E-commerce Link: Room for Improvement
One consistent resource to use is Epsilon. Every quarter, the firm releases a report on North American email metrics across 13 vertical markets based on its clients' results in these sectors. You'll see bounce rates, opens, clicks and clicks-to-opens. Epsilon also has recently started reporting on results for triggered messages and compares results with "regular" campaigns.
Knotice provides another useful resource. Twice a year, the company reports on where emails are being opened (desktop, mobile and tablets). In addition to overall results, Knotice also breaks down results for 12 industry sectors with opens, clicks and clicks to opens.
However, if you look at its reports, you'll see one disturbing finding: Engagement (unique clicks divided by unique opens) is significantly stronger for emails opened on a desktop. These results are probably a combination of emails that don't render properly on mobile and that readers are on-the-go and just quickly dealing with email messages.
Knotice's report for the first half of 2012 included another interesting insight: Many marketers have thought interested readers might open an email on mobile or a tablet, but these recipients would later go back to their laptops or desktop computers to take action. That is a myth! At least for the retail marketplace, less than 2.5 percent of emails were opened on multiple devices.
3. Make It Mobile-Friendly or Forget About It
Without belaboring the point, a lot of emails are now opened on a mobile device. One of the first things you should check prior to launching any campaign is how it will render on various devices. Many email service providers (ESPs) offer this service, but some do not.
If you don't have this ability, there's a low cost solution offered by Litmus. You'll see how your email looks in more than 30 different environments, including eight mobile platforms. The cost is less than $50 a month for a single user, and you can test one email on Litmus' site for free.