The Growth of Email Readership on Mobile

I played Snake the other day.


No, I hadn’t dusted down my iconic Nokia 3210 to satiate my retro gaming needs.


I downloaded the app whilst on the bus, selected which Nokia device I wanted to play it on, set a fairly average score (which I shared on Twitter) and deleted the app.

Mobile technology has come a long a way. The same can be said of email, and the percentage of people now reading them on mobiles. In the last 5 years we have seen a 500% increase of the amount of people viewing emails on mobile devices. Mobile email views barely featured in 2011, making up just 8% of opens. Head to 2015 and over half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets.


Why has this happened?


There are many sources reporting that this has happened, but there’s little explanation as to why. In 2011, Apple had just released the latest model of the iPhone 4 and the previous year they had released the iPad. In addition, Android OS had 36% of the smartphone share – so the technology was available, but ownership wasn’t as widespread as it is now. One key factor that also had an impact, especially for businesses, is security. Originally Blackberry’s USP, this is where they had a stronghold on the market.


In 2011, Blackberry had a quarter of the smartphone market and was the platform of choice for many businesses and professionals. Blackberry devices then were rendering emails as plain text – resulting in a poor reading experience for anyone trying to view HTML emails.


Since then, competing platforms have addressed those security concerns, resulting in many of those businesses making the move over to Apple and Android platforms. As a result, Blackberry’s share of the smartphone market has since shrunk to under 1%.


What does this mean?


With more people than ever reading emails on the go, the importance of designing emails that are optimised for mobile is more important than ever. Why?



  • We’ve already established more than half of emails are opened on mobile



  • Only 11% of email templates are optimised for mobile



  • 80% of subscribers delete emails when they don’t look good on mobile



  • Even worse, 30% unsubscribe



The top email clients in 2015 were dominated by mobile platforms:




A client using Concep Send, upgraded their templates early on in 2015, and the impact on their engagement rates was staggering. In 2014 the client had 16% of its clicks coming from mobile devices. In 2015, when using their new mobile optimised templates, that figured almost tripled to 44%.


What should you do?


Know your audience. Any email marketing provider should be able to offer you information on what devices your recipients are using to read emails. Once you know this, you can make an informed decision on whether your audience would benefit from an optimised template, and design a template which renders correctly across all those devices.


Look out for my next blog on email good practice, to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes when it comes to designing your email campaign using your shiny new mobile optimised template!