What 5 Studies Tell Us About Mobile Marketing and Conversions


Whatever we knew about the mobile marketplace a couple of years ago has already changed. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with the latest research on mobile marketing and conversions.

To help, I’ve found five recent studies that share useful information for those of us seeking higher conversion rates. Let’s look at what these studies cover and their key take-aways.

studies - placeitSource: Placeit.net

1. Campaign Monitor – Email Marketing Trends

Campaign Monitor has studied email interaction on mobile and desktop. Its Email Marketing Trends report assesses 6 million email marketing campaigns and includes some interesting data, including:

  • The rapid shift to mobile with a 30% increase in email opens on mobile devices between 2011 and 2013 .
  • By the end of 2013, 41% of email marketing emails were being opened on mobile devices. That’s a far bigger share than desktop and webmail opens.
  • 61% of marketing emails were opened on iPhones.
  • Most emails are opened in Outlook or Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail).

When it comes to getting the click, it’s worth knowing that one-third of all clicks happen on mobile devices, but the number of clicks has been falling. Even more importantly, people are using multiple devices to engage with marketing material.

Of the people opening email on mobile devices, 23% open them a second time on the same device and 30% of those move to a different device to look again. Only 13% of those eventually click through. These findings support those published by Google in its multiscreen world and mobile path to purchase studies.

Key lesson: Marketers need to keep campaigns interesting enough to get those second and third clicks and to entice users to return to their computers—because that’s where most of the clicks and conversions happen.

2. Movable Ink – US Consumer Device Preferences

This free report produced by Movable Ink looks at consumer device preferences in the US. It draws similar conclusions to the Campaign Monitor study cited above. Key statistics include:

  • Between them, smartphones and tablets account for 72% of email opens, with smartphones being the dominant device. However, tablet usage is rapidly catching up with desktop email opens.
  • Apple devices continue to take the lead, accounting for 62% of all opens in the first quarter of 2014.

There’s also some interesting data on how long users spend reading emails on particular devices. For iPhones, Android tablets and Android phones between 40 and 45% of email reads last over 15 seconds. That number falls just below 40% on desktop computers and almost 30% on the iPad.

Key lessons: this data suggests that marketers who are looking for an entry point for mobile optimization might do well to concentrate on Apple devices, at least in the US. However, don’t forget the international market, where Android devices hold the top spot. In addition, making emails and landing pages mobile friendly is a must when so many people are using these devices.

3. Google – The Path to Purpose

If you’re looking for studies on mobile conversions, the Think with Google website is a good starting point. Last year Google published a report on the mobile path to purchase, but the latest research update goes one step further.

Titled When the Path to Purchase Becomes the Path to Purpose, the study looks at why people go online and what they are looking for when they get there.

google path to purpose

The research shows that the top three reasons people go online are:

  • to find useful information
  • to follow their interests and passions
  • to check out the principles and philosophy behind the brand

They are much less interested in big splash ads which include clear requests to buy a company’s products.

There are a few more interesting facts:

  • What Google calls the generation C connected consumer revels in social sharing, with 75% of them sharing what they love.
  • They are major curators of content.
  • For around two-thirds of them, YouTube is a key place to learn about product information and take what calls a “digital test drive” via online video.

Key lesson: integrate online video into your mobile marketing mix. We’ve seen before how important this is to mobile device users and have published several roundups to help you.

4. Adobe – Digital Marketing Optimization Survey

Adobe’s 2014 digital marketing optimization survey offers lessons from the top online marketers. It provides stats on the importance of data-driven marketing for conversions, investment in optimization, content targeting and a cross-department approach.

Most importantly, the research shows that among the top 20% of marketers, 83% of people think mobile is important and have made it a focus of their cross-channel marketing efforts. This compares with only 67% of the bottom 80% of marketers.

With half of all retail web traffic coming from mobile devices, according to Adobe, catering to these users is essential. Three percent of marketers say that more than 60% of their content is accessed on mobile devices and other marketers find that at least a part of content consumption has moved away from the desktop.

Key lessons: Adobe recommends the use of local mobile marketing for mobile devices users (using the GPS and WiFi antennas that most devices have), as well as creating a mobile-friendly website and, possibly, a mobile app.

5. Neustar Localeze – The Cross Device State of Local Search

Finally, there’s a study of local search users from Neustar’s Localeze team. The Cross Device State of Local Search study found that:

  • 63% of consumers are using multiple devices to find the local businesses they want to reach and more than half of these local searches result in a purchase.
  • Mobile devices are key for on-the-go searching, with 4 out of 5 searches resulting in a purchase.
  • Tablet owners use their devices for local business comparison, while in-depth searching is more common on PCs and laptops.

Key lesson: like the other studies, the Neustar research shows how important it is to use multiple platforms to reach your audience. Unless you are everywhere your audience wants to connect with you, conversions will suffer.

Your Take-Away

The overwhelming message of all the studies is the need to combine mobile optimization with multi-channel customer touchpoints to reach a hyper-connected audience.

The key, of course, is to know your audience. People now access your offers on multiple devices in multiple channels. It’s nothing new, but it is more critical than ever to place your offers where they are online.

For better conversions, you most certainly need to be mobile. You must have a well-defined path to conversion. And it’s probably a good idea to explore new content channels (such as video).

What are you doing to increase mobile conversions?

Read other Crazy Egg posts by Sharon Hurley Hall.

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