Apple CEMIt seems that two indomitable forces that loom large in the world of customer engagement marketing continue to be email and Apple. These were the main findings of a recent study conducted by SendGrid, a cloud-based customer engagement platform. The study was an undertaking that not only marked the 33rd anniversary of email, but also took a comprehensive look at its current efficacy.

And, overall, the performance of this enduring and ubiquitous customer engagement channel was prodigiously positive.

After collecting and analyzing data over two 10-day periods in 2014 and 2015 respectively (which encompassed more than 10 billion emails), SendGrid found that Apple is the king of email engagement. Almost half (45%) of all emails sent and received in the United States are opened on some kind of Apple device. This includes iPhones, iPads, Mac desktops, and Macbooks.

But even though Apple remains supreme in this respect, emails are still quite popular on on other systems and platforms as well.

Globaly, Windows-based devices were found to be the second fastest growing segment for all opened emails. Specifically, emails opened on a Windows devise rose by almost 4% from just last year alone.  

In the United States, however, Android and Linux devices are the fastest growing segments. Combined, they saw an impressive 71.4% increase in use.

"Email remains the standard for online B2B and B2C communication, despite the rise in over-the-top (OTT) messaging and social media platforms," said Aaron Beach, senior data scientist at SendGrid. "Email is the world's number one engagement tool and is still the most cost-effective way for companies to interact with their customers."

For marketers, this means email is still extremely viable. And SendGrid sees brands such as CBS Interactive, Taco Bell, Spotify and Airbnb increasingly leverage email. These brands are currently sending over 20 billion emails per month to their expanding base of customers.

And since SendGrid exists at the vortex of this email nexus, it also included some helpful customer engagement tips in its report.

After analyzing 5 million unique subject lines in nearly 18 million emails, SendGrid recommends that brands do the following to enhance relevance and targeting, and to increase email opens.

1) Short Subject Lines: SendGrid noticed that seven word subject lines are the most common, but three word subject lines are more successful.

2) Choose Words Carefully: Many customers appear to prefer certain words, and brands should strive to understand the difference between the right word and a similar word. For example, subject lines with the words “yesterday” and “tomorrow” have higher open rates than emails with the word “today,” which was almost 10% less successful than its diurnal counterparts.

3) Avoid Using Links and Hashtags: Apparently, people simply do not respond well to these features. On average, only about 10% of emails with a link or a hashtag in the subject line is ever opened.

These are all factors that customer engagement marketers many want to strongly consider, because email does not yet appear to be losing its relevance.

In fact, the exponential increase in mobile and social connectivity, and the multitude of digital interactions between, may only hasten the need for organizations to optimize email-marketing strategies.

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