Smartphone User Behavior Calls for Mobile Email Strategy Shift

July 13, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Email | Household Income | Out-of-Home | Youth & Gen X

Despite widespread assumptions about mobile email users, today’s rapidly evolving mobile user base rarely reads or acts on commercial emails via mobile devices, according to a new ExactTarget study of the current state of mobile email usage.

Instead, 88% of users routinely review emails on a laptop or desktop after first checking via smartphones, according to the study. And, in general, users use mobile email differently from email on laptops and desktops.

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ExactTarget surveyed more than 4,000 mobile phone owners; among its findings:

  • Mobile email users tend to be 18-44 years old, self-employed or employed full time, affluent and highly educated.
  • Some 72% of mobile email users have an annual household income of $100,000 or more, though the decreasing cost of smartphones and the launch of new devices like the iPhone have begun to attract less-affluent groups.

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  • Smartphone users mainly employ mobile email to stay connected and read urgent messages, and rarely commercial emails, because of limited functionality and rendering capabilities.
  • Mobile email users typically do not click on links within emails – only 54% have ever clicked on a link from their mobile device. Nor do they make online purchases via smartphones.
  • Developing messages especially for mobile email is unnecessary, as text renders 50-60% of the time when multi-part email is viewed on a mobile device.
  • The most successful text-only design for mobile and computer email viewing includes a brief introduction – and a link to view the message as a webpage, according to ExactTarget’s findings; that also allows users to view the HTML version when they view it on their computer.

The full report is available from ExactTarget.

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