Good news for email marketing: The email attention window is growing


Is email marketing dead now that consumers are spending less time on email and seem more focused on other things, such as social media? Or is it still one of those elements that despite having a long life are still very effective?

Email marketing: is it effective or not?

One of those issues that comes up time and time again in the world of marketing and strategy is the life of email marketing. It is one of those everlasting topics of debate.

The truth is that the latest market movements and the latest studies give plenty of arguments to those who support the latter theory. For example, in recent times the media are creating newsletters and betting on them. They are a way to get back in control of the conversation, especially now that social networks have made things so difficult for them and are making it quite complicated for their content to reach the followers they have. In newsletters they control when and what is sent and, despite what you might think at first, consumers are receiving them enthusiastically.

Newsletters and new email marketing formulas

In fact, some media are even innovating in the field and are trying new and different things. The New York Times has just launched a pop-up newsletter, starring Game of Thrones. The media sends its subscribers (61,000 in three weeks) information related to the series. The opening rate is sometimes higher than 100%: some of your users open the newsletter more than once. It is not the first pop-up newsletter that they made in the newspaper, although they have achieved with these historical opening figures.

But it is not only the media’s interest that is a symptom that things are still going well for newsletters: it is also the fact that the attention spans they achieve are still very high.

According to a study conducted on billions of emails by the company Litmus, the amount of time we pay attention to newsletters has been increasing. According to their data, in 2011 we paid an average of 10.4 seconds of attention to emails. In 2016 it was already at 11.1, representing positive growth of 7%.

In addition, not only has time in general increased, but also quality time. The number of recipients who simply look at it and delete it has fallen, while the number of people who read it (and actually read it and not skim it) has increased. The data is very interesting and perhaps can be explained much better if you think about how we now read this content.

Mobile email marketing

Mobile, a key factor

In recent times, the use of mobile devices has been progressively increasing and it is often the first place where we see that we have mail. We don’t wait until we are at our desk to see what they are telling us, but we go straight in to see what is happening and what they want to tell us from our mobile. And, for email, that’s good news: we pay more attention to it on mobile.

According to the study data, mobile device users pay more attention to their emails than desktop users, and not less as you might think at first. The attention window for emails on mobile is progressively increasing as the number of emails we open in this space increases. In 2011 they were 20%, now they are 55%.

Therefore, the experts’ recommendations are to think mobile when sending e-mails and newsletters. Both the design and the subject line must be optimized to look good on mobile devices.