It should be no surprise to anybody following our site that mobile strategy must be forefront in your mind. Usually this discussion centers on content or social networking but we can now officially add email to this mix.

In its US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q4 2013 study, released on Wednesday, Movable Ink found the vast majority of e-mails are now consumed via a mobile device.

Email Opens By Device
Email Opens By Device
  • 65% of e-mails were opened on either a smartphone or tablet device, this is up from 61% in Q3 2013. Nearly half of all e-mails, 48.23%, were read on a smartphone, compared to 16.52% on a tablet.
  • Desktop accounted for just 35% of email opens, a 4% decline from 39% in the previous quarter.

While tablets still lag behind, they are continuing to see growth. The percentage of e-mails read has ticked up by 1% each of the last two quarters.

When broken down by device:

  • iPhone in 1st position at 35.39%
  • Ipad followed with 14.54%
  • Android just behind at 12.47%
  • Android tablets could only muster 1.88%

So let’s say your about to send an email… if these stats hold true just about half are on a Apple device. Which is probably good news because iPhone users spent the most time viewing emails. 38% of iPhone users spent 15 seconds or more viewing each message. Android smartphone users came in at a close second, with 35% spending 15 seconds or more viewing an email.

The methodology for the report came from Movable Ink’s Agile Email Marketing platform between the dates of October 1 – December 31, 2013.

So What’s the Takeaway?


Well… I have to say I do cringe when I hear the phrase “mobile first” but if  you’re doing any email marketing in any way you must see your communication thru mobile first. That means designing your messaging, your call to actions, and the styling for the single best experience on a smaller screen. Most email providers

do provide special templates for email so if you haven’t dived into this aspect of the tool you use then now is the time. I doubt will will see a retraction at all in these numbers. I know the next generation of consumers is tied to their tablets and smartphones and while they still use a desktop or laptop here and there– it’s mainly for school or “work”.

Once again this isn’t anything new it’s more piling on the proof but even I’ve found when we send emails we haven’t quite focused first on mobile. What I mean there is we haven’t stopped or slowed down enough to ask… how does this look on a tablet or phone? Or is this call to action going to be effective on a mobile device? If not what can we do to ensure it’s more effective?

The big one that I know we don’t do that we are going to start. We usually send a test email before we send out a broadcast or a new email in our funnels. Typically we view this in our browser on a desktop or laptop. Now beyond a doubt we are going to check our mobile devices… iPhone, Nexus 7, and iPad.