Why Email Marketers Need To Pay Attention to Mobile

George-Bilbrey

If you're in marketing, then you've most likely had at least a few conversations about mobile. The term alone can be confusing; mobile has a lot of meanings and area of concentration (SMS, web-browsing, email viewership, location services, etc.)  Because my company is in the email game, we're focused on the impact mobile has on email marketing and deliverability. We released the results of a study we did on mobile email habits ("Email on the Move: The Future of Mobile Messaging") and there were several great takeaways and actionable items for mobile and email marketers.  Here are a few things that jumped out at me:

You may need a strategy for tablets . Our study revealed a 15% growth in email viewership on an iPad in just six months.  iPads (and, presumably other tablets) are rapidly growing in usage. It's time to pay attention and experiment with the best practices and tactics to reach your market in this environment. If your subscriber base is in line with this trend, how are you going to adjust and react?

Mobile readership goes up over the weekend. Relevance is about so much more than just content. The time of day, day of the week or hour in the day you send something can greatly impact users' behavior and their relationship with your email. With the increase in mobile email readership, people are constantly accessing and reading email. We learned that mobile readership goes way up over the weekend. This is something to keep in mind when planning your email marketing campaigns and when designing your email for rendering optimization.   The same email address is more and more likely to have multiple viewing environments.

Image is everything. The key to your Sender Score reputation is relevance. And I can think of no quicker way to become irrelevant than by sending email that your audience can't read. Even the smartest of smartphones can be dumb about how it handles images and layout, so test the various configurations and optimize for the devices most often used by your audience. Of course, even in cases where images are enabled by default, travel and dead zones can mean that your email won't be image-enabled. If your subscribers can't read the email, they aren't getting the message. Be mindful of sending email that is so image-heavy that it is useless if images are turned off.

Ignoring mobile may have real consequences .  If your subscribers are mobile-savvy, and your email isn't optimized for these environments, you run more than just the risk of missing out on communication. By not reaching customers the way they prefer, your emails will go unread, marked as spam and your messages will be ignored - all greatly impacting your reputation and deliverability.  Take a careful look at your subscribers and see how many of them are viewing your email on a mobile device. If your base's usage is consistent with our reported trends, consider making some changes to incorporate this mobile segment now, to protect both your engagement and your deliverability.

What about complaints? Most "native" mobile email clients don't have a "report spam" button.  If you're seeing an improving complaint rate, is that because more subscribers are reading in mobile clients -- or is that because you've improved your relevancy?

What changes are you considering to your email program to take advantage of mobile technology? What risks do you see emerging as smartphones and tablets continue to proliferate?

Tags: email
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