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The Science of Email Clicks: The Impact of Responsive Design & Inbox Testing

Whether it’s reading a blog post with your phone, catching up on Twitter with a tablet, or even previewing emails on your watch, the number and types of devices we use to consume content are growing rapidly. In fact, at least 43% of emails are opened on a tablet or smartphone. How does small-screen reading impact subscriber behavior after emails are opened? MailChimp analyzed over 395 million emails during a 6-month period to examine how a user’s preferred device affects email engagement, investigate the impact of responsive design, and find out if testing your emails can increase click rates.

Gmail Continues to Shift the Market Share Landscape

Mobile Gmail apps for both Android and iOS download images automatically and serve them via Google’s caching service. As users update to the new mobile Gmail apps, we’re seeing image caching affect mobile open rates, specifically opens made with the Gmail app on Android. As Gmail open rates rise, there has been a corresponding drop in Android opens. Since January, Android opens have dropped 34%—now representing 8% of opens.

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Email Client Market Share: Where People Opened in 2013

2013 brought lots of changes to the world of email marketing. Whether it was the replacement of Hotmail with Outlook.com, the introduction of Gmail tabs, or a continuous increase in mobile opens, email market share stats have seen plenty of shifts. In this infographic, we take a deep dive into these statistics!

Mobile Maintains 51% Majority; Gmail Gains 3%

After meeting (and exceeding!) the 50% tipping point in November, mobile opens maintained their majority share through December. For the first time since May 2012, webmail opens netted an increase—moving from 18% to 20% of opens. Meanwhile, desktop opens decreased from 31% to 29%. Earlier in December, Gmail shook things up with big announcements which contributed to another major change in email client market share.

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Have Webmail Users Gone Mobile?

In the last year, mobile opens have increased 24% (from 41% to 51% of total opens), while webmail opens have decreased 36% (from 28% to 18% of total opens). On the surface, it appears as though mobile opens continue to grow at webmail’s expense, but is that really the case?