The Future of Email

Anytime and anywhere

Everywhere you look people are engrossed in smartphones and tablets – public transport, coffee shops, parks and open spaces – even walking down the street. We use them over lunch, we use them to compare prices whilst out shopping, we use them whilst at home watching TV – where a massive 81% of us ‘stack’ (conduct unrelated media tasks while consuming media content) and ‘mesh’ (use multiple devices simultaneously to enhance a media experience) so our attention is constantly divided. We use our smartphones and tablets to consume media, tell friends what we’re up to on social networks and, of course, we use them to check our emails. In fact, the number of mobile e-mail users is predicted to grow 28% in 2014 and 23% in 2015 (The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2013-2017″).

These increases are no surprise when you consider that 49% of us already read email on our smartphones immediately on waking up, 54% of us just before they go to bed and 32% during the weekend. (Apsis “The email Barometer, Email on mobile devices” (2013))


The rapid uptake of smart devices has led many companies to adopt a mobile first strategy when it comes to website design and emails should be no different – you won’t get people to your lovely mobile-optimised site with an email they can’t read. For the user journey to start, emails need to be designed to ensure the user has the best mobile experience and encourage interaction. 64% of people also say email is their top activity when using a tablet but, whilst tablet growth is now higher than smartphone growth, 77% of people who own both say their smartphone is their primary device. (Adobe 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey).


Demographic parity

The make-up of mobile users is now pretty even, with a gender split of 53% male to 47% female. Use by age has also evened out with 18-24 year olds at 34%, 30-49 at 37% and 50-64 at 29% So no matter who your target market, designing for mobile is a must.


Tap vs. click

We are often more distracted when on our smartphones so emails need to be design for engagement and pretty quick engagement at that. We need to know instantly what the email is about and have a clear call to action with obvious links to tap that we know will take us directly to the item on the website. The instant gratification attitude is now prevalent in our society so make it easy to get information across and get those fingers tapping.

Show me the money

Despite the rise of social network communications and increasing sophistication of search and pay-per-click marketing, email remains at the forefront when it comes to the bottom line (Marketing Sherpa).

Over half of UK consumers use their mobile when shopping, and almost a quarter make purchases through their phones ( In fact, the UK is the European capital of m-commerce, with 10% of us saying our smartphone is their main method of shopping. (Ipsos Public Affairs, 2013)

Revenue per mobile click is almost double that of a desktop click and over 70% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by promotional emails. (Yesmail “Consumer Online Behaviour Report: Digital Marketing Strategies” (2013)). Creating engaging responsive emails is paramount if you want to keep existing customers, attract new ones and get them to spend more.


Attitudes are changing when it comes to mobile purchases. Security concerns are diminishing and one third of UK consumers already use mobile payments with another third interested in taking them up. Mcommerce sales are forecast to grow to over £17bn in the next three years, making up a quarter of all ecommerce transactions (eMarketer).

However, buying decisions are influenced by what we see and 46% of us state emails that are poorly designed to be read on a smartphone reduce the chance of a purchase being made. (Apsis “The email Barometer, Email on mobile devices” (2013))


Look good everywhere

The march of mobile continues, smartphones and tablets are now an integral part of our daily lives. But don’t forget the desktop and laptop just yet – whilst their use is on the decline, it’s important to design emails that look good and work well across all devices. This is where responsive email design comes in and getting it right involves a different way of thinking and a set of new skills.

This is the future of email.