Let’s start with the basics: the data itself. Then we will discuss how you can improve yours!

Hobbies prevail in opens

Statistics show that leisure industries had the highest open rates: Hobbies, Arts and Artists, Photo and Video get more than 27%. As the industries get more “serious”, open rates decrease steadily, and according to MailChimp, Marketing, Advertising and eCommerce businesses have some of the lowest open rates – only 18.6% and 16.9% of recipients open mails in these segments, respectively.

If we look at click-through rates, we see a very similar pattern, Social Networks and Online Communities however have higher numbers here – which means fewer people will open mails from this industry, but they can be more easily engaged, **thus higher clicks-to-open rates can be achieved provided you use a good responsive email editor or youcode superb templates in HTML. **But more on that in a minute.

eCommerce also has a relatively high click rate compared to opens, while Marketing and Advertising still sitting at the bottom of the list. The industry with the lowest click-through rate is Restaurant and Venue despite its 22.7 open rate.

You should target iOS and Android devices

mobile-desktop-web-email-open-statisticsImage source: Litmus.com

According to Litmus, the market share of mobile stands at 49%, while desktop only accounts for 22% of opens. And it seems Apple reigns supreme when it comes to mobile email opens: 41% of opens take place on one of their devices (iPhone or iPad), while Android has a surprisingly low share (7%).

Litmus says desktop opens have fallen 4% only in the first half of 2015. The numbers tell that open rates are still performing strongly – in fact they increased in last year, which is experts say a result of Gmail displaying images as default since the end of 2013. Currently the platform possesses a solid 16% market share. Gmail increased their share by 20% in a year, and that is after falling 4.7% in the first half of this year.

So… which direction should you go?

It is clear that if you want to increase your click-to-open rates, you not only have to optimize for mobile, but target the most popular platforms – Apple and Google platforms as well. The problem is that Gmail App still doesn’t support responsive email techniques, so if you want to ensure great user experience on Gmail App, you have to move a step backwards and rethink your email design with a mobile first approach. If you build templates with a responsive email editor like EDMdesigner, you should stick to a one column layout, with same sized images. These templates will look properly on Gmail App as well!

But being responsive/mobile friendly is not all – you have to test your mails constantly to get the most out of the market. No target audience, industry or platform will require the exact same parameters, that’s for sure. But unfortunately, while most marketers praise testing, they rarely use it in their own strategies.

Does a 75% increase in opens sound extreme to you? That’s because you do not use A/B testing.

That is a very real, documented achievement of Connectivity for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Open rates can be easily increased with very basic methods – like changing the sender name from the company to the CEO’s name.

Or changing the preheader text. A lot of people will give a glimpse of the first few words of your mail displayed – and what do you think the effect will be, if they read something like “We have great new offers” or “If you are having trouble reading this mail…”. Well, they won’t be enthusiastic about opening it right away.

Click rates can also be increased if you try out different methods and adapt the best. Maybe your recipients are more likely to click on a link if it’s displayed in a vivid color, or if it’s placed in the text instead of the bottom. Or maybe they like big flashy buttons.

You have a lot of work to do – unless you use the right tools!

Easy as these tactics may sound, they require heavy testing work to be done**. You have to compose a lot of mails and segment your lists.** You have to constantly test what works better and what you should forget – and in order to do this, you have to be able to compose those emails fast. You will need a responsive email editor which will let you try out different things quick and easy!

The key takeaways? You can look at your own industry, and decide if your stats are good, or if you still have things to optimize (in 90% of the cases there’s room for improvement for every company).

What is clear, that you should optimize for mobile and other smart devices and you should focus primarily on those of Apple’s as they currently have the greatest share of mobile email  You have to test your solutions to be suitable for Apple and Gmail users both (this is the HARD part), and for the rest of your audience as well!

Roland Pokornyik

Roland Pokornyik

CEO / Co-founder @ Chamaileon.io & EDMdesigner.com

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