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Emails are becoming increasingly active, with the use of animation, scrolling, and video more than doubling from 2012 to 2013, according to a recent report from Experian Marketing Services.

The use of animated GIFs, in particular, has spiked significantly, with 74% of marketers saying they have experimented with including them in emails. Other popular active features include responsive mobile design (33% have used), movable ink (27%), video (26%), and horizontal or multi-directional scroll (26%).

Below, additional insights from the 2014 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, which summarizes key findings from previous Experian studies.

Customer Data and Preferences

  • Only 35% of marketers ask customers how often they would like to be emailed.
  • 60% of marketers do not give customers the option to select the types of emails they want to receive.
  • In 2013, 18% more marketers collected the birth date of customers than in 2012, and 16% more collected ZIP Codes.

Platform Trends

  • Half of all unique email opens now occur on a mobile device. Webmail and desktop are tied as the second most popular devices/platforms for opening email, each with 23% of opens.
  • Mobile also leads in click rates (39%), though webmail is close behind (35%).
  • However, the largest number of transactions triggered by email still comes from webmail (48%), followed by desktop (25%).

  • The iPhone is the most commonly used mobile device for email opens and clicks. Android phones are third for opens and transactions, but second for clicks.
  • The iPad garners the most transactions from emails of any mobile device.

About the research: The 2014 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report was based on data from previous Experian studies.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji