Desktop or Mobile: Where Are Your Emails Converting?

Desktop or Mobile: Where Are Your Emails Converting?

If you’ve been paying attention to the mobile revolution from a marketing point of view, you probably know that more emails are now opened on mobile devices than desktop.

While this is critical for your marketing, there are two questions that are much more important than where your emails are being opened:

  • Where are your subscribers actually reading your emails?
  • Where are conversions happening?

Movable Ink published a study conducted in Q2 2015 that can help us understand this. Let’s take a look…

1) Email Opens

According to Movable Ink, 67.8% of all emails sent were opened on mobile in Q2 of 2015. That’s combining smartphones and tablets, but smartphones alone represent 52.05%.

Email Opens by Device

This can’t be surprising to you, these numbers have been climbing steady for the last few years.

The good thing is, it has become fairly easy to create “mobile-friendly” campaigns. At this point, there is absolutely no reason for you to be sending emails that are not displaying correctly on all screens.

2) Email Engagement

Step 2 is, are they reading your email campaigns? And where?

In this case, engagement is measured by the time spent

  • 57.1% of Kindle Fire users spend 15+ seconds on emails
  • While desktop users spending more than 15 seconds are only 39.5%
  • And 42.2% of iPhone users spend 3 seconds or less

Email Read Length by Device

Could this be an indication that not all email campaigns are “mobile-friendly”?

You also have to consider that, when an email is opened on desktop, the subscriber is probably seating comfortably at her desk, maybe even enjoying a morning coffee, while an email opened on a mobile device can happen on the subway, an elevator or even in not so safe situations, where the attention span is clearly shorter.

3) Conversions

And this is where it gets interesting.

  • 52.57% conversions happen on desktops
  • While the best performing mobile device is iPhone, it only accounts for 18.7%

Email Conversions by Device

I see 2 main reasons that can affect mobile conversions:

User Experience

As Movable Type points out in the study, the lower mobile conversions can be attributed to a user experience that is broken. While the email campaign has been optimized for mobile, the final destination is not.

If the landing page on the other side of your campaign doesn’t display correctly on the small screen, it’s all over.


I find that in many cases involving a higher price transaction, even when you’ve made the decision to buy, you don’t complete the transaction on your smartphone.

Last week I got new basketball shoes for my kid. We looked at different brands, styles, colors and sizes from different shops on my iPhone. We made a decision, and then… I put my phone away. I completed the purchase 2 hours later from my laptop.

If you ask me why I did that, the answer is I don’t know, I didn’t even think about it.

So, what’s the solution to all this?

There are 4 things to pay attention:

  • Are your email campaigns mobile-friendly? People have zero tolerance for this and it can cause deletes and even unsubscribes
  • If more emails are opened on mobile devices, that means subscribers are probably on the move, your campaigns should be designed for a shorter attention span
  • Consider user experience and the transition between the inbox and your final destination, whether it’s a landing page, an e-commerce site
  • Consider the user experience for your specific business or product, is this something people will purchase on a mobile device?

Photo credit: startupstockphotos / Study by Movable Ink

  • Mobile is definitely the way to go in today’s digital media age. Emails sent to phones generally appear as text messages, and people on the move can easily access them wherever they are. Desktop mail has a tendency to get overlooked and missed by almost 40% of viewers if the subject line is not enticing. Although this might be the case for people using traditional email applications such as GMail, in which desktop mail appears the same as a regular mobile email, mobile mail has a tendency to have better view rates. Software companies, such as Q3 Tech ( optimize and build mobile applications for clients looking to expand their customer base.

  • Rohan Kumar
  • JimmieC

    Sometimes it become annoying to recieve tons of emails on moblie/tablet being on the weekend or vacation, but when you are at work it is really helps you to be aware! By the way, here you can find paper editor service!

  • You’re so right about that – how people check their emails more often on mobile than on desktop. I know this, because I check on Google Analytics how many people are currently looking at the email I’ve sent them and more than 50% of the time, they’d be viewing it from their phones. Guess that means we should make email content more tailored for mobile users (keep it short and simple, no block paragraphs).

    In that case, what kind of suggestions would you give to make people more likely to click and read your email (if they open on mobile)?

  • Merlin Lang

    Mobile is definitely the way to go in today’s electronic press age. E-mails sent to mobile phones usually appear as sms information, and people on the move can easily access them wherever they are. Also check out this article Pc email will get neglected and skipped by almost 40% of audiences if the topic line is not attractive.

  • kamal

    Great post, really appreciate this topic. thanks for sharing.

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  • Thanks Francisco. Such a great post.

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  • And also a great tip will be providing high-quality content to users, don’t disturb them so much. You should keep a publishing calendar. Make time to plan, write, design, and send your newsletters regularly. Due to this website, we could see how it’s important to make everything adaptive for every costumer. How to design e-mail notifications, navigation etc.

  • Meet Kakadia

    Thank you for writing on this topic. My business Bulk SMS Chennai is also related to this only and it will help me in that.


    Now we can send email by using mobile or laptop at where in the world. It is only possible by the update technology and science. Internet is available in every where we want.


    Its really very helpful and I know about the email designing, navigation etc from your writing. That is really helpful to me.


    Its really very helpful and I know about the email designing, navigation etc from your writing. That is really helpful to me.