile devices this does seem like the best explanation. Mobile devices tend to be used on the go, deployed hurriedly for a brief stint of use. So, the mobile email campaign must cater to this by designing simple, streamlined messages that can be accessed quickly.

There can be no doubt that many individuals would still prefer to read their email on a desktop. However, the reality for today’s email campaign is that more and more people will be accessing email through mobile devices. As these devices become more prevalent the email campaign must evolve to cater to an emerging demographic that will soon be the dominant demographic.

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