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Email-driven smartphone performance reached a milestone in Q1 2018. For the first time, smartphones generated over 35% of all email-driven revenue and half of all email-driven orders, according to data published by Yes Lifecycle Marketing. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

In its report, "Email Benchmark Report: Maintaining the Holiday Momentum", the company analyzed over 7 billion emails sent in Q1 2018 through its cross-channel marketing platform, revealing trends in post-holiday engagement, unsubscribe rates, trigger campaign effectiveness and smartphone-driven email orders.

The findings indicate increasing willingness amongst consumers to make purchases via smartphones, but the gap between the number of smartphone-driven orders and revenue suggests marketers have not bridged the gap between mobile and desktop average order value (AOV).

The study also revealed higher engagement rates after the holiday season as email volume dropped off sharply. The average number of emails engaged subscribers received in Q1 declined by 29% quarter-over-quarter. During the same period, the average open rate increased by 6%, the average unique click rate jumped by 12% and the total click rate increased by 19% - indicating that lower volume helped marketers cut through the noise more effectively post-holiday.

On the other hand, the average unsubscribe rate surged by 16% from the previous quarter, suggesting that a cohort of holiday subscribers are opting out after maximizing their access to holiday-related offers. The report provides insights into the different tactics marketers can leverage to re-engage inactive subscribers and keep new subscribers from unsubscribing after the holiday shopping season.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The total click rate grew by 6% year-over-year (YoY), while the unique click rate decreased by 7% over the same time period.
  • At 22%, inactive subscribers comprised almost a quarter of marketers' databases in Q1 2018.
  • Reactivation emails generated a 5% conversion rate, which is 40% higher than that for standard emails.
  • Newsletters generated a 12% click-to-open rate, which is 40% higher than that of standard emails.

"While we're seeing more email-driven purchases on smartphones, the size of these orders still trails behind those from desktops, indicating that marketers haven't fully cracked the mobile code," said Jim Sturm, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. "Marketers must prioritize improving the mobile shopping experience in 2018 to bridge the gap between mobile and desktop AOV. In doing so, they can drive significant revenue and maximize the ROI from the email channel."

"After the holiday shopping season has died down, marketers can start the year off right by leveraging email as the focal point for a well-informed multi-channel engagement strategy," said Michael Iaccarino, president of Infogroup, the parent company of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. "If marketers can master mobile now and incorporate additional touchpoints through flexible technology and intuitive functionalities, they can set themselves up for success for the upcoming holiday shopping season, especially as the number of mobile shoppers continues to grow."