Make Sure Mobile Factors Into Your Holiday Email Marketing

As you dive into holiday marketing planning and preparation, take time now to make sure that every aspect of your email program gives your mobile customers a shopping experience that approaches the desktop shopping experience.

In the 2014 holiday season, your customers are even more likely to read email, click on offers, redeem coupons, browse and buy on smartphones and tablets. Consider these statistics from the 2013 holiday shopping season:

· Mobile accounted for 17.7% of all online retail sales in November and December 2013 (IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark).
· Consumer shopping on mobile devices increased 99.2% on Black Friday 2013 compared with 2012 (PayPal).
· Mobile accounted for 21.8% of all online sales on Black Friday, up 43% over 2012. On Cyber Monday, mobile accounted for 17% of all online sales, up 55.4% over 2012. (IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark)

If your customer touchpoints don't accommodate mobile customers, you could lose them to your more mobile-savvy competitors. Now, before crunch time hits, assess what share of traffic and sales come from mobile. Then, audit your messages, Web site, mobile app and processes and determine what provides a solid mobile experience, what needs to be fixed and what innovation you could experiment with now to drive additional gains.

1. Areas to Update/Revise

Make emails and Web pages touch-friendly: You might not have time to revamp and re-test all of your email messages, but you can rework navigation and, call-to-action (CTA) buttons and adjust content (larger images and font sizes, less copy) for the most important ones.

Review key Web pages for mobile utility, including landing, checkout and preference pages. Templates for cart/browse abandonment and triggered messages also should feature streamlined navigation and larger images and buttons.

Streamline the mobile purchase experience as much as possible. Digital-wallet integration and social sign-in can take friction out of the process. Whatever data you might lose up front, such as preferences, you can seek later in a follow-up email message.

Add mobile-focused content to existing messages: Add a message to your on-boarding program (or copy to a standalone welcome message) that promotes the benefits of downloading and using your branded app, alternative payment options, account registration and "wish-list”/"save for later” functionality.

Cart- and browse-abandonment reminders also should use responsive or mobile-friendly design. Add an alternative payment option, such as a "Checkout with PayPal" button.

Add holiday-focused material to your holiday email templates. This includes content specific for the holidays, such as shipping schedules, return policies, gift card option, changes in store or customer-support times and the like.  

2. New Holiday Messages to Create

Send a standalone holiday heads-up. Let all shoppers, mobile as well as desktop, know what's coming during the holiday email season. Modify this message into a one-stop information center in your app. Add a condensed version in your holiday email template or link to a holiday-information web page.

This kind of message could include the following information:
·    Advise and potentially incentivize customers to set up a shopping account including shipping addresses, preferences and payment sources in advance for more personalized shopping and quicker checkout.
·    Explain your holiday frequency changes.
·    Promote holiday-only email programs to which they can opt invite them to opt in to special holiday email programs.
·    Remind them to download and install your mobile app.
·    Explain Shipping deadlines and options, free-shipping promotions and return policies.
·    Promote Wish lists, gift reminders and other shopping services.
·    Suggest Gift cards availability, and explain your policies.
·    List Customer-support contacts, hours and changes.

Bring smartphone browsers back to your Web site. If you don't already re-market to your site browsers, try testing a program on your mobile shoppers, especially smartphone users.

This is key. because while smartphone browsing continues to increase share during the holidays, but the conversion rate on smartphones remains low (0.9% according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark study).

Things to test as part of an expanded or new browse- and cart-remarketing program include send time and content.

Add a "Save for Later" function with email or SMS reminders. Shoppers who click the "Save for Later" button can trigger a mobile-friendly text message or email reminder hours or a day later that takes them back to the checkout page.

Need more ideas? Check these previous Email Insiders: Eight Email Tactics To Help Close The Smartphone Browse-To-Buy Gap and Using Email To Promote Mobile App Usage. Until next time, take it up a notch!

Tags: email, mobile
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1 comment about "Make Sure Mobile Factors Into Your Holiday Email Marketing".
  1. Peter Ansbacher from iContact , August 21, 2014 at 12:58 p.m.
    Good article! Lots of great ideas to share with my customers. However, this part was a little confusing: "Promote holiday-only email programs to which they can opt invite them to opt in to special holiday email programs" Maybe this was just worded wrong. But I do get it, just wondering how good the opt-in would be. Higher than the 1-2% for a re-invite to inactives, but seems like you'd be missing out on a lot of people by doing it this way, as opposed to sending to all without the opt-in.