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BizReport : Email Marketing : March 18, 2013

BlueHornet: 80% delete emails not optimized for mobile

A new report from email marketing firm BlueHornet highlights the necessity for marketers to optimize email for mobile. Those that don't, risk their messages being deleted by users or, worse still, losing that email subscriber altogether.

by Helen Leggatt

bluehornet-logo.pngMobile is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to receive emails. Most brands can expect to see half their emails opened on a mobile device in the coming six to 12 months (Knotice).

Furthermore, the BlueHornet report found that consumers are willing to act on mobile email with almost two-thirds (63%) saying they would make a purchase as a result of an email on their mobile device.

However, email that is not optimized for mobile is becoming far less tolerated. The majority (80.3%) would simply delete it, found BlueHornet, up from 69.7% a year ago. Three out of 10 would unsubscribe from the list after receiving an email that is not mobile-optimized, up from 18% a year ago.


"Consumers are getting super savvy," said Susan Tull, vice president of marketing for BlueHornet, San Diego. "Several folks said this is 2013, we expect more from companies, they should have their stuff together in this respect. If they see an email that looks bad, they will really see it as a negative in terms of brand perception. I also think they are getting really strategic about it, this doesn't look good, I'm out, I've got ten more waiting for me."

As per the Knotice research, BlueHornet found that many consumers won't give an email a second chance by looking at it on another device, so retailers must get it right the first time. Just 13.5% of consumers said they would look at an email they couldn't view on their mobile on a desktop at a later time, down from 17.7% a year ago.

"It is really not optional anymore to be making decisions about should I or should I not optimize my email for mobile - you really need to do it," said Tull. "At the most basic level, that means designing it to look good on the mobile device. So using things like responsive design techniques and HTML in the email. But you really have to go beyond that. You have to make sure the call-to-action is really simple and clear."

Tags: consumer behavior, consumer survey, email marketing, email performance, mobile email, mobile optimization

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  • Surveys like this get this all wrong. Emails are deleted because they are: uninspired, uninteresting, most of them have crappy copy, and most companies just send product sale after product sale and doesn't care about the readers anyway.

  • Trista JJ Meehan that the way the question was actually worded on the survey? Because "doesn't look good" could have a wide variety of interpretations, many of which don't include mobile optimization...

  • Aaron

    ....there's a typo in your title

  • I'm wondering which mobile devices render email newsletters significantly differently from a desktop web browser or email client. Regular email newsletters that look fine in Mail in MacOS look just fine in Mail on my iPhone and iPad.

    Which mobile devices are the "trouble makers" for email newsletter creators? Which mobile devices / email clients tend to render normal desktop-friendly email newsletters in a way that looks bad?

    Should we be concerned about supporting WAP phones, for example? Or has WAP gone the way of Gopher?



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