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Mobile-Optimized Email Marketing Nets 65% Lift In Click Rate For School

March 7, 2013 Digital Media Solutions

Still haven’t taken the plunge into mobile-friendly email? Here’s a compelling case that’s sure to light a fire under your… uh, email marketing strategy.

While overall email marketing trends show about 42 percent of all email opens are on mobile devices, our clients are skewing even higher. It’s not uncommon for us to see a single message’s mobile renders exceed 60 percent these days, though they more often fall into the 45 – 55 percent range.

As we’ve observed this ongoing climb in mobile opens, we saw the performance of some messages that don’t render so well on smartphones really take a hit. One of our clients saw open rates on their autoresponder campaign drop 30 percent over eight months. During this same period, click rates dipped more than 40 percent. Ouch!

Declines in Email Benchmarking MetricsWe had a sneaking suspicion that increased adoption of smartphones to access email was at the heart of this painful, downward trend. We’d been eager to transition this client to a fresh template, and once they had a close look at their plummeting analytics, they were on board.

The solution was a simple, streamlined, single-column template with responsive and scalable elements that would function just as well on a computer screen as on a smartphone or tablet. Our client wasn’t ready to rethink their strategy, so no changes to copy, calls to action or subject line were applied—making for a near-perfect perfect apples-to-apple comparison.*

Growth Rates for Email BenchmarkingThe results were pretty phenomenal! Over the first three months the new template was live, we saw an impressive 158 percent increase in click volume that far outpaced their 57 percent lift in overall email send volume. That amounted to an astronomical 65 percent leap in overall click-through rates! Why? We’re pretty certain it had a little something to do with their 160 percent lift in mobile render volume during that same period.

This client has also seen impressive gains in overall open rates on all rendering platforms—which have more than doubled since their lowest point. Since there were no changes to the subject line or preheader, we believe the new design also prompted more recipients to download the email’s images, which is how opens are calculated.

Still not convinced it’s time to rethink your email marketing for the mobile audience? Consider these facts:

Not sure where to get started with cross-platform email design? We’ll explain the basics and share some of our favorite tips in next week’s blog post.

*In the spirit of full disclosure, we should add that we migrated to a new email service provider in the middle of the period in which we tracked the performance of the new template. And while that may have been a contributor to these performance lifts, we have definitely seen temporary performance declines for other clients while their sender reputation was rebuilt with a new IP address.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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