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Half of all email clicks in Q3 occurred on a mobile phone, reports Cheetah Digital [download page] in a recently-released analysis. The study suggests that consumers are growing more comfortable with mobile email, as smartphones represented a larger share of clicks than opens during the quarter.

Indeed, smartphones represented a considerably smaller 35% share of opens across industries, according to the analysis of Cheetah Digital client brands within the US and Canada that opted to participate in the study. These brands have been categorized into 5 major consumer verticals, which saw differing device breakdowns during the quarter. (The all-industry totals include some brands that are not in those verticals, including potentially some Business Services brands, but those are unlikely to heavily affect the average.)

Retail brands had the highest share of mobile opens: smartphones accounted for 45% and tablets another 9%, meaning that desktops contributed only a minority (46%) of opens for that industry.

None of the other 4 industries analyzed – Finance, Media, Service and Travel – had a majority share of opens occur on mobile, an interesting finding considering recent trends towards more mobile opens.

Nonetheless, mobile devices accounted for a larger share of clicks than opens across each sector, perhaps reflecting rising mobile click-to-open rates relative to desktops.

The gap was fairly acute across industries, with mobile devices contributing:

  • A high of 66% of total clicks for Travel brands, versus 45% of opens;
  • 61% of clicks for Retail brands, versus 54% of opens;
  • 59% of clicks for Service brands, versus 43% of opens;
  • 57% of clicks for Finance brands, versus 44% of opens; and
  • 57% of clicks for Media brands, versus 37% of opens.

Looking at historical metrics for all industries and brands combined, Cheetah Digital notes that click-to-open rates grew on a year-over-year basis, with each quarter this year having seen some growth in this metric. Average order values saw substantial growth, while unsubscribe rates eased slightly for the first time this year.

The trends were largely positive despite email volume growth, which sometimes can dampen response rates. Across industries senders increased their email volume by 5% year-over-year, with Media brands leading the way with a considerable 23.1% increase. By contrast, Travel (-3.6%) and Service (-4.8%) brands slightly cut back during the quarter.

The full report is available to download here.

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