With an unmatched ROI of 42-1, email continues to be one of the strongest marketing tools available today, with engagement growing year over year, said Cynthia Price, vice president of marketing, Litmus. We see several factors driving that engagement—from pervasive mobile access to new interactive functionality, and email marketers' increasing savviness in how to present relevant and exciting content.
The study aggregates data from email campaigns sent by Litmus clients, which include leading companies in tech, retail, finance, and hospitality. Litmus tracked and analyzed more than 10 billion email opens using Litmus Email Analytics to understand which email clients subscribers use, when they are most likely to open email, how long they engage with email messages, whether they forward emails, and more.
Key insights from the report include
- Read-time has gone up by 21 percent.
The average time that a recipient spends reading an email increased to 13.4 seconds in 2018, up from 11.1 seconds in 2016.
- Morning is the perfect time of day to send an email.
The most common time of day for reading emails is in the morning, with approximately 20 percent of emails in the U.S. being read between 900 a.m. and noon. However, email opens continue throughout the day, with some variance by region. In Spain, there is a second spike in email opens between 400 and 500 p.m., and Australians and New Zealanders get started earlier than the rest of the world, with mobile opens picking up as early as 500 a.m.
- The majority of opened emails—84 percent—are being read or at least skimmed.
Sixty-one percent of all emails analyzed were tracked as being read by the recipients, with a read time of eight seconds or more (Litmus's standard benchmark for measuring subscriber readership). Another 23 percent of emails were skimmed, and 15 percent received a glance.
- Mobile access goes hand-in-hand with increased email engagement.
Mobile appears to be a major factor in driving increased email readership. Mobile devices are the most popular reading environment, with 42 percent of emails opened on smartphones or tablets.
- Forwarding and printing provide clues to engagement.
Of every 170 emails that are opened, one is forwarded, and of every 313 emails opened, one is printed. For those sharing coupons or looking to generate conversation, these can be important metrics to track. While both are less than one percent, these metrics can provide email marketers with valuable insights and a benchmark for future campaigns.
The State of Email Engagement report and blog post provide tips on how email marketers can act on the data to optimize email campaigns that will effectively reach email subscribers.