How email is received has changed hugely in the last couple of years. Once upon a time, emails were only picked up on desktop computers when people had the time to sit down, log on and catch up. Today email is read on the go via the plethora of mobile devices that are now commodities to the general population. Mobile access has rejuvenated email marketing to both the consumer and B2B, giving direct access into individuals in a potentially highly personalised and customised way.

There has been an 81% growth in mobile email readership, with 16% now read on devices, 36% at a desktop and 48% via webmail (returnpath. net). Increased access has made email open rates soar and responses (or at least open rates) have also increased.

Boredom is also a key factor in increased open rates. I know if I’m on a train or waiting for a friend or colleague to arrive I’ll get out my iphone and scan through the emails that have arrived in the ten minutes since I left my desk. I know that I am also far more likely to read those emails that perhaps in the office I’d delete instantly, just to fill the time while I’m waiting.

Email marketing never died, it’s always been a low-cost marketing tool that, done well, can get you and your brand in front of your target market. New technology has given email the boost that it needed to compete with SMS in terms of mobile access, and with more Wifi hotspots than ever and 3/4G improving nationally, it is conceivable that email may in time replace text on mobile devices.

There are however new challenges that come with the influx of email on mobile devices. The software used to read emails has also subsequently become a lot more varied, and getting your email to look the same across all software is quite a challenge. Now more than ever it is really important to check how your email will appear on iphones, blackberry, Lotus Notes etc. Good clean code combined with minimal use of large images is the best way to ensure success.

Social media has also played its part in boosting email response rates. Updates and posts are all pushed to the user’s email box, and the addictive nature of social media has many people poised over the ‘get new mail’ button to read about what Jon has been up to today. Social media will never replace email; we will always need a private and independent way to communicate online, but Social Media does supplement how we communicate online in a massive way. If your thinking about writing a social media plan, read our recent blog entry for tips.

In conclusion, email marketing is far from dead, in fact the future looks very bright. Offering a greater depth of content than SMS, more privacy than a social network’s private messaging system (?), and the ability to link to further content we believe that email has a lot more to give.

If you’re considering using are or already using email marketing but would like some advice or support, please get in touch with Oyster on 01243 389713 or email hello@oysterdesign.co.uk.