How are mobile, desktop and webmail categories defined?

The email clients tracked via Email Analytics will fall into one of three platforms or categories: Desktop, Webmail or Mobile. So: how do we define mobile, desktop and webmail categories?

Desktop

These email clients are installed software that is viewed by opening a program on a Mac or Windows PC. Email addresses from a variety of service providers (corporate/business domains as well as free services) can be viewed in desktop clients via IMAP or POP. This includes Outlook, Lotus Notes, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird.

Webmail

These email clients are viewed in a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) and generally provide email services to the public free of charge. This includes Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo! and AOL.

Note: Webmail opens made on smartphone browsers will be classified under the mobile category (i.e. Outlook.com using Android). See below for more details.

Mobile

This category includes email opens made via a smartphone or tablet, for example iPhone, Android, Blackberry, iPad, Kindle.

Mobile platform specifics

Opens tracked on smartphones and tablets are classified as a mobile open in your reports, regardless of the specific application used to open the email. In addition, webmail opens on smartphones (opens made outside an application, but still in the web browser on the device) are also classified as mobile opens.

Opens tracked for smartphones could appear in two different ways in your reports based on how the opener accessed the email via their device:

  1. Opens made via the default Mail app on a device will show up as that device (i.e. Android).
  2. Opens made via some third-party apps, or with the mobile browser on a smartphone can be reported as a subset of webmail opens (i.e. "Outlook.com using Android"), or as the default/native mail client.

Take an Outlook.com + Android user for example. If a user stored their Outlook.com account settings to open in the Mail application on their Android, their opens will appear under the main "Android" category. If the user opened the mobile browser on their Android, and checked their email by logging into Outlook.com, this open will appear as "Outlook.com using Android". Both types of smartphone opens, as well as Kindle/iPad webmail opens, will be listed in the mobile segment and have a platform category of 'mobile'.

Various mobile applications may report differently, depending on how the application was built. For example, opens made in the AOL application for iOS/iPad will report as "AOL Mail using iPad" within your Email Analytics report, whereas the Yahoo! mail application for iPhone reports as "Apple iPhone".

More details on third-party mail applications →

For Android devices, both the default Gmail and Mail applications will appear as "Android." Both types of smartphone opens are included in mobile counts, and will appear under the mobile platform in CSV reports.

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