Avoid The Email Zombie Attack
Zombies are cool -- and if you love zombies you have to love email. Don’t see the correlation? Let me explain.
You can see it on the streets – hordes of people shuffling along, bumping into things, unstoppable in their consumption of content unless you shoot them in the head. Zombies have risen from the dead and they’ve brought email with them. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, email is more mobile now than ever before and you see it everywhere, all the time.
Mobile has changed the way we consume all sorts of content, especially news. There was a time when everyone carried a newspaper or periodical onto the train or the subway. It was a two-handed, disposable experience. You read it, it was done, and you threw it out. It was already out of date when you started reading it, and more so when you threw it out.
Those days are gone forever. Now I read every paper, blog and email with one hand, standing or sitting, on a smartphone or tablet. I carry it with me everywhere -- I never throw it out.
Now the world of mobile tools and news apps isn’t novel. It’s happened fast, and we’ve seen what it’s done to publishers – forced them to realign their businesses around a new medium and content distribution model. As much as these trends disrupt publishers and cause them to reassess their business models, it’s doing the same thing for everyone in the marketing ecosystem.
In short, the rise of the smartphone and tablet is nothing short of the re-animation and rebirth of email.
According to Mary Meeker’s latest Web 2.0 presentation, sales of smartphones have already eclipsed the sale of PCs. In August, for the first time, US sales of smartphones also eclipsed the sale of so-called feature phones. And comScore has found that email consumption in mobile is growing in lockstep with the sales of smartphones.
Why is this important? It means that more and more people are spending their time reading email on the go. Email, given up for dead years ago, has risen from the grave and now can he seen walking down the street. (Get the metaphor?)
Before smartphones and tablets arrived, reading commercial or HTML email was a pretty painful experience. Why? Because most email readers on non-smartphone mobile devices used proprietary, non-HTML readers, mangling commercial and news email messages and making them unreadable and, more importantly, unclickable. A commercial email you can’t click from is an email that is as good as dead. Add HTML capability to that email, and you’re back from the dead instantly.
With the arrival of HTML-enabled smartphones and tablets, email came back to life. Now, according to the same comScore report, “personal email use attracted the largest audience with more than 81 million mobile users in August 2011.” For two years in a row, email use has led all other categories – beating weather, social networking, and gaming by healthy margins.
There are 168 million emails sent in one minute and 188 billion sent in one day. It is clear email is back and not going anywhere. So, like zombie books and TV shows, mobile emails are multiplying by the minute.
If you are a marketer and you aren’t designing your email program for this new Zombi-fied world of mobile devices, then the only thing that’s gonna really die is your client satisfaction and revenues.
Dave Hendricks is the COO and CFO of LiveIntent.