Mobile Email is More Important than Your Mobile Website

We’ve been pounding the mobile drum for about three years now. Our advocacy is fueled by the overwhelming trend that can be observed in every website analytics analysis. Granted, the results vary depending on the demographics of your site visitors. But the increase in mobile access to your digital assets is inexorable. And, by the way, that includes your email as well.

While many/some firms who actually care about their site visitor’s experience have made the investment to provide some kind of mobile access to their website, most are still lagging far behind in providing the same consideration to their email recipients. Which, if you think about it, is counter-intuitive. Unlike a website that visitors can, by and large, elect to visit at a moment they have convenient access to a large screen display, email arrives randomly and is commonly viewed in the moment. And that moment has a good chance of being when the recipient is up and about.

I looked at the results of recent email campaigns and even I was surprised to see that about 50% of emails were opened on a mobile device. This would be compared to B2B website traffic that hovers around 20% to 30% mobile. So if one were to prioritize their mobile-izing effort it should be placed on email before the website. But this does not seem to be the case.

Granted, mobile email is a tad more complicated than a mobile website. Websites are viewed in browsers (Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome, etc.) that to some limited extent and imperfectly interpret website stylesheet code in a common way. But email is viewed via email clients and these clients’ rendering of the email stylesheet on a mobile device are much more divergent. Nevertheless, there are some best practices for producing a reasonably coherent mobile email display.

Surprisingly to me, email publishers rarely view and test their own emails on the devices used by their subscribers. Is this laziness, ignorance or something else? I don’t know. What I do know is that email is a key component of the mobile evolution of the Internet. And about that I will keep beating my drum.