Study: 20% of emails opened on mobile devices

More than 20% of emails sent during the first six months of 2011 were opened on mobile devices, according to a study released by email service provider Knotice on Nov. 30. The study found that since the fourth quarter of last year, mobile’s share of email open rates increased by 51%.

Brian Deagan, CEO and cofounder of Knotice, said what struck him most among the findings was that a mere 3% of opened emails were accessed on both mobile and desktop. Of those consumers who did open emails on both mobile and desktop, one-third opened the emails on their mobile devices first, according to Knotice, which examined 701 million emails for the study.

“There’s a notion that people are reading emails on mobile devices and going back to the desktop and taking a look at them a second time. The data clearly shows that that’s not happening,” he said.

Deagan said the report indicates that marketers need to look at optimizing emails for mobile devices as mobile penetration continues to increase.

“You also have to think about what’s taking place post-click,” he said. “If the post-click experience is not optimized for mobile, you don’t want to send a mobile-optimized email that is going to be setting a mobile-optimized expectation for that consumer after the click when you’re not delivering it.”

Knotice broke out its findings by 11 industries. Retailers experienced better mobile click-to-open rates, which is the rate of opened emails within which consumers click, than many other industries. Retailers’ click-to-open rates reached 11%, putting them in third place. Consumer packaged goods companies had the best open rates among the eleven studied; financial services ranked second.

Retailers saw 20% open rates on mobile devices, compared with 80% on desktop computers. Of the retailers’ emails opened, 16% were opened exclusively on a mobile device.

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