It's official: 2013 is the Year of Mobile. (Even though 2012 and 2011 were supposed to be the Year of Mobile.) Statistics on mobile read rates for emails, social media usage on mobile devices and the market share of smart phones vs. "feature" phones are everywhere. Even our own emfluencers have asked "Is it time for responsive email design?"

More important than trends and even best practices as email marketers consider mobile is knowing your own list and whether mobile or responsive email design will pay off or not. If you know the industry numbers, but not how many of your own email recipients are opening on a phone or tablet vs. a desktop computer, you may be investing time you won't get back. One of emfluence's business-to-business clients reviewed their own device-specific report in the emfluence Marketing Platform and found that less than 20% of their readers — businessmen and women! — were opening on mobile devices.

Mobile design and responsive design — design that changes based on the width of your readers' screens when they open — can be time consuming to manage. Email marketers should measure any design project against potential return on additional investment. If you spend twice as long designing and coding the email, it should be because you expect to see at least twice the return on the email. If only 20% of your list is opening on a mobile device, it's unlikely that you'll see that return.

emfluence users: want to know what percentage of your own lists are opening on a mobile device? Check out the new Devices report for sent messages. Our monthly emsights newsletter shows that fully 88.8% of our readers open on their desktop!

Instead of redesigning our newsletter for responsive design, we'll be taking Tiffany's tips on how to make regular emails a little mobile-friendlier. What's your percentage?


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