Email marketers making plans for upcoming campaigns should take a closer look at mobile.

In analyzing open and click rates from our enterprise customers between Q1 2015 and Q4 2016, we’re seeing signs that consumers are becoming more comfortable opening email marketing messages and engaging with offers from their smartphones. Over the past two years, the percentage of email opens on desktops have declined, while the percentage of overall opens happening on smartphones has gone up about 7%. Smartphone click rates, which were a fraction of overall clicks at the beginning of 2015, are also significantly higher. More clicks are now happening on smartphones (47.5%) than desktops (41.7%).

MessageGears - Mobile engagement 2017

Why the higher engagement rates for mobile users? We can surmise that people are now spending more time on their mobile phones. Consumers are more comfortable checking email and surfing the web on their phones as well. There’s also the rise in the adoption of responsive design. This makes reading emails and websites easier and more pleasant on a smaller screen.

Our data shows that no matter the device, email marketing remains a smart investment for companies. Open and click rates on all devices (desktop, tablets, and smartphones) have gone up in the past two years as companies get better and sending relevant offers to the right people at the right time.

Marketers are spending more time testing subject lines and refining offers to be personalized to what individual users want. Compared with direct mail, social media, and other forms of advertising, email still has the highest ROI, according to various studies. There’s also the familiarity of email: people expect to receive marketing emails from vendors they do business with and don’t mind so much – which is not the case with social media.

If you are thinking about how to target mobile users with your campaigns, testing will continue to be critical. Images over words, multimedia elements, and shorter subject lines might fuel better results for mobile customers with short attention spans.