Is your email marketing ready for mobile apps?

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

As I was checking my mailing list’s statistics this morning, I took note of something interesting – the gap of mobile vs. non-mobile email readers has narrowed significantly in the last year. Here’s a look at how my mailing list has changed its composition in the last year, from a weekly newsletter sent on 9/23/2012 to the one sent yesterday on 9/22/2013:

Microsoft Excel

Here’s what the changes look like in terms of percentage change year over year:

Microsoft Excel

The straight desktop web browser mail reader (GMail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) lost ground to both mobile email and email clients. The mobile browser one is almost self-explanatory: more people are reading on their mobile devices than ever before. But what’s driving the email client growth?

Turns out, it’s actually apps, from Postbox to Sparrow to Apple Mail (and its mobile equivalent). What you’re seeing here is also the growth of new mobile email client apps that aren’t browser-based. That means that the number of people reading on a mobile device is likely to be higher than the official 28% number.

Mobile saw at least 22% growth year over year for my mailing list and may be as much as 1/3 of my list. When was the last time you checked your mobile reader statistics on your mailing list? When was the last time you updated your email newsletter and marketing templates to be mobile-friendly?

If you haven’t checked lately, try it out over at Litmus’ free email preview testing tool. Here’s what my newsletter looks like:

Your Email Test > cspenn > Litmus

It looks like for a couple of platforms – Blackberry OS and Symbian – that my newsletter doesn’t render as well as it should. Am I concerned? Should you be, if your newsletter doesn’t render well? That depends on the makeup of your mailing list. Nationally, here’s how the different platforms break out:

BlackBerry Windows Phone market share shrinks again | BGR

At the very least, your mobile email should look great on Android and iOS. If you can get those two right, you’ll get the majority of email marketing for mobile right. I checked my mailing list statistics and it would seem that out of 10,000 active subscribers, I have a couple dozen Blackberry subscribers, and they never open my emails, so I’m not especially worried that my email template doesn’t look great on a Blackberry.

Know what your mailing list makeup looks like and test your email to ensure that it looks good on the dominant platforms!

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