Mobile is becoming the dominant medium for email, according to a recently released study by email marketing vendor Yesmail.

50% of emails sent in the third quarter were opened only on a mobile device, which includes smartphones and tablets, and that’s a 6% increase compared with the same period last year.  8% of emails are opened on a mobile device and desktop, and 42% are opened on a desktop only, according to Q3 data from Yesmail clients that sent billions of emails during the quarter, Yesmail says. Yesmail clients operatein the following verticals: automotive, business-to-business, consumer packaged goods, customer services, entertainment, financial services, health care, hospitality/travel, insurance, publishing, retail and technology.

The gap between mobile and desktop click-through rates is decreasing, as the number of consumers who click on links in mobile emails increases while those who click on links in desktop emails decreases. In Q3 2015, 13.7% of consumers who opened a marketing email on a mobile device clicked on a link in that email, compared with 12.1% in Q3 2014. On desktops, 18% of consumers who opened an email clicked on a link in that email in Q3 2015, compared with 23.8% last year.

“Consumers are constantly on the go and the convenience of being able to follow through with an email and purchase all on a smartphone will only continue to grow as people become increasingly mobile,” says Ivy Shtereva, director of marketing at Yesmail.

The average order value of a purchase made on a mobile device after clicking on a promotional email was $103.80 in Q3 2015, an increase of 18.2% compared to $87.80 a year ago. On desktops, the average order value after clicking on an email was $136.70 in Q3 2015, an even larger increase of 36.0% compared with $100.50.


Smartphones accounted for more than half, 56.6%, of Q3 mobile email marketing revenue, and tablets 43.2%. Numbers don’t equal 100% because some mobile transactions could not be identified as either smartphone or tablet. Compared with Q3 last year, smartphones contributed to 41.6% of mobile email marketing revenues, and tablets 58.4%. Mobile email marketing revenue is money earned after a consumer clicks on a link in an email and immediately makes a purchase on the site.

Purchases made because of mobile marketing emails also grew during the 2015 holiday shopping season, Yesmail finds. On Black Friday, 55% of email clicks came from mobile devices, an 18% increase from the day after Thanksgiving in 2014. The number of purchases made after clicking on a mobile marketing email on Black Friday grew 167% year over year. On Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, purchases made immediately after clicking on a mobile marketing email increased 129% year over year.

“Mobile is playing a greater role in holiday purchases as consumers become more mobile in their shopping habits,” Shtereva says.

A report by Adobe Systems Inc.’s Adobe Digital Index found that 53% of shopping visits stemmed from consumers on mobile devices between Thanksgiving (Nov.26) and the Sunday following it (Nov. 28),and 32% of online purchases were made on a mobile device.

Marketing emails and mobile traffic and shopping are all connected, says Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index.


“Email and mobile traffic and sales growth are linked,” she says. “Consumers have had several years to get comfortable with mobile shopping. It’s clear that they’re there now, which means they have no problem clicking from their emails to a retailer’s site on their phone and then clicking and buying—particularly when they know that the offers they find in their inbox are only available for a limited time.”

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