Email Engagement By Device: PC Users Click Most

MailChimp-Email-Engagement-by-Device-Dec2014“PC users click more,” says MailChimp in a recent analysis of email engagement across PCs and mobile devices. Indeed, PCs accounted for 72.2% of overall clicks for the subset of email addresses examined in the study, despite representing a smaller 64.2% of email addresses. That owes to PC users having higher total click rates than tablet and mobile users: in other words, they click more.

For each address, MailChimp determined corresponding devices and considered the one with the most clicks to be that user’s preferred device. Unique click rates (calculated as the percentage of sends that received at least one click) were actually equal for both PCs and tablets (3.8% each), while being lower (2.7%) for mobile phones. But PCs (6.7%) outstripped tablets (5.6%) in the total click rate metric, which figures in multiple clicks for a single address on a campaign. Mobile phones once again lagged, with a total click rate of 3.9%.

This may well be related to expectations of a poor experience once clicking through on mobiles. In a recent Liveclicker-sponsored survey from The Relevancy Group, more than one-quarter of respondents complained that when they click through mobile emails it’s too hard to see the full website on their mobile phone.

Besides finding that PC users are most apt to click on links in emails and to click on more of them than mobile users, the MailChimp study also reveals some other interesting findings:

  • In campaigns that have multiple links, those deeper in the email get fewer clicks, across all devices. In fact, the fifth link in a campaign was found to get roughly half as many as the first;
  • Unique and total click rates were higher on each device for campaigns that used MailChimp’s responsive email design than those that did not (Yesmail has also noted higher mobile click-to-open rates for responsive emails; and
  • While responsive emails did see higher click rates, those benefits tended to only be seen for the first 3-5 links in an email, with that finding again consistent across devices.

About the Data: MailChimp describes its methodology as follows:

“We analyzed a random subset of email addresses that MailChimp sends to and determined their corresponding devices from their user agent strings. For each address in our sample, we considered the device that registered the most clicks to be that user’s preferred device. To focus on recipients that actually engage with email, only addresses that had clicked on an email campaign since the beginning of 2013 were considered.

We aggregated sends and clicks to these addresses from MailChimp users within a 6 month period to see how preferred device impacts engagement.”