Mobile purchases decline in Q1, is poor email formatting to blame?
A newly published benchmark report from Yesmail shows a decline in mobile purchases in Q1 of 2014. Could be that we’re all just shopped out after the holiday season? Or are email formatting issues to blame?
Michael Fisher, president, Yes Lifecycle Marketing says;
“More than half of all emails, 52 percent, are opened on a mobile device. Whether smartphone or tablet, consumers expect to be able to complete the path to purchase on the same device on which they opened the email.”
Yet, only 1% of marketers are using responsive email design for all of their emails. Yesmail found that responsive design increases the click to open rate by 21%. That’s huge. Since tablet conversions increased, it’s got to be the size of the device that’s causing the overall 4% decline. I can read an email formatted for the desktop through my webmail tool on my iPad but on my iPhone, it’s a mess.
Yesmail also warns of a decrease in hybrid viewership. Last year, 30% of emails were opened on both a mobile device and a desktop computer. In 2014, that number is down to 8%. Clearly, our customers have made their choice and it’s mobile.
While all of that is true, there’s also evidence to support the fact that in Q1 we were all just tired of shopping. Yesmail’s report shows a near 14% increase in active marketing email subscribers through 2013. As soon as we rounded the corner into 2014, active subscribers dropped 6%.
The good news is that even though there were less emails and less subscribers, the open rate increased – and isn’t that the point of the whole exercise? Maybe the declines aren’t so much a sign of a problem as water finding its own level. If you sent out 1,000 untargeted emails your return percentage is going to be lousy, but if you send out 100 to actual customers your open rate is going to be fantastic.
Best click to open rates went to the insurance, healthcare and publishing industries.
After reading this report, I have two takeaways for you.
1. Make sure all of your marketing emails are formatted to fit whatever device people use to read them. If that’s not possible, go with smartphone formatting as it’s the most likely trouble spot.
2. Less is more. Don’t add thousands of names to your email list just to add thousands of names. Put your efforts into personalizing emails aimed at the most likely potential customers and repeat customers. That’s where the money is.