Lauren Kaye

Competition is stiff for consumers’ inboxes, particularly around the holidays when people are bombarded with promotional offers. Gmail’s new inbox tabs throw new obstacles into the mix, a study from Epsilon asserted, with messages diverted into the “Promotions” tab opened less frequently. To run successful content marketing campaigns during the busiest time of the year, brands are wise to send messages that match consumers’ behaviors, according to email success rates from Thanksgiving weekend noted by Movable Ink

Consumers opened 38 percent more emails on Black Friday than they did on Cyber Monday, Movable Ink found. Among those opened one day after Thanksgiving (when most people hit brick-and-mortar locations), 57.5 percent were opened on smartphones and 26.5 percent on desktop computers. The remaining 16 percent were opened on tablets.

Comparatively lower open rates on Cyber Monday suggest shoppers planned their purchases for Black Friday and the rest of Thanksgiving weekend after reading emails and browsing companies’ product offerings. Marketers may need to accelerate their production timelines in order to get brand content in front of target audiences still hungry for offers and information.

Consumers opened more than 40 percent of emails on desktop devices on Cyber Monday.

It’s also important to consider how recipients interact with email messages. On Cyber Monday, desktop open rates cut into smartphones’ lead. Consumers opened more than 40 percent of emails on desktop devices on Cyber Monday, compared with just over a quarter of opens on Black Friday.

This behavioral shift makes sense, given that people likely made web purchases on Cyber Monday and wanted to have access to a keyboard to navigate online shopping carts. There’s a much higher margin of error when entering credit card and contact information on small smartphone screens – not to mention that online stores are harder to navigate on mobile devices.

In the battle of email marketing, brands need to have enough foresight to spot potential stumbling blocks like device preferences and usability. Only then can marketers optimize campaigns to overcome challenges and outperform competitors.