It is interesting to see how user behavior changes over time when it comes to email. Monitoring the devices and email clients that people use to open and view their emails can help to inform marketers in how they create and send their email campaigns. Email marketing gurus, Litmus, collect data each month using their analytics tools, based on more than 1 billion emails sent.
Here is a quick summary of what they found in their report from May 2016.
Drop in mobile
Mobile email usage has been dominating for some time now, and while it still continues to do so by some margin, the latest trends show a slight drop in email opens on mobile. The data shows a 2% drop from 56% down to 54%. Obviously, mobile still has the lion’s share, but it is significant that this is the first time it has dropped since January 2016. In the meantime, desktop opens rose to 20% and webmail opens were up to 26%.
Apple vs. Android
In terms of the email clients being used, Apple is still topping the list. The iPhone has the greatest share with 32.91%, followed by Gmail, the iPad, Android, Apple Mail, and Outlook. Across all email clients, that gives Apple almost 50% of the total share of opens. Apple iPhone opens have dropped slightly since the previous month, but opens on iPad did increase slightly. Android has continued to drop over the past few months down to 9.52% in May, which is the lowest it has been since November 2015.
Desktop and webmail
The difference between desktop and webmail clients is whether you view your emails on a program installed on your desktop or through a website in a browser. As we have seen, both rose slightly in May. Apple Mail stayed at the top of desktop opens, but Outlook did experience a rise, representing its highest market share since October. Gmail continues to dominate webmail with a 60% share of opens.
So, why did we see an uncharacteristic drop in mobile opens recently? It corresponded with a drop in iPhone sales, which led to a drop in opens on iPhone. Since iPhone represents the most opens on mobile, this could have a significant effect. As Gmail opens increased, it could also be that more people are favoring the Gmail app on their iPhone rather than the default iPhone mail app.
Obviously, mobile remains important in email marketing as it still has more than half of the market share, so don’t go abandoning your responsive designs. It is still crucial that emails are designed with content and functionalities that will suit mobile users.
These statistics are very useful for marketers, but it is important to remember that they cover email users as a whole. You should also monitor your own audience as their behaviors may differ to the general population. Most email service providers have built in analytics tools to help you gather this data for your mailing list.