Studies: As Mobile Email Usage Soars, Marketers Budget More For Email, Mobile And Social

Next year looks to be a strong one for email marketing according to a StrongMail survey of more than a thousand marketers released today. The survey found that marketers plan to deploy more budget to email, social and mobile next year — which makes sense given a second study by ReturnPath found mobile open share has increased 300 percent globally since 2010.

StrongMail found that 89 percent of those surveyed plan to increase or maintain the same level of marketing spend in 2013, with 56% intending to grow their email marketing budget, 52% investing more in social media, 43% planning to spend more on mobile and 40% deploying more resources toward search marketing.

Though 46% say integrating customer data is the primary challenge for email marketers in 2013, 65% plan to integrate their email efforts with social media next year, and 52% intend to integrate email with mobile.

Spending on mobile, and email/mobile integration, seems a smart bet for next year, given results of ReturnPath’s global mobile email study. The company found that more people (37%) are opening email on mobile devices than through webmail on a browser (30%), with 4 out of 10 emails now being read on a mobile device. The share of people reading mail on desktop clients has remained fairly steady at just under 40%, likely representing business use of email.

Interestingly, people seem to be selective about what type of emails they read on their mobile devices. Mobile usage is greatest for emails related to retail (40%), consumer products (40%) and real estate (38%), while emails from other sectors, such as banking, are still mostly (60%) opened on desktops.

When it comes to mobile marketing, StrongMail found that the types of mobile marketing programs drawing increased investment in 2012 will be mobile apps (39%), mobile advertising (33%) and SMS alerts (21%). Companies see mobile as a good channel for building customer loyalty (44%), expanding reach to new customers (34%) and awareness-building (33%).

The types of social media programs inspiring additional spend in 2013 include Facebook marketing (40%), social media management technology (27%), viral/referral marketing campaigns (24%), and Twitter campaigns (23%).

In the email arena, more marketers said they planned to focus in 2013 on increasing subscriber engagement (50%), improving segmentation and targeting (48%), growing their opt-in list (33%), and integrating with social media channels (27%).

Though digital channels, and marketing overall, seems to be on a positive trajectory for 2013, certain types of marketing are likely on the chopping block. A large number of marketers surveyed by StrongMail said they’d be reducing spend on direct mail (37%) along with trade shows and events (34%).

Related Topics: Channel: Email Marketing | Email Marketing | Features & Analysis | Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Email Marketing | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Online Behavior | Statistics: Spend Projections | Top News


About The Author: is executive features editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported on, written about and worked in digital media and marketing for more than 10 years. She is a previous managing editor of ClickZ and has worked on the other side of digital publishing, helping independent publishers monetize their sites in her work at Federated Media Publishing.

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  • Chris Bernard

    Good stuff…so distilling that, based on this data, here are some questions to consider for email marketing

    1) Are we optimizing the mobile email experience visually?
    2) Does our website look good when viewed on a mobile device (at least Android, iphone, ipad). If not consider in investing in a mobile website?
    3) Are we segmenting our email list, first by device vs. desktop, then on behavior (what the user clicked or didn’t click), then any other customer or demographic data?
    4) Are we doing a small test of at least two different subject lines to a small segment of the list to see which one performs better, before pushing to the full list?
    5) Are we giving customers the ability to engage with us softly with social media integrations into email and website, whitepapers/ebooks/webinars, other email lists, or blogs/rss?

    Thanks again for the post!

  • Pat Grady

    Mobile is the new black.

  • Pat Grady

    Dad, look at what Santa brought me, it’s so freaking mobile I could scream!

  • George LaRochelle

    Great article and super stats. We recently started to try and increase our subscriber engagement by using responsive, trimmed down designs for our newsletters and we saw a decrease in “glanced/deletes” by 70%!!!

  • Anis@MBA Programs

    The future is now for mobile. It is very smart to set up now a strategy for mobile. The pourcentage of people who use the mobile to buy a product or to read email is relatively low but if campanies thinks today to the impact of a mobile strategy, they will be ahead.

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