Posted February 1, 2011 9:18 am by with 2 comments

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There is no denying that the move to mobile in every aspect of life is gaining momentum. That’s the easy part. That’s the part that makes headlines. Where it gets tough is when marketers have to adjust their way of doing business that they may have become comfortable in and, in many cases, put on cruise control. One of the most abrupt changes is in the e-mail marketing space.

The e-mail marketing industry has grown up and developed as the PC market has and is still primarily designed for the desktop / laptop delivery of messages. Bigger screens, more bandwidth and web based mail delivery have made it very convenient, and effective, for e-mail marketers.

The market, however, is shifting. The traditional market isn’t going away (it never really does) but it is certainly changing. comScore underscores that fact with some current findings about the shift to mobile e-mail usage. It is important to please note that the web based e-mail referred to here does not include Outlook and other e-mail applications.

While this decline is obvious the increase in mobile e-mail usage is climbing quite dramatically. First at look overall usage.

Now by demographic.

None of this data signals any death knell for email marketing. It’s quite the contrary. E-mail will be around for a long time in the business world and whether someone uses it in their personal life or not will not negate that need regardless of what the younger crowd says or thinks.

Marketers do have to pay very close attention, however, to who uses e-mail, in what environment and when in order to remain effective. With that in mind the shift to mobile is going to be the point where marketers experience a make or break moment of sorts.

Just like any Internet marketing option there are always the early adopters who jump ahead of the curve and get in the game early. The next wave is the largest and most important because these are the people who get the concept but waited for the bleeding edge experiments to be completed before they commit fully. With email and the mobile world that group is getting on board. The rest will be the trailers (or laggards) while there will be a group that just doesn’t change. We have seen the same evolutionary cycle with search etc.

So as an Internet marketer are you making the switch to make sure your email marketing efforts don’t miss the mobile crowd? Have you taken a good hard look at your users and decided whether their mobile usage dictates your switch from what you might be comfortable with to a new way of looking at reaching them?

These are important questions facing marketers every day but the pressure of budgets and doing what might be considered cool (social media) over what might be more effective and truly measurable can cause conflict.

How are you addressing the new mobile need when it comes to e-mail marketing. Is it impacting how you reach customers or is it still too early? Give us your insights in the comments.

  • cory

    The firm I work for is just starting to get around to developing mobile apps – about time.

    They’re also currently looking for a free online branding app. We like this one:

    but are looking for something that elaborates a little more in the actual quiz part. Next, we’ll be creating one for mobile phones. If you can recommend any free branding apps, any info is much appreciated.


  • This is an area which will be embraced and profitable to a few, but misused and wasteful for most.

    You can take the best hammer in the toolbox and hand it to an idiot to watch them break stuff. Alternately, you can hand the same hammer to a craftsman to watch them build something amazing. Seldom are the results of the idiot and the craftsman even reasonably similar.

    Now let’s look around the email marketing world and consider the ratio of idiots to craftsmen. That is where will will find the best answers.