Mobile vs Desktop? Mobile wins!

3 minute read

We’ve been tracking mobile open rates for emails for some time now and have watched them grow from around 27% in 2011 to just under 50% last year. The scale has now tipped. The latest Sign-Up.to figures generated from all emails sent through the Sign-Up.to platform last year show overall open rates of 53.9% to 46.1% in favour of mobile.

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We’ve also tracked this data individually across 25 different industry sectors. The results show the Events, Online Services and Property sectors as the highest mobile email consumers with open rates of between 67-51%, closely followed by restaurants, Public Sector, eCommerce and B2C Sales all around or just below 50%. At the other end of the scale B2B Services, B2B Sales and IT show the smallest mobile activity with open rates of between 28-30%.

Despite the large scale consumption of email on mobile devices it’s estimated that only around 20% of emails are currently optimised for these platforms. Like me you’ve probably pinched, scrolled and rotated mobile unfriendly emails to try to read them, and like 80% of others you’ve probably given up and hit delete without reading.

We’ve been championing responsive design for a while. In a nutshell it’s a way of coding HTML emails so that they automatically optimise the user’s viewing experience whatever platform they are read on. Don’t be confused. It’s not scalable design, that is just the ability to shrink desktop orientated content to a smaller screen size. Responsive design automatically reorganises the layout, text and images to best suit the screen size (and preferred orientation) – whether it’s a smartphone, phablet or tablet. You don’t need to create multiple versions and you don’t need to know in advance which platform or device it will be opened on.

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The good news is that these days you don’t have to be down with CSS (that’s Cascading Style Sheets) programming techniques to create mobile responsive email templates. The Sign-Up.to template library includes a range of different mobile templates that you can simply drag and drop your content into, and all of our new templates (and our forthcoming new editor) are built as mobile responsive from the ground up. That’s because we no longer view responsive design as a nice to have – it’s essential.

Want to know more?

These mobile open rates above are included in our 2015 annual Email benchmark Report. This also documents performance data like click-through, unsubscribe and other derived metrics. If you are interested in desktop versus mobile open rates for your own campaigns (and you are a Sign-Up.to customer) give us a call. Our service team can provide a personalised Device Opens Report which will show you exactly which platforms and which operating systems your subscribers most prefer.