By Rieva Lesonsky
If your small business’s marketing emails aren’t optimized for mobile, you’d better get moving. A new study by email certification company Return Path, reported in eMarketer, estimates that mobile will surpass desktop PCs and Webmail to be the dominant platform for email by the end of 2012.
Already, Return Path reports, 30 percent of all email opens occur on a mobile device. That’s up from just 10 percent a few years ago, and the figure is expected to reach 35 percent by next month.
The percentage of opens on Webmail services like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and Gmail is declining. The problem for small businesses is that if your emails are designed for a traditional Web browser or Webmail, they won’t display properly on a mobile email reader.
The fact that many people still get their email via Outlook on a PC at work is pretty much what’s keeping the PC’s share of email opens relatively steady. But with the rapid growth of mobile opens, it’s uncertain how long that dominance will continue. In the past year alone, mobile email opens increased by 82.4 percent. Apple devices lead the way, accounting for 85 percent of all mobile email opens even though they’re only about 30 percent of mobile devices.
With about 50 percent of Americans owning smartphones and 15 to 20 percent using tablets, these numbers will only increase. Return Path found email opens on the iPad had grown by 53 percent in just a year.
With Web.com data showing that small businesses that market via mobile see business increase, it’s clear there are reasons to get mobile. But while consumers are getting wise to mobile, marketers aren’t. Return Path found that almost half of companies didn’t know how many mobile email subscribers they have.
What should you do?
- Make sure your marketing emails can be read on both Android and iOS platforms (the dominant mobile devices).
- If you market BtoB you may also want to format your messages for BlackBerry, since many enterprise decision makers still use these devices.
- Know what platform your subscribers use and how they want to receive email so you can tailor your message to their needs.
- Keep your messages simple in terms of design, graphics and actions so it’s easy for consumers to act on whatever device they are using.
Image by Flickr user James Cridland (Creative Commons)Google+