Mobile eMail Marketing


Long time since my last post here. This is due to the fact that the last couple of months have been extremely busy, which is a good think as mobile marketing and the overall industry does not stop growing and evolves into an era of the future.

Another good thing  is that I came across a number of interesting topics that were worth investigating further. One of these is the oh so much talked about topic of Mobile Email Marketing. There are a number of articles and blog posts out and about but I tried to locate and elaborate on my findings, do some of my own research and add my personal point of view. So there you go…

Mobile eMail Marketing

Introduction

Living in the smart phone and mobile marketing era means that more and more consumers and users use smart phone devices on their day-to-day communications. It has been reported that 46% of the entire US mobile population are using smartphones. Given that iOS and Android devices are in a constant “war” for the best user interface and accessibility, the above number is expected to reach almost 60% by 2013.

To make the above figures and projections even more interesting, mobile email opens increased by 82% on smartphones and tablets, while opens on web mail and PCs decreased by 11% and 9.5% respectively from April to September 2011. Therefore, mobile is on track to become the dominant email platform by the end of the year, according to a new report from Return Path.

Many marketers still are not tracking how many emails are read on mobile devices and stay right here and go no further or look what are the challenges and opportunities of such advancement. Regardless it’s obvious and fast advancement; there is a large number of marketers who still believe that mobile is just a platform used on a bus on our way to work, or on foot while shopping and running chores. Quite the opposite, mobile email has turned into something more advanced and personal where users are found to browse and surf through emails on their mobile devices while at home on the sofa, at the park or even at the beach. In many cases users interact with each other via mobile emails instead of using text messages. Most of us create/choose our email addresses very carefully to be used for the rest of our lives, same with our mobile numbers.

Mobile email has developed into the most universal and acceptable way of consuming email in the modern-day, both for work and pleasure. So it’s important to take it seriously. With that in mind, mobile email will soon become, if not already, one of the most personal communication channels enabling marketers and brands to develop a one-to-one communication with the consumer.

So what are the opportunities and challenges faced in such medium? How can marketers benefit from such shift in email marketing?

Benefits & Challenges

The opportunities for such channel are plentiful, and so are the challenges. An effective mobile email campaign is expected to find the right balance and reach a large number of audience during their so-called “kill time”. On a Nielsen’s Usability Newsletter Report results showed that mobile email users to be more engaged than either web or desktop users, primarily due to this fact. So what are the so-called “DOs” and DON’Ts” and what really drives click-through and post-reader activity?

There is a significant list of tips or strategies for mobile email marketing that have already been mentioned and stressed out:

Get your subscribers’ attention – You only have two lines, in some cases 3, to convey your message across and interest your audience. Do it wisely through the display name, the subject line and the first row the message. Marketers need to make sure that their email address or display name is memorable and relevant with the rest of the message. It has been proved that the title of an email is what users instantly look. There is the need for the subject line to be indulging in order to get the click-through everybody expects. Finally make sure the first line of your email gives a small overview of what’s coming

Designed for mobile – Marketers need to make sure their message is also designed for a mobile audience who expect to retrieve the information they need instantly. Such need, however, does not come without its drawbacks. Even though smartphones hold a dominant share on the mobile device market, marketers need to thing across devices and operating systems. Currently emails cannot be scalable across all operating systems. For instance, only iOS devices download images instantly. Most operating systems require a user action to do so. Therefore embedded urls behind images are not the best way to go with. And remember, 63% of Americans and 41% of Europeans would ignore or delete an email not optimized for mobile

Designed for touch – With the latest addition to the Apple family, The New iPad, iOS devices account for 85% of the email readership. Therefore there is the obvious need to create a more touch friendly and interactive mobile email campaign. Call to actions need to be clear and easily “thumb-pressed”

Make your message appealing – Whether on touch devices or on featured phones, users are very selective with what they chose to read instantly, save it for later or just delete it. The key to an effective mobile email strategy in that case is great offers, good products or a call to action that is time sensitive

Timing – As with any mobile advertising strategy and medium, mobile email marketers should consider the time of the day and the location of the recipient. Users are more likely to read a promotional email in the evening while relaxing at home or in the morning when they are eager for news stories and information.

The after math – Maybe the single most important element of a mobile email campaign is the seamless experience the user receives after interacting with the email. 82% of users who access an unfriendly mobile site close the browser, and 62% turn to a competitor’s site. Therefore the need for a seamless and engaging mobile web experience is vital. A mobile email campaign will be rather considered bold if the right post-click experience is missing. From small product promotion to full enterprise campaigns, marketers need to make sure that every mobile email interaction or url redirects users to a mobile web page or action like product information, coupon download or vide gallery and convert the readers into customers.

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