Email has long been a good way for marketers to stay in touch with customers and to personalize pitches about new products and services. As technology improved, text-based emails were upgraded to include still photos and video. But marketers may need to do a little more work on their email presentation as consumers begin to use smartphones and mobile devices to view their email.
The growing use of mobile phones and tablets means consumers are looking at their email on the run. The latest data from Return Path indicates how consumer behavior has changed. Here is how email is now being viewed:
- Desktop PC: 36%
- Webmail: 48%
- Mobile: 16%
The mobile number has been quickly growing while webmail access has been falling. Between October 2010 and March 2011, mobile email viewing increased 81%. The Return Path study also found a clear trend regarding when email is most likely to be viewed on mobile devices, a category that includes smartphones and tablets. The number of emails being read at desktop computers in any given week spikes on Wednesdays and then falls dramatically through the weekend. Consumers show a tendency to start reading more web-based email on Fridays and this behavior increases through Sunday. In other words, consumers without smartphones are jumping on computers or terminals on weekends to check on their email when they are away from work. However, the number of emails viewed via mobile phones peaks on Saturdays.
Return Path analysts point out that marketers need to consider when and where their target consumers will be reading their messages. In addition, the rendering environment is critical. An email message designed for one environment will not look attractive in another environment, thus aggravating a consumer and perhaps resulting in a lost sale. Marketers will need apply more resources to the email process as a result of the new tablets and smartphones operating systems that have come onto the market. Marketers may opt to release email promotions for only a few platforms and on specific days in order to achieve the best outcome.[Source: Email on the Move. Returnpath.net. 2011. Web. 1 Jun. 2011]