Kahuna Mobile Marketing Index: Mobile Is Fast Surpassing The PC For Email Engagement

Industry benchmark finds that more than 70% of customers of mobile-centric brands open their email on mobile devices

PALO ALTO, Calif.–November 4, 2015 —Kahuna, the leader in communication automation, today released its second industry mobile marketing benchmark report, revealing key insights to help brands engage customers with strategic, personalized messaging automation.  Among the key findings this quarter: more than 70% of customers of mobile-centric brands open their email on mobile devices. The finding underscores the importance of omnichannel integration in the age of mobile, when customers increasingly are relying on mobile devices in a wide range of communication modalities — push notifications, in-app messaging, email, and others.  To download a copy of the report, click here.

“While other benchmarks are finding that roughly half of all consumers are already opening their email first on mobile devices, the numbers become even more dramatic for customers of  mobile-focused brands,”said Adam Marchick. “Because mobile-first is fast becoming a trend for marketers, it behooves them to watch these and other usage patterns.”

Launched last quarter, the benchmark series—The Kahuna Mobile Marketing Index—analyzes opt-in and retention rates for apps across 15 different verticals, including travel, sports, music, finance, and eCommerce. A quarterly report culled from anonymized data gathered from more than 400 million user profiles, provides marketers everywhere with up-to-date insights on trends in mobile consumer adoption and behavior.  

Other key findings this quarter:


  • Push notification opt-in rates remained steady. The opt-in rate across iOS and Android increased slightly from 62% to 64% since the last Kahuna Mobile Marketing Index. Android continues to have a much higher opt in rate, but with the permission changes associated with Android Marshmallow, brands should keep a close eye on this metric.
  • Compelling messaging has a material impact on churn rates and uninstalls. The data reveals intelligent communication can increase 90-day retention by as much as 5x in certain categories. Each category analyzed experienced churn reduction across 30, 60 and 90- day periods as a result of messaging. The data also showed that, in some cases, users were actually less likely to uninstall an application if they had received a message within at least 30 days.
  • Ad blocking will likely raise acquisition costs. Brands must lean on owned communication channels like push notifications, in-app messages and email to maximize retention. The data reveals personalized communication increases 90-day retention rates by as much as 185%.

“Recent consumer adoption of ad-blocking tools are encouraging more brands to look closely at their owned communication channels,” said Douglas Roberge, strategic services consultant at Kahuna, and author of the report. “While it is doubtful that there will be an adpocalypsethe radical deconstruction of the advertising industry—a long-term trend that brands can bet on is expansion of owned communications. With our quarterly benchmark, we hope to track that development in detail as it happens.”

About Kahuna

Kahuna is a pioneer in communication automation, dedicated to empowering businesses to grow and thrive in the mobile era. We enable a new level of authentic engagement between brands and their customers wherever they are—the web, email, mobile, social channels—through personalized communication at scale. Powered by big data and machine learning, we help create delightful experiences for every customer with the perfect message, delivered on the right channel, at just the right time.

Kahuna is trusted by Yelp, The Hearst Corporation, Overstock.com, The Weather Channel, and hundreds of other leading brands. Headquartered in Silicon Valley and with offices in New York, Kahuna was founded in 2012 and is funded by Sequoia Capital, SoftTech VC, Tenaya Capital, and others.