New data from financial marketing email specialist ProFundCom suggests that people using email to communicate with the financial community need to start thinking seriously about mobile devices.
The mobile usage statistics are relatively low right now but the trend is clear: based on data from some 25,295,000 mails sent to financial community addresses, the number of mails opened on mobile devices has risen from 9.2% in 2011 to 13.9% in 2012.
Among mobile devices the most notable rise was with the iPad (up from 38.2% to 42.4%). iPhone usage actually fell (from 57.3% to 53.6%), with predictable if small drops in Blackberry and Nokia S60 devices. Meanwhile, Android showed a small rise (from 2.24% to 2.6%), and there were actually some campaigns where Blackberry devices counted for no usage whatsoever.
ProFundCom’s Paul Das comments, “Despite the claims made for the BYOD (bring your own device) trend in workplaces, these figures underline the essential technological conservatism of the financial sector. The vast majority of people are still looking at email primarily on desktop computers. However, there are clear signs of change. There’s a lot going on in the wider marketplace, particularly with the surge of interest in seven inch tablets from Google and Amazon. There’s the continuing popularity of the iPad, as well as the trend to larger screens on smartphones, so we can safely predict that by this time next year the data is going to look very different.”
Das believes that the diversity of devices will influence how we respond to email. “Business-to-investor email communication by email increased by 17% last year. It’s become a crucial channel for analysts and others to put their insights in front of committed and potential customers. But if more and more people are checking on smaller screens, not only do marketers need to ensure that their carefully crafted messages are not being destroyed by the smaller form factor, they also need to know who is using what, and adapt their mailings accordingly.”
Michelle Ward, head of marketing at Pictet, says, “The direction that we are heading towards is to provide as little information as possible in all our email communications, but give our contacts the ability to launch into a media form that fits the device that they are viewing the email on. Whilst this may not be seen as the traditional way of how design agencies like to create emails, using ProFundCom to do a year’s worth of split testing has shown that our readership improves over 70% when we give contacts the option of how to consume the information.”