A new Knotice study has revealed strong increases in the interaction of mobile devices with email marketing. In the first six months of 2012, 36 percent of emails sent were opened on a mobile device – a 32 percent increase over the last half of 2011, when 27 percent of sent emails were opened via a mobile device.
That's massive in the span of just a few months.
What's it mean? Email marketing is becoming mobile marketing.
Not search marketing, you say? No, maybe not directly, but indirectly – this brings email marketing a lot more attention.
Attention is something email marketing has been lacking for a long time. It's by and large done very poorly, even when it has the potential to be the highest converting form of online marketing. By becoming a subset of mobile marketing, hopefully email marketing becomes mainstream and "sexy" to more businesses.
I've been a massive fan of email marketing for many years. The issue? It doesn’t get a lot of traction at search marketing conferences or on blogs because, while it's a marketing channel that operates online, to date it hasn’t had a heavy influence on search.
If email marketing is the new mobile marketing, what can you do to compete with the few and proud that do it very well? In the past, email marketing was the thing you had to do, was done at the last minute, and was largely a send it and forget it proposition.
Hopefully that attitude is about to change.
It's estimated that nearly 26 percent of email is accessed via mobile phones. Android and iOS operating systems are pulling away from the pack when it comes to usage. Most mobile phone users with purchasing power now have smartphones. Making sure your email marketing pieces are readable and accessible via mobile devices is quickly coming an important part of converting your message into dollars.
Some tactics will help improve conversions on mobile device emails. Keep in mind you need to test, and test some more, to see what works for your specific position. These tips are designed to help make the most of the users who view your blasts on mobile devices.
Make sure you use text and images in your blast. A blast that comes full of images actually loads very poorly until the user allows the blast to load the images. There's not a lot in these types of blasts to draw the eye.
Check out the blast version on the left compared to the version on the right below:
On the left, the only clickable option is to unsubscribe. On the right, recipients can click the link to the deal online, and a good amount of text that tells the reader what the blast consists of, there's also the brand name within the image box before it loads.
Along with optimizing your images to be mobile friendly, make sure the header you deliver to mobile devices is much smaller than the normal email header. Those take up a lot of room and aren’t very pinch-and-flick-friendly.
This blast from Coach Factory Outlet is one gigantic image that has a logo that's centered so when it loads on my mobile phone, it's mostly just white space. This is a wasted branding and sales opportunity!
Put a link to a version of your blast at the very top and make sure it's left justified. You can then send the user to a landing page that is very simple and mobile friendly.
The messaging in this example is good because it encourages you to make the email a priority and has the message in text within the link. The recipient knows what this blast is about, even before the images appear.
Right below your website link – make sure you have a phone number that would render "click to call" on a mobile phone. I would love to show you all an example, but I can't find anyone who's doing this – you'd be the first – send me an example if you do!
As you can see, common sense and testing can make your email blast friendly for both mobile and non-mobile devices. Good programs can help you render nice emails. So can some planning and design thought before you're ready to send.
Please feel free to share your mobile-friendly email tips in the comments below.