Most consumers with a smartphone, even those a little less techie, reach for their mobile device to check email several times daily. Analyst firm eMarketer points to stats from Merkle indicating that 32% of U.S. mobile email users age 18 or older with an Internet-enabled phone check personal email via a mobile device between one and three times daily. Compare this with 31% who check four or more times daily, 26% once per week or less, and 11% two to six times per week.
Email campaigns geared toward mobile devices can more finely target campaigns and align with paid-search ads. I had thought email campaigns a dying strategy until I considered the amount opened on mobile phones. Personally, I open my eyes in the morning and reach for the fully charged BlackBerry on the nightstand before anything else.
Recent comScore numbers reflect my ritual. The number of visitors to Web-based email sites declined 6% in November 2010, compared with the previous year, but users continue to access email on mobile devices at a rapid pace, according to comScore stats released in late January. For instance, email access through mobile devices rose 36%.
SEM expert David Harry has not given the idea much thought, but believes marketers would need tightly geographic-targeted email lists to combine mobile paid search and email campaigns effectively. Think location-based services.
Marketers talk about display ad campaigns, location-based services, and mobile click-to-call benefits, but what about tying together a mobile paid-search campaign with a mobile email campaign? Every mobile handset sends back to its receiving data center information about the operating system and browser -- data the marketer could use to support paid-search campaigns or optimizing for search on mobile.
Optimizing email campaigns on the small screen requires links to a text version, dedicated mobile version, and scalable email designs. During an OMMA Global presentation in San Francisco earlier this week, Matthew Caldwell, director of creative services at Yesmail, ran down five important points to making scalable email designs, so the content looks good on any size screen.
There are pitfalls for each. Marketers on phones get one click. So, the problem becomes: do marketers want the one click to become the link to the text version or call to action? A dedicated version of a mobile email campaign also requires more work. It might look great on the phone -- but not so much on the desktop, laptop or even tablet.
So it's important for marketers to consider email designs that scale down from large to small cleanly for the best way to optimize layouts for mobile campaigns. The format change not only becomes more efficient, but also brings costs down.
1) Designing messages on a grid system to align elements on page and allow emails to scale up or down in proportion
2) Creating one-column designs
3) Grouping items into sections
4) Designing to a width of 450 pixels and minimum body copy font size of 14 points
5) Placing viewpoint meta tags in the HTML header to enable smartphone browsers to automatically change the dimensions of the email to fit the device