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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2016-02-24

Techies and fans of the smartphone continue to obsess about potential features likely coming in the latest version (7) of the iPhone, to be released this fall. Some are fixated on details such as the removal of antenna bands and the addition of a flush rear camera. Others are generating conspiracy theories regarding the omission of the headphone jack.

But the most intriguing fact to me is that, despite all the advances and new technologies, email continues to be the most used function on the smartphone—more than any other utility or app. According to a new “Devices and Demographics” survey from marketing firm Fluent, over a quarter (25.5%) of respondents said that email is the most popular activity on their phone, followed by social media (19.8% of respondents) and gaming (19.1% of respondents). 

Women are slightly more likely to use email: 26.4% of women said they use their smartphones most for email, compared to 24.5% of men. (Women are also more likely to use their phones for social media, but men are more likely to use their phones for gaming.) Older users were even more likely to use email as the top feature: smartphone users ages 55 or older are most likely to use email (34.5%) and least likely to use social media (11.5%).

The takeaways of this report for B2B email marketers:


  • Make sure your emails work on mobile screens: Your customers’ buying journey is more likely than ever to begin on a mobile device. Don’t lose them from the get-go; make sure they can open, view and click on your easy-to-read messages from their mobile device.


  • Ensure your website/landing page looks good on mobile: Rigorously test your emails on myriad smartphones and mobile devices to ensure that your landing page functions properly and looks good on mobile screens.


  • Set-up mobile payments: Mobile payment usage continues to surge, so it’s essential to have a one-click payment system, such as Amazon Pay or PayPal, enabled for your offering or service. The flip side of requiring users to type in a billing/shipping address, credit card number and various other fields on a small screen will significantly hinder sales conversions.


  • Ride the apps wave: As marketers drive prospects to engage with them via the most popular apps (think Pinterest or YouTube), they need to deliver significant presence and content on each. That’s why it’s important to know the top apps used by your targets. Consider this: Forrester says mobile users only use an average of 24 apps per smartphone each month, and spend 80% of their time on just their top five apps.  

As user expectations of mobile devices escalate, the onus is on marketers to reach prospects where they prevalently are (i.e. on their smartphones) – not where marketers find it convenient to serve them (i.e. just laptops). Now more than ever, B2B marketers with weak (or no) mobile aspects to their email campaigns are likely losing customers. Integrating mobile capabilities into their programs will enable them to increase reach, responses and sales.

Indeed, mobile should no longer be an afterthought, but an essential strategy for B2B marketing. Getting it right can be the difference between a flat year and a high-growth year, and anyone who disputes that point just needs to look at the numbers above.


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Image credit: Image courtesy of fantasista at

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