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How are people opening your emails? (and why this matters!)

June 29 - 2020

Email Marketing Strategy 5 min read

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One of the knock-on effects from GDPR was it forced us, as consumers, to re-evaluate the relationship we have with our inbox. We began viewing the emails we receive from different brands with a more critical eye, questioning why we received the email in the first place, what the point of the email was, and making a judgement call as to whether we'd want to receive more of them.

This critical reflection is something we at Jarrang welcome with open arms. For too long, too many people have sat back on their laurels and sent poor emails. The change in consumer behaviour we saw in 2018 means it's now much harder to do this. Emails now, more than ever, have to be relevant, engaging, and delivered in the right way at the right time.

And email marketing remains one of the most powerful channels because emails are still delivered straight into an inbox, either on a mobile device or a desktop. They don't fight for space in a congested newsfeed, they don't get lost in a sea of ads, and the recipient has already made an active choice to say: "Yes, I want to hear from you."

However, they still need to look great, be full of brilliant content, and be relevant to the recipient. As well as understanding what your subscribers want, you should also know how they are consuming your emails as this can help you make better informed decisions when it comes to presenting your email marketing.

At the end of last year we analysed close to 50 different business we worked with in 2018 to see what the most popular email clients were. (*an 'email client' is the service used to view the emails you send to your customers e.g. Gmail or Outlook)

Here are the results:

Email clients

The iPhone is the single most popular email client with nearly a quarter of all the emails we sent in 2018 being opened for the first time on the native mail application of the device. In fact, nearly half of all emails sent are opened on a mobile device. Gmail is the most popular desktop client, closely followed by Apple Mail and Outlook.

However, these figures, while great at giving us an overview of where the industry is heading, still differ hugely from business to business and sector to sector.

For example, the average percentage of emails opened on a mobile device when sent out by a hotel is up at 60% and rises to 70% for tourist attractions. The flipside is less than 1 in 4 emails sent out by businesses in professional services are opened on mobile devices.

The lesson here is to always look at your data and results after you've sent a campaign. Of course, you'll look at opens, click throughs, and on site behaviour of traffic from email but you should also be looking at when people are opening your emails and what they are using to do it to really optimise the performance.

If the majority of your opens are on a mobile device then is your design 'mobile first' and is your content optimised for the smaller screen? Equally, if most of your emails are opened on desktop, does the way your content is presented reflect this?

Email marketing is stronger than ever and, when it's done right, it can be one of the most powerful marketing channels out there to deliver results. As noted by Adobe in their 2018 Email Stats: "Since email continues to reign as one of the most important communications investments a brand can make, it pays to get it right. Top wishes are emails that are less promotional and more informational (a priority for 37%) and emails that are personalised to the recipient's interests (a must for 27%)."

As everyone (hopefully!) learnt from GDPR last year, conversions and long term engagement from your subscribers are essential for building successful email marketing programmes. Open rates and click through rates will give you an indication of how your email campaign has performed but, what we're really interested in, is how many people are converting - and this could be anything from purchasing a product, booking a room, filling out a contact form, leaving a review or anything else in between.

A higher quality, smaller database of engaged recipients is more valuable than a larger database of inactive non-openers and keeping these recipients engaged in your emails is the key ingredient to making sure your email marketing works for you.

So, if you can better understand how your subscribers are interacting with and consuming your email marketing campaigns, then you can make better decisions on the best content and the best way to display it in order to keep your engagement high and maximise your conversions.

Our mission is to help you send better email marketing and helping you better analyse your results is a key component in doing this.

You can access our free resources here to make sure your emails soar in 2019.

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