We’ve been tracking email opens for more than 4 years. And it’s incredible to see how behaviors have changed over time. Mobile email was barely a blip on our radars in 2011, and made up just 8% of email opens. Fast forward to 2014, and nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets—a 500% increase in four years.
There’s an amazing opportunity to join the Litmus team as our email marketing manager—conceiving and executing the messages we send to customers, future customers, fans, and partners. I’m looking for someone who lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps email marketing. The type of person that thinks about new ways to utilize segmentation in the shower, discusses bulletproof buttons and actionable CTAs at dinner, and dreams about your next A/B test at night. If you’ve ever replied to a marketing email from your favorite brand to tell them they should use styled ALT text on their images, or annoyed your friends by defending your job as a “spammer,” this might be the job for you.
It’s getting harder and harder to stand out in the inbox. Fledging startups are churning out new tools aimed at managing the volume of email that people receive—and subscribers are snapping them up. Meanwhile, the email industry continues to beat the relevance drum, pounding it into our heads that we need to be relevant to our audience, that sending relevant emails is the only way to rise above the noise, that relevant content is the golden ticket to email marketing success. But what, exactly, does it mean to be relevant? How can you tell if your content—and your emails—have relevance to your audience? The answer lies in the VENT methodology.
In December, Google announced that images in emails will now show automatically. We’ve kept a close eye on the increased open counts in Gmail—automatic image downloads have given us a unique opportunity to examine the impact that image blocking has had on email marketing for years. What we’ve learned is fascinating, and unveils a critical metric unknown to email designers before now.
Last fall, we hosted the world’s first conferences dedicated to email design. More than 500 designers, developers, marketers, copywriters, and strategists gathered in three cities to celebrate their love of email and improve their craft. We’re excited to announce that The Email Design Conference is back—bigger and better—for 2014!
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.
February market share saw continued changes to mobile and webmail stats as Gmail continues to upset previous trends. Mobile opens decreased from 49% to 48%—a position that they haven’t seen since October.
The new year has brought plenty of new changes to email client market share. In January, we saw continued impact to Gmail open rates, a drop for Android and mobile return to pre-holiday rates.
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.
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?