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The best thing any marketer can do in January is analyse the results from the year just gone, identify areas that need attention, key improvements and successes.

To give you a hand, I’ve put together an overview of how email client use has evolved over the course of 2016, which can help guide your strategy for email design.

The stats are based on all the emails sent from MessageFocus over the course of 2016. You might be familiar with them from our monthly update on the Top 10 Email Clients page.

Mobile opens still on the rise, desktop slowly dying

When we did this analysis last year, desktop opens were on a steady decline but keeping well above webmail. 2016 saw the two continuously battling for the second spot. Unsurprisingly, mobile opens continued to increase throughout the year reaching theĀ peak in December at 68 percent. However, growth has started to slow down, with opens increasing only 19 percent year-on-year compared to 30 percent the year before.

Email client split 2016

Top 10 email clients – January versus DecemberĀ 

Like the year before, Outlook opens continued to drop, losing 7.3 percentage points between January and December. Gmail and Android have seen a cumulative growth of 4 percentage points with Yahoo! Mail, Apple Mail and Windows Live Mail all declining – the curse of the ‘Mail’ perhaps?

January 2016

  1. iPhone 27.8%
  2. iPad 19%
  3. Outlook 19%
  4. Gmail 11.5%
  5. Android 8.5%
  6. Apple Mail 3%
  7. Yahoo! Mail 2.8%
  8. Hotmail 2.6%
  9. AOL 2.1%
  10. Windows Live Mail 1.9%


December 2016

  1. iPhone 33.1%
  2. iPad 22.8%
  3. Gmail 12.6%
  4. Outlook 11.7%
  5. Android 11.4%
  6. AOL 3.0%
  7. Yahoo! Mail 1.8%
  8. Apple Mail 1.4%
  9. Windows Live Mail 1%
  10. iCloud 0.9%


Now it’s your turn! Go to your email service provider’s reports and find out what your top 10 looks like. It’s the only way to know what you should be optimising for as each audience is different.