Email Click-to-Open Rates Remained Far Higher on Desktops Than on Mobiles in Q3

November 14, 2013

Yesmail-Email-CTO-by-Industry-and-Device-in-Q3-Nov2013Mobile accounted for a majority 52% of email opens in Q3, up from 49% in Q2, says Yesmail Interactive in its latest quarterly “Email Marketing Compass” [download page] report. Despite mobile email clicks growing quarter-over-quarter, mobile represented an undersized 35% of all clicks, as click-to-open (CTO) rates continued to lag compared to desktops. This was true across each of the 12 industries tracked, and even as the percentage of active subscribers viewing on both mobiles and desktops fell substantially during the quarter.

It’s possible that “hybrid” viewers may have first read on a mobile and then later clicked on a desktop. The significant decline in “hybrid” viewing (from about one-third of active subscribers in Q2 to about 14% in Q3), as subscribers shifted to mobile-only viewing, may have been the cause of lower click rates overall in Q3.

Returning to the CTO rates, some of the biggest gaps between desktop and mobile were in the CPG (26.6% and 10.6%, respectively), financial services (11.5% and 2%), marketing/advertising (16.2% and 5.1%) and technology (10.8% and 3.4%) industries. Encouragingly, though, the average value of a mobile click was more than twice as high as the value of a desktop click, suggesting that while CTO rates are lower on mobiles, mobile email clickers are more ready to make a purchase.

Meanwhile, Yesmail argues that “higher frequency is not your enemy,” citing data showing that marketers sending between 3 and 7 emails per week continued to boast the highest active subscriber rates, as they did in Q2. Better be cautious, though: consumers repeatedly blame email overload for unsubscribes.

In terms of subscriber activity, more than three-quarters of the subscribers who had opened/clicked during the past 12 months were found to have been subscribed for more than 1 year, suggesting that marketers not only focus on new subscribers, but also look for ways to keep more mature subscribers engaged. Overall, the B2B industry again had the lowest share of active subscribers (who had opened/clicked within the previous 90 days) – at just 1.4%. By comparison, the hospitality/travel sector boasted the highest active subscriber share by a wide margin, at 33.8%.

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