Case study: Mobile email big business within the performance channel

In this case study, Matt Swan, client strategist, Affiliate Window highlights how findings from basket abandonment publisher Ve Interactive indicate a move towards consumers accessing emails via mobile devices.

One of the most rapidly evolving phenomenons in how consumers are accessing information digitally is the devices they’re turning to in order to access their emails. In fact, 41 per cent of emails are currently viewed on a mobile device. With this figure widely expected to surpass desktop by the end of this year, there are clear opportunities and threats for advertisers in how they approach mobile email opportunities in the performance channel.Retargeting customers who have abandoned their baskets has also shown considerable growth in the past couple of years and with the rise of mobile commerce, the two elements have combined to enable re-targeting through mobile devices.Just as we see sectors such as group buying significantly over indexing in terms of the share of sales generated through mobile devices, we also see basket abandonment emails outperform other publisher types generating sales through mobile handsets.Performance network Affiliate Window found that 13 per cent of all sales that a basket abandonment publisher (Ve Interactive) drives are generated through mobile handsets; more than double that across the network as a whole and again indicative of changing consumer behaviour and the move towards mobile email. This can be broken down further to look at the handsets that are generating sales. This has also been compared to a report produced by data management company Knotice looking into the devices that were being used to view emails in Q3 and Q4 2012. Knotice saw 29 per cent of all email being opened on mobile devices. By focusing purely on mobile handsets Affiliate Window was able to compare the devices that are typically being used for viewing emails to those that are driving sales for Ve Interactive. From the chart above it is evident that Ve Interactive sees similar trends across devices for transactions as Knotice has seen for consumers receiving their email. However, the publisher slightly over indexes on sales through Android and Blackberry while it under indexes on the iPhone and ‘other’ handsets. Over 65 per cent of sales are generated through the iPhone, showing that not only is it the most popular handset for picking up email, but also that iPhone users also show a high propensity to transact with the retailers being promoted.The Android/iPhone trend is one to watch as Android is leading the smartphone charge, with the gap set to narrow considerably in 2013.By looking at the advertisers that are generating not only significant volumes of sales through mobile handsets, but also a high proportion of their total sales, we can begin to understand the sectors that are performing well through mobile commerce, particularly through email.Daily deals and group buying are two sectors that have performed exceptionally well on mobile devices and tie in with the convenience afforded through accessing emails through handsets. Ve Interactive has generated 26 per cent of sales for one daily deal site through mobile handsets. Consumers are readily turning to mobile to ensure they are kept up to date with the latest offers so they do not miss out on any deals.This is not the only sector that is thriving through mobile, however. Ve Interactive has also driven significant volumes of sales through handsets for advertisers within retail, telecoms and travel with upwards of 20 per cent of sales generated through mobile handsets for some advertisers within these sectors.Roddy Scaife, production director, Ve Interactive commented: “The increase in the use of smartphones for opening and reading emails initiates new and diverse opportunities for marketers. As smartphones can significantly support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) functionalities over desktop emails, the engagement and experience can be improved to maximise click-through rate."With mobile set to overtake desktop as the favoured device for picking up email by the end of the year, advertisers can benefit from close partnerships with the publishers that are able to effectively target consumers through mobile devices.Research conducted by Matt Swan, client strategist, Affiliate Window

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