Email marketers love to talk about email client market share. Your email client market share affects a great deal of the design and strategy behind your email marketing. It's important to not only look at your market share today, but also future trends.
One of ExactTarget's HubExchange partners, Litmus, is focused on email testing and analytics. They monitor email client market share worldwide and publish a leaderboard of email client usage. My analysis of their data from 2013 along with other research has led to this compilation of key stats and trends to keep in mind for your 2014 email marketing planning.
1. Mobile now makes up the majority of email opens at 51%. (Litmus)
2. An astonishing 68% of Gmail and Yahoo opens are coming from mobile devices. (Litmus)
3. Since Gmail announced their new tabbed inbox at the end of May 2013, Gmail's market share has dropped by 2.35 percentage points to 3%, a 44% decrease over the last 7 months. I can't speculate to the cause of this decrease, but it shows you shouldn't be losing sleep over Gmail's tabbed inbox.
4. Over the past year, Android email market share has grown by over 100% year over year. Watch out for Android devices. They topped opens on the iPad for the first time in November 2013 and now control 14% of the email client market share. This statistic may even be higher due to the fact that Android devices block images by default, blocking the tracking pixel in most marketing emails.
5. 25% of all emails are opened on an iPhone. Although iPhone email client market share only grew by 3% year over year, the iPhone is still king.
6. 31% of emails globally are opened on a desktop.
7. Only 18% of emails are opened on webmail. Accessing email through the web browser has decreased by 36% over the last year.
8. 61% of webmail users open email on a mobile device.
9. The #1 email client for Gmail users is the iPhone’s built-in mail program, with 34% of all Gmail opens. (Litmus)
10. With varying screen sizes and constantly-evolving technology trends, marketers can't afford to think in terms of "mobile" and "non-mobile" design. Instead, focus on responsive design that will be personalized to the customer's screen.
11. People who open email on more than one device, two or more times, have a greater propensity to buy or buy more. (Experian)
12. With Outlook and Android securing the second and third spots in market share, upwards of one-third of your emails are likely opened with images disabled. That makes “defensive design” techniques like HTML text and alt text a must.
13. Contrasting slightly to number 12, I see the image blocking trend declining over the next few years. Gmail has already been moving toward removing image blocking by default with their new image caching. For now, defensive design techniques are still vital for some brands, but this trend may reverse in coming years. For more inspiration on defensive design for your brand, check out Bendon Lingerie's campaign on our Email Swipe File.