We work in an increasingly mobile-oriented world. The Pew Research Center found that the use of phones to read email doubled between 2009 and 2013, and the November 2014 Ericsson Mobility Report estimates that smartphone subscriptions and traffic per phone will have respective annual growth rates of 15% and 25% until 2020. These trends raise many questions, especially for email marketers. Here are two we wanted to answer: “What will mobile’s impact be on email engagement?" and "Can email campaign design counteract changing engagement rates?”
We analyzed a random subset of email addresses that Mailchimp sends to and determined their corresponding devices from their user agent strings. For each address in our sample, we considered the device that registered the most clicks to be that user’s preferred device. To focus on recipients that actually engage with email, only addresses that had clicked on an email campaign since the beginning of 2013 were considered.
We aggregated sends and clicks to these addresses from Mailchimp users within a 6 month period to see how preferred device impacts engagement. We looked to see if use of our Inbox Preview feature and responsive templates help engage mobile subscribers, and we looked at how different links within a campaign are impacted.
Readers click less on mobile
What did we find out? For starters, PCs, tablets, and mobile devices accounted for 64%, 9%, and 27% of email addresses, and 72%, 9%, and 18% of clicks, respectively. Right off the bat, we could tell that PC users click more.