Mobile devices are complicating our usual understanding of email metrics
Just as marketers newer to email have grasped the nuances of deliverability, inbox placement, the differences between click-through and click-to-open rates and unique versus gross clicks and opens, along comes mobile with its own measurement challenges.
Two metrics that have been around for several years explore the impact mobile email is having:
- Device/email client usage, which compares differences in the percentages of people using Web-based, mobile and desktop-based email clients to read email.
- Engagement rate, which reflects the time recipients engage with email messages.
Once considered “nice to have” metrics, these are rapidly becoming must-haves because they reveal more about your subscribers and how they’re interacting with your email — information you can incorporate in your email content, design and layout to reflect changes in your subscriber population.
They also give you a potential competitive advantage over other marketers who aren’t tracking, analyzing, learning and making changes based on this data.
Engagement rates worldwide
The chart below from our recent email marketing benchmark report breaks down the percentage differences in engagement rates, with times defined as “read” (read eight seconds or more); “skimmed” (read two seconds to less than eight) and “Glanced/deleted” (less than two seconds).
What the engagement rate does (and doesn’t) tell us
Because engagement rate is a process metric, we have to be careful about extrapolating whether higher engagement rates translate into more click-throughs, conversions and revenue.
But it raises some issues worth pursuing. The “glanced” rate, for example, might appear to be a negative. Doesn’t everybody want emails to be read (eight seconds or more)?
This underscores email marketing’s key role in your branding strategy. A message with your strongly branded “from” name and consistently high-quality subject line keeps your name, brand and value proposition in front of your customers until they’re ready to buy.
Looking at the chart above, roughly one in five of your messages (22%) gets at least a cursory look.