Marketers Report Similar Email Conversion Rates on Mobile as on Desktop

March 2, 2022

Although marketers have an array of channels to use as part of their overall marketing, email remains effective and the most widely used marketing channel. In fact, a recent report [download page] from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) shows that that email has an average adoption rate of 82% across the industries surveyed.

Previous research shows that a majority of mobile phone owners use their phones for email. The ANA survey of more than 550 marketing industry respondents reveals that one-quarter are seeing higher conversions rates for email on mobile than on desktop, with half finding that conversion rates are about the same between the two platforms. Historically, engagement on mobile – measured as the share of opens that take place on these devices – has been higher than on desktop, while conversion rates have lagged the larger devices. As such, it’s interesting to see mobiles reaching parity with desktops on this measure.

Meanwhile, some 46% of respondents say that click rates are about the same on mobile as on desktop, while almost one-third are seeing higher click rates on mobile than on desktop, compared to just 1 in 5 experiencing higher rates on desktop.

Mobile does seem to perform even better when it comes to open rates. Although there has been a decrease in the amount of time that consumers spend reading email via mobile devices, more than 4 in 10 (44% of) respondents are seeing higher open rates on mobile versus desktop, while just 17% are finding higher rates on desktops. 

Email Metrics Using House Lists

About one-third (32%) of respondents use house lists — an opt-in “list of current and former customers that come from an organization’s own database” — in their email campaigns. Overall, email campaigns sent out to house lists are primarily to communicate with current customers (39% share) or generate revenue (34%), with fewer understandably using them primarily to increase brand awareness (22%). A break-out of campaign types shows that B2C campaigns are more likely than B2B campaigns to primarily use house lists to communicate with customers, while B2B campaigns are more likely than B2C campaigns to primarily focus on increasing brand awareness. 

The ANA’s survey indicates that email metrics using house lists have seen improvement. In an examination of data from 2019 and 2020, open rates using house lists increased from 34.01% in 2019 to 36.96% in 2020. And, although there was a slight lift in acquisition costs  ($30.17 in 2019 vs. $30.97 in 2020), ROI for these campaigns also rose (75.49% vs. 89.79%). 

Email Metrics Using Prospect Lists

The majority (52%) share of respondents use a mix of house and prospect lists in email campaigns, with reliance on house lists (32%) the next-most common. Some 4 in 10 (39%) use email to prospect lists primarily to engage potential customers, with nearly all others primarily using these emails to generate revenue (33%) or to increase brand awareness (24%). Revenue generation is the primary goal of emails to prospect lists for both B2B and B2C marketers.  

Open rates for emails to prospect lists also saw improvement in 2020, up to 32.19% on average from 27.97% in 2019. And, while acquisition costs are higher with prospect lists than with house lists, emails to prospect lists had a higher average ROI (92.67%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a February-July 2021 survey of 581 marketing industry respondents. Some 42% of respondents reported most frequently running B2B campaigns, while 31% reported most frequently running B2C campaigns, with the remaining 27% split between B2B and B2C.


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