Mobile Email Opens Increase 123% in 18 Months

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We’ve seen some major changes in mobile email opens in the past year and a half. As of September 2012, 38% of all opens were on a mobile device, compared to only 17% eighteen months ago—that’s a 123% increase in mobile opens! Recently, we’ve even seen some email campaigns that had over 60% of opens occurring on a mobile device.

Mobile email opens grow 123%

Majority of mobile opens in iOS and Android

Diving deeper into specific mobile operating systems, the majority of these opens are being made on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices:

Mobile opens: detail

Mobile opens by mobile operating system:

  • iOS: 80.34%
  • Android: 18.93%
  • Windows Mobile: 0.34%
  • Kindle: 0.28%
  • Blackberry: 0.11%

We recognize that some email clients and devices (Apple Mail, iPhone, iPad) may be over-represented due to the prevalence of image blocking (email opens are tracked when images are enabled). However, we find the most valuable aspect of this data to be the overall upward trend of mobile opens. Whether or not you take image blocking into account, it’s undeniable that opens on smartphones are rising rapidly.

Know your audience

What’s an email marketer to do? Don’t ignore this trend—find your own mobile audience using Email Analytics and optimize your emails for mobile!

  • Lauren_Litmus

    Hi Matthieu! Thanks for your feedback. Funny you mentioned that — we’ve been talking about creating an infographic with those kind of statistics. I’ll reply back to your comment again once that infographic is live!

  • http://twitter.com/SocialySteph Stephanie Beal

    Can you explain what Desktop vs. Webmail is?? Thanks!

    • http://www.litmus.com Justine, Litmus

      Hi Stephanie!

      Desktop email clients are programs that are installed on your computer (for example, Outlook, Thunderbird, Lotus Notes). Usually you’ll use IMAP, POP or Exchange to route a private domain through these programs (the address your company gives you for work email is a good example).

      Webmail email clients are those that you check inside a web browser (for example: Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! mail).

      Some people might also use a program like Outlook to check their @gmail.com address. In cases like these, those opens also appear as Desktop opens in our stats, since Outlook was used to open the email.

      Hope that helps clear things up!

      • http://twitter.com/SocialySteph Stephanie Beal

        Yes it does, thanks so much!

  • James Chen

    Hi Justine, of the 80.34% that is iOS, what is the breakout between iPhone and iPad?

    • Lauren_Litmus

      Hi James! We just updated our email client market share stats — in November 2012, iPhone was 23% and iPad was 10% of total email opens. You can check out the stats here: http://emailclientmarketshare.com/

      Hope that answers your question!

  • Stephan

    What did you actually count as an “open”? Apple Mail on mobile devices for example forces you to open the email in order to delete it, even if you have already identified it as waste…

    • http://www.litmus.com Justine, Litmus

      In order to count an open, images must be turned on or enabled in the email program/client. While not ideal, it’s a limitation of the technology/medium and is standard practice for the email marketing industry. You don’t have to open emails using the mail client on the iPhone in order to delete (swiping from left to right or tapping ‘edit’ doesn’t trigger an open but allows you to delete messages).

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