We sent out a newsletter via email earlier today (well it was yesterday really, but since I haven’t been to bed yet .. )
One of the things about marketing is that you need to measure as much as you can.
I’d love to say “measure everything”, but the reality is that you simply can’t.
You can, however, make educated guesses.
However, with email marketing there is a certain amount of “hard facts” that you can use based on what is actually known.
NB: The amount of information you get will be considerably less from a plain text email campaign, but plain text emails can convert very well
In common with a lot of companies we like to send HTML emails, as they can be aesthetically pleasing and you can do all sorts of funky things with them (though there are plenty of things that you probably shouldn’t do!)
Based on our main mailing list we know that roughly 60% of people read our emails on a desktop machine.
The other 40% use their mobile phones to read the emails. That percentage is pretty high and it seems to be growing.
Of the 40% using mobiles the dominant device is the iPhone, which accounts for about 37%, while Google’s Android accounts for a further 2%.
You can read into that however you want to, but it’s an interesting statistic.
The desktop users make up the bulk of readers and the statistics there took me by surprise.
Hotmail is still being used by 17.5% of readers
Outlook 2007 is very popular with Windows users, so it’s no real surprise that 15% of our readers are using it as well.
Gmail’s in 3rd place, but it’s interesting to see that Outlook 2010 is at 2.5%, which suggests that people are either upgrading or doing new installs.
For the curious we’re using MailChimp at the moment, so the statistics are those they’re providing.
What do these stats tell us?
Like any statistics they’re only as useful as you can make them.
With the high percentage of readers accessing our emails on their mobiles we’ll have to do more testing on iPhone and Android in the future.
Of course that also opens up another “can of worms”. If we know that people are likely to read our emails on a mobile, then what about the links we’re putting in the emails?
We’ll probably have to do some more work on making those “targets” more mobile “friendly”
We do have a mobile site, but its content is very different to that we provide on our desktop site (which is the only sane way to handle things in my opinion).
We have been planning to upgrade our main site for quite some time, so making mobile a key part of that redesign is going to be important.
I guess it’s much more difficult to track desktop e-mail clients because security settings on those are usually tighter than on mobile clients – I would expect the default setting for Thunderbird to not reveal any information to the sender by default (i.e. not load any linked content without asking the user).
Personally, I also refuse to open any URL from a newsletter that contains a unique id.