By Rieva Lesonsky
It’s a mobile world, and increasingly, even email access is going more mobile, according to a new study by email certification and reputation monitoring firm Return Path. Although webmail (accessing email via the Web) still accounts for 44 percent of all message views worldwide, and desktop (accessing email via a desktop client like Outlook) comes in second with 33 percent of all views, mobile is rapidly catching up, accounting for 23 percent of all views.
The Return Path study showed that between October 2010 and September 2011, mobile email message views increased by 34 percent, while webmail views dropped by 11 percent and desktop views dropped by 9.5 percent.
One reason for the growth of mobile email viewing is the surging popularity of tablets. Return Path data found that access of email via tablets grew by a whopping 73 percent in that April–September time frame.
What does this trend mean for your business? Make sure your emails—whether they’re brief messages or longer newsletters—are optimized for mobile viewing, and that any links in it lead to mobile-friendly pages. Customers or prospects who think your email is too clunky to view on their phones or get frustrated by being taken to your standard website may never go back to that email again.
Return Path also found some interesting data about when users are more likely to view email in a mobile format. As you might expect, most emails during weekdays are viewed on desktops, since people are typically at work. Monday is the worst day for mobile email views. However, on the weekends, mobile email viewing surges.
The survey also found that certain types of emails—in particular, entertainment, social networking and publishing-related emails—were more likely to be viewed on mobile devices, while messages from software or financial services firms were more likely to be opened via desktop or webmail.
Desktop and webmail aren’t going away anytime soon, but this study points out the necessity of making your messages accessible to your customers wherever, whenever and however they want to read them.
Image by Flickr user Sean MacEntee (Creative Commons)Google+