Email Marketing on Mobile Devices – It’s a Good Thing

Have you ever gotten an email marketing message on your mobile device? What was the experience like? Did you delete it as soon as you saw the subject line? Or, did you delete it after you realized the images were too big to fit on your screen? If it was a compelling offer or relevant news, then you probably showed more patience.

So, what are the odds that your email marketing message will be viewed on a mobile device? And more importantly, the odds that it will be read? According to the eROI, an independent digital agency, 12% of email marketing messages are read on a mobile device. When certain times of the day were considered, that number jumped to 19%

With such significant percentages, it makes sense to consider the needs of customers viewing your email marketing message on mobile devices.

Here are some tips to help you construct your email with the possibility that it will be viewed on a mobile platform.

  1. Know mobile use trends – eROI found in their studies that users are most likely to be on their mobile device early in the morning or in the evening. Also, the rate of mobile email use increases dramatically between Thursday at 5pm and Monday at 9am. Knowing when your users may be on a mobile device will effect the way you market.  If you have large images and  a lot of text in a newsletter you’re sending, then it’s probably wise to avoid peak mobile use times.
  2. Take Advantage of Mobile Use – Some evidence suggests that users are more likely to purchase your product from a laptop or desktop. However, you can take advantage of mobile usage trends by having mobile-oriented goals during peak usage. If you have an enticing, time-sensitive subject line with text-only or quick-loading content, then a mobile user will be likely to open the email. Just make sure that your call-to-action links to a web page that is mobile friendly. And, use this time not to focus on a hard sale, but on using mobile-specific capabilities to strengthen the relationship with the customer. For example, you can offer a coupon in exchange for liking you on Facebook — an easy task for the mobile user.
  3. Consider How the Content Renders – Flash elements, and large images are likely not to render correctly on the mobile device. And, an  ecommerce site with lots of buttons and inputs may be hard to manage. It makes sense, then, that if you must have these elements for the majority of recipients, then you should at least include a link in your email body that says “Viewing on a mobile device?”  Clicking on the link takes you to a mobile-friendly web page. If you want to include eCommerce on that mobile-friendly page, you can simplify it by using a Google Checkout button or Paypal button – both have mobile-friendly interfaces.
  4. Have an Excellent Subject Line and Content – Mobile email clients do not have preview panes. So, the subject line in and of itself must be compelling enough to engage the reader. Give yourself some homework and start paying attention to the subject lines you do and do not open on your mobile and ask yourself, “Why?” Keep a log of the emails you open on your mobile device and try to emulate the strategies employed.
  5. Test, test, test – Try viewing your marketing messages on your mobile device. Make sure to test how they render and decide if you need a link to a web page that is mobile-friendly.

With mobile usage on the rise, users are increasingly viewing marketing messages on the smartphones and handhelds. Savvy marketers should always be aware of this when using email marketing. In the next blog, I will discuss how to create a mobile-friendly web page. It’s easier than you think.

Remember, the little extra effort to create mobile-friendly messages (at least once in a while) will be well worth it. It provides yet another platform for the customer to view and think about your brand and product. In addition, it offers the opportunity to engage them with mobile-friendly activities such as Facebook likes and viewing mobile-friendly web pages.

Also remember, most web-based email marketing firms choose to ignore this topic. In fact, Mailchimp recommends making your email 600px in width, which will not render correctly.

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