As another year wraps up, email is still reminding us that nothing in this industry is boring, despite what some naysayers would like to have us think! We tracked nearly 1 billion emails every month throughout 2015, measuring where and how your messages are opened around the world. While some things remained the same—the top three email clients in January were still the top three in November—there was some drama along the way.
In the first half of 2015, we’ve seen email open data continue to favor mobile apps and providers that focus on new and innovative solutions. Desktop opens have fallen 4% in the first half of 2015 now representing 22% of opens. Mobile opens have seized desktop’s fallen share, growing 4% to capture 49% of market share. Conversely, opens in free webmail services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.com have decreased 4%; opens in these providers currently make up 29% of opens.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?