Email Marketing Is Mobile -- Why Aren't Your Campaigns?

It is one of those vexing questions that has been troubling me for the past couple of years, and even more so now. When we have reached a tipping point on email, meaning that the majority will be viewed on a mobile phone, why don't email marketers improve the poor quality of emails?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but email marketing often sucks on mobile, and yet the channel holds so much promise. It's right there in your hand with the other hand just poised to click on something of interest to be transported to do something amazing. And what do we have instead? Often a message that was clearly designed to be seen on the big screen. Long subject lines which don't fit on the mobile's preview screen and below we have tiny text that should never be seen outside the optician's. 

The key, however, is that even those who optimise for mobile are still missing a point. OK --, so the text is legible and you may have put in a short subject line. But now what? What do you actually want me to do? What's the major way you can help me out that was worth interrupting my wait for the bus for? More often than not, there isn't anything there for my convenience -- just the brand's.

The airlines are always my favourite example. They pretend to help in emails that are thinly disguised attempts to get you to hire a car or upgrade to a ticket with fast-lane security clearance. Now, even if you're really dedicated to zip through security and need a car waiting for you at the other end, they make it impossible to deal with them on mobile. Just try it for yourself and you'll need to click on a link and then go through to a page that is not optimised for mobile. There you'll be asked to cut and paste a ten digit booking reference which was sent to you last month in a separate confirmatory email. You will also need to input the passengers names and the flight number. You get the picture?

Here's the litmus test. if it's not easy, if it's not the kind of service you'd imagine Amazon would provide if they were in your line of business (for the time being!) then don't do it. In fact, once you have tried to hire a car on your mobile device to go with your flights to Paris, try buying a suitcase for the trip on Amazon. Even if the enquiry starts off as a link on a regular email to you, just click the Amazon address and see what happens. Almost magically, you can go in their app to pick the case you want -- and here's the real trick -- one scan of your thumb on an iPhone and it's on its way. No remembering your customer ID number of re-entering credit card detail. A press to go there, a click to say "this one," and a thumbprint to confirm who you are.

So I completely agree with the comments in today's articled in The Drum about how some "retro" channels are coming back. Of course, email hasn't actually been anywhere but the premise that mobile gives it a new life is absolutely spot on.

The sad conclusion that his remains an opportunity that has yet to be grasped by most is also right on the money. Mobile is such a massive opportunity. It's far too good to get it so wrong.

Next story loading loading..