I recently wrote a post describing how we are approaching a mobile tipping point in email marketing which provided several recommendations on how to improve your email campaigns related to mobile users. The post generated some good discussion about mobile email user behavior. After the discussion, I conducted some additional research and found additional insights to share.

Email Everywhere

We have become obsessed with email. According to a Mailchimp study on mobile email reader behavior, 77% of the participants say they check their email “everywhere.” May it be at a sporting event, on public transit, at a bar, in a restaurant, waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting on the couch, our mobile device allows us to access email anywhere at any time.

Where do most people read their email? In bed! Mailchimp discovered that 72% of the participants read their emails in first thing in the morning or before they fall asleep while in lying in bed. This isn’t surprising, as a growing number of people use their mobile device as an alarm clock, so the common morning action is to turn off the alarm and hit the email icon.

It’s not just work email. Individuals are getting all of their information at once: personal and work emails together. Eighty-seven percent of Mailchimp study participants read their work and personal email on the same mobile device.

The First Impression — Subject Line Importance

Mobile email readers practice a behavior known as filtering. Filtering is the process of scanning the inbox and then prioritizing reading order. The subject line and the relationship you have with your reader become extremely important at this point. In the past, it was thought that during this process, users saved emails to revisit on their desktop later. However the Knotice mobile email report shows that only 2% will reopen the same email on another device — whether on their desktop device, smartphone, or tablet.

Users see the subject line and if they like what they read, they open it. At that point, they want to act on whatever call to action is presented to them. This means we must create a compelling subject line and deliver the right offer at the right time. If the email renders poorly on the device or if there isn’t a seamless integration of the post-click experience, you may have missed your window of opportunity.

How do you read email? Does this behavior describe your tendencies?