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Mobile email’s 12pc revenue surge points to long-term trend: report

A 12 percent jump in post-holiday mobile email revenue between the fourth and first quarter suggests the mobile movement is part of an enduring change, not a blip, according to a Yesmail report.

Yesmail’s Q1 2015 Email Marketing Compass benchmarks report showed mobile email revenue climbed 12 percent from the fourth to the first quarter and that mobile emails accounted for 22 percent of all email-driven revenue, with smartphones driving half, for a 15 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. The report is the latest to suggest that marketers must adjust their strategies to remain in front of the shift in consumer preferences from desktop to mobile.

“Yesmail’s first-quarter findings indicate a long-term trend, rather than a one-time anomaly,” said Ivy Shtereva, senior marketing manager for Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “Mobile is the new normal.

“Marketers that are nimble in their strategies and pay attention to consumer preferences have a huge opportunity to increase opens, clicks and sales,” she said. “As consumer preferences shift, marketers must create a better mobile experience with redesigned, responsive email templates and messaging specifically tailored to the mobile context.”

Telling sign
The report’s most surprising finding may be that while mobile activity typically plateaus after the holidays, this trend reversed in the first quarter of 2015 – a telling sign for digital marketers.

The report found that despite an 11 percent drop in email volume after the fourth-quarter holiday season, open, click and overall click-to-open rates remained  largely unchanged. However, quarter-over-quarter, mobile CTO increased 8.5 percent, while desktop CTO declined 8.6 percent.

Proportion of mobile clicks increased between the fourth and first quarters.

Smartphone revenue in the period accounted for 50 percent of all mobile revenue. The proportion of mobile clicks increased by 10 percent and accounted for 45 percent of all email clicks. The proportion of mobile orders completed on a smartphone versus a tablet increased by 13 percent.

The lack of post-holiday drop-off in mobile activity means marketers are recognizing that the mobile trend is not seasonal.

The continuous growth of mobile in the first quarter also indicates that the smartphone is becoming more central in the consumer path-to- purchase.

As people discover new ways to leverage their mobile device, their behavior continues to evolve. And marketers – the nimble ones, at least – are quick to adjust their strategy not only to meet these consumers where they are but also to anticipate their next need.

For instance, in the first quarter, brands further embraced the opportunity to redesign and optimize their email templates and make them responsive.

More than 40 percent of marketing messages sent in the first quarter were responsive, a 13 percent increase over the first quarter.

The first quarter of 2015 could be an indication that brands have turned over a new leaf and are doing a better job of nurturing their active subscribers and keeping them consistently, not just seasonally engaged through timely, relevant content.

Validating theory
The lack of change in metrics like open, click, and CTO rates in the first quarter further validates this theory.

Rising proportion of mobile clicks drove increase in the proportion of mobile revenue.

“As preferences shift, consumers are taking action on their mobile devices more than ever,” said Ivy Shtereva, senior marketing manager for Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “These findings indicate mobile’s increasing role in email marketing and digital marketing overall.

“Marketers must adjust their strategies now to remain in front of the shift in consumer behavior,” she said.

Final Take

Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York