Mobile E-Mail Marketing Gets Skimmed

Mobile E-Mail Marketing Gets Skimmed

JULY 18, 2007

The PC’s killer app meets the small screen.

E-mail users read their messages in a different way on mobile phones than on PCs, according to ExactTarget‘s
"E-Mail Marketing for the Small Screen" report. Nearly nine in 10
mobile e-mail users skimmed messages on their phones, and then read the
full version on desktop or laptop computers.

Smartphone users mainly checked mobile e-mail to stay connected and read urgent messages, but rarely read commercial e-mails.

Mobile e-mail users usually did not click on links within
e-mails — just over half had ever done so. Nor do they make online
purchases with their smartphones.


Select Mobile Phone Activities of US Mobile E-Mail Users, April 2007 (% of respondents)

This does not mean the e-mail was not read — just not until users got home.

US Mobile E-Mail Usage, by Location, April 2007 (% of respondents)

Mobile e-mail users were typically between the ages of 18 and 44,
self-employed or employed full-time and highly educated. Nearly
three-quarters of mobile e-mail users had annual household incomes of
$100,000 or more, although falling smartphone prices were enticing
middle-income users to buy them as well.

Only 9% of mobile users currently read e-mail on their phones, according to an April 2007 Ingenio/Harris Interactive study conducted in March and April 2007. Nearly a third planned to do so within the next three years.

Planned Mobile Phone Content and Feature Usage* among US Mobile Phone Users, March-April 2007 (% of respondents)

So should marketers discount mobile e-mail users, especially considering text messaging is far more widely used?

The answer is in flux. As more smartphones become Web-capable,
sending a link in an e-mail to a mobile user will make more sense. As
it stands, even mobile Web users who click on such links often have to
endure long page-load times on their mobile devices.

Quicker mobile Web connections via 3G networks will make
mobile e-mail marketing more dynamic. As it is, many recipients are
content to do without the "mobile" part.

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