73% of mobile users access email on their phones daily. 51% of mobile users are checking email on their device at home, 18% at work, and 22% on the go. (All statistics are from this recent Return Path study.)
Mobile is important to email marketers, but while the email industry often focuses on how to make emails readable and easily acted upon from a mobile device, mobile also changes the game for the unsubscribe button.
The unsubscribe button is usually found in the footer of an email, sometimes in the preheader, but it’s never the first thing a recipient sees when they open an email. Why would it be? The focus of your email is the main message and call-to-action. Unfortunately, this makes the unsubscribe button often difficult to spot and act on, especially from a mobile device. As a result, it’s much easier (and faster) for recipients to continue to delete your mail if they don’t want to receive it anymore, rather than taking the time to unsubscribe. Eventually, your emails will likely be delivered to their junk folder, harming your sending reputation and eliminating you from being seen by your audience on a regular basis.
Some marketers think quantity is better than quality, so no matter how many people are acting on their emails, as long as they have a large list their email program is successful. They’re wrong. It’s important to have a continually growing list of subscribers that interact with your mail. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) take subscriber engagement into account when determining whether or not to deliver your mail to the inbox. If they see that a large number of subscribers aren’t engaging with you, they’ll assume that people don’t want your mail and are more likely to send your email to the junk folder. If they see that a large number of people are opening and clicking through your email, they’ll see that you’re sending mail that people want, and they’ll be more likely to deliver your mail to the inbox.
This is why it’s more important than ever to send only to engaged subscribers (i.e., people who have taken some sort of action with you…opened, clicked, etc.) in the last X number of days. Delivery experts would recommend only sending to those who have engaged in the last 30 or 60 (no more than 90) days, but it all depends on your email program. If you send a monthly newsletter, it’s probably worth it to go back six to nine months at first, and then cut it back as needed. If you send a daily email, 90 days is more reasonable. Use your email platform’s segmentation tool to accomplish this. If you’re a WhatCounts client, contact your services or technical account manager for assistance.
As more and more people view your emails from their mobile device, sending to engaged subscribers will avoid the issue of mobile users simply deleting your emails without interacting with you first. It will help keep your list clean, your sending reputation strong, and you can impress your boss with higher open and click rates. If cutting back your list worries you, implement a re-engagement campaign like WhatCounts client True Citrus recently found success with.
Questions? Leave a comment below!
Services Account Manager, WhatCounts