Email Open Data Shows High Adoption Rates for iOS 7

Posted by Tom Sather 

According to email open rates, Apple’s iOS 7 update, the largest iOS update since the release of the iPhone, surpassed the 50% mark of all iOS opens in just three days showing high adoption rates that would make Google’s Android and previous iOS versions envious. In just the first 24 hours of its September 18th release, iOS 7 accounted for 31.3% of all email opens and reached 52% in its third day, likely propelled by users upgrading to the iPhone 5c and 5s that were released on September 20th. One week later, iOS has a 61% adoption rate over the previous iOS 6. In comparison, Android 4.3, Android’s latest OS update launched in July, only has a .1% adoption rate. A unified OS means developers need to only worry about testing for one OS, rather than many, and it also means that it’s easier to support.

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With the new iOS 7 come new updates to Apple’s Mail app, most noteably the ability to swipe to junk. Moving an email to junk in iOS required multiple steps that caused many people to ignore the feature and delete the emails instead. A user can still click on Edit, select the message and choose Mark, and then Move to Junk. A much easier way to mark an email as Junk is to swipe left, click on More:

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and then Move to Junk:

 

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MailUp tested this feature to see how it affected spam filtering in iOS, and discovered that the first time a message is marked as junk, nothing happens to future messages. However, moving a message to junk from a sender a second time appears to cause all future messages to be delivered straight to junk.

I predict that it’s likely not going to have any noticeable effect on open rates for emails. It is still easier for people to delete a message than it is to move it to junk. This should be a relief for email marketers – iOS 7 beta 6 had the Junk button in place of where the Trash sat in previous versions. I found myself mistakenly marking hundreds of messages as junk instead of just deleting them as intended. It was a relief to see Apple correct.

One thing I will predict is that email opens on mobile devices will finally reach the tipping point by year’s end. Joel Book at ExactTarget covered some of our data recently showing that open rates on mobile devices are now at 48%. In fact, mobile is the primary device to read emails on for the majority of industries, and has already reached the tipping point for Educational Services, Banking, Retail, Real Estate, Utilities and more. As our previous studies indicate, subscribers are likely to delete emails if they’re not optimized for mobile. Dale Langley, recently wrote a great 3-part series on responsive design for mobile. You can read them here, here and here.

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About Tom Sather

Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.

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