Commercial emails opened on mobile devices are on pace to surpass PC opens by the end of 2013, according to recent research from data and digital messaging solutions provider Knotice.

Its Mobile Email Opens Report: 2nd Half 2012 (PDF) finds that as of yearend 2012, 41% of commercial emails were opened on mobile devices (smartphone or tablet).

That's up from 36% in the first half of 2012, and 27% a year earlier (at yearend 2011).

The Hospitality and Consumer Services industries have the highest mobile email open rates (44.2% and 50.3%, respectively), while B2B and Healthcare have the lowest mobile email open rates (17.3% and 19.1%, respectively).

Below, additional findings from Mobile Email Opens Report: 2nd Half of 2012

iOS Dominance

The iPhone and iPad accounted for 33.0% of all email opens in the last half of 2012, up from 29.3% in 1H12. Android phones or tablets accounted for 6.6% of all opens occurring on Android phones or tablets in 2H12.

Together, those two operating systems account for 99.8% of all mobile email opens.

Mobile Email Click Activity

The vast majority of email clicks still take place on desktop computers, while clicks on tablets have begun to surpass clicks on phones.

Click to open (CTO) rates (the ratio of clicks to email opens) vary widely by industry and platform:

Multiple-Opens Myth

Only about 2% of emails opened were again opened on another device in 2H12. And only 0.07% of emails opened via a mobile device were again opened on another device, down from 0.09% in the first half of 2012.

If an email renders poorly on a mobile device, or if there isn't a seamless optimization of the post-click experience, there is a missed opportunity with the mobile opener, Knotice concluded.

For the Retail industry segment, the details for the first and second half of 2012 are as follows:

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Email Opens on Mobile Devices Close to Tipping Point

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image of Vahe Habeshian

Vahe Habeshian is the director of publications at MarketingProfs and a longtime editor. Reach him via

LinkedIn: Vahe Habeshian

Twitter: @habesh