Marketing’s Weekly Dose of the Truth

Ken Magill

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The Smart Phone Cometh

6/28/11

By Ken Magill

Suddenly, it’s time to take smart-phone email access seriously—very seriously.

One in five emails are opened on a smart phone, up from 4 percent in 2009, according to Campaign Monitor.

At the same time, desktop- and web-based-email access have dipped significantly, according to the Sydney-based firm.

One word of warning, however: According to Campaign Monitor, the email client a person is using can only be detected if images are displayed.

“This can give an inflated weighting to email clients that display images by default, such as Outlook 2000 and the iPhone,” the study said.

So what the study is really saying is that the percentage of emails opened on mobile devices that automatically display graphics has risen to one in five.

Still, it’s a critical trend for email marketers.

According to Tim Horan, managing director and senior analyst heading the communication and cable services equity research team at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., smart phone penetration in the U.S. is only about 25 percent. But it is expected to hit 75 percent in five years, he said

“Consumers are really becoming quite addicted to wireless data,” Horan said.

As a result, email marketing is rapidly moving from “probably should take smart phones into account” to “must take smart phones into account.”

What to do?

Kristen Hersant, vice president of corporate marketing for email service and technology provider StrongMail, posted a great piece on the topic in March.

“Unless you are fortunate enough to have a large production budget and can afford to produce multiple versions of the same email marketing design layout, this usually means rethinking your existing templates,” she wrote. “The email marketing design you ultimately use should be just as effective when it appears in the Inbox as it is when it renders on a mobile device.”

She then offers specific, actionable tips. Read the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, desktop access—in particular Outlook—is still king.

According to Campaign Monitor, Outlook accounts for 27.62 percent of email access. iPhones, iPad and iPod Touches account for 16.01 percent, Hotmail, 12.14 percent; Apple Mail, 11.13 percent; Yahoo! Mail, 9.54 percent; Gmail, 7.02 percent; Windows Mail, 1.84 percent; Android, 1.7 percent; AOL, 1.25 percent and Thunderbird, 1.21 percent.

In other findings, AOL is still a dead man walking.

The former powerhouse’s email-address market share has dropped 36.86 percent since 2009, according to Campaign Monitor.

In the same time period, Yahoo! Mail has lost 32.53 percent of market share, according to Campaign Monitor.

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