Mobile Email Marketing - What Does it Mean for You?

Recently, mobile email marketing has become an increasingly popular and profitable marketing tactic. The figures and stats speak for themselves so before you start thinking that it might not be a viable option for your company or business, let’s look at a few of them;

  • An article from DirectSellingNews states that in 2007, mobile marketing spending was estimated at $1.8 billion, with revenues expected to grow to $24 billion by 2013.

  • In an e-Dialog report of a survey of over 2 000 adults in the UK and US, it noted that: 33% of consumers access email on their mobile devices in addition to their computers”.

  • A survey conducted by SmartFocus reported that: “Two years ago the mobile was almost entirely used to read, filter and delete unimportant emails, whereas now 30% of users are reading and replying to emails through their mobile.”

  • eMarketer reported that as of 2009, 42% of US consumers stated that they had a smartphone and nearly 13% of respondents said they planned to purchase one in the next 3 months.

Analysts Gartner noted that by 2011, over 85% of handsets shipped globally will include some form of browser. In mature markets, such as Western Europe and Japan, approximately 60% of handsets shipped will be smartphones with sophisticated browsing capability and the ability to render conventional HTML sites in some manner”.

Not something to sniff at, is it? However, if you are still sitting on the fence regarding mobile email marketing then consider these points too:

  • Mobile messages are more immediate than email; this is because most people hardly ever switch their phones off, even while they sleep. This means that they are generally quicker to respond and studies have shown that mobile messages are opened within 15 minutes of receiving it.

  • Have you asked your subscribers how they would prefer to receive your messages? If you already give them the option of how often they get your emails, then take the next step and offer them the option of receiving them via their mobile device. eConsultancy reported that 20% of people open their emails with a mobile device, so do yourself a favour and find what your subscribers would prefer. Remember, email marketing is all about giving them what they want and in return you get their loyalty.

Lastly, as with traditional email marketing, there is little commitment or investment involved if you want to test the waters before launching headfirst into it. Also, because your message is limited to 160 characters (give or take); the main factor you need to consider is tight copy. As for any form of the creative process, it’s all but taken out of the equation.

Right, so now we’ve given you a bit more food for thought you might be thinking about how you can go about taking the next steps towards mobile email marketing. We look at 4 of the most straightforward and easiest ways that you can do this.

1. You’ll need to reformat the text

This might sound like a no brainer but you would be surprised at how many marketers simply email the same campaign to all their customers, regardless of their ESP or personal preferences. Just as campaigns look different in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!, they also display differently depending on if your customer has a Blackberry, iPhone, etc. You should offer a plain text option as an HTML alternative for all your subscribers. Even though many smartphones can readily handle HTML emails, your subscriber might prefer to read it in plain text. Bear in mind that most text messages have 60 – 80 characters per line and mobile platforms will show 20-40 characters in 12-15 lines per screen, depending on the width of the screen and the type style. Desktop-friendly line lengths can create long paragraphs in the mobile reader, so adapt your text accordingly.

2. Think Twice about long URLs

On a mobile device, tracking URLs can take up 4-5 lines on a screen so you should definitely consider going for a simpler URL, even if it means you have to sacrifice certain tracking abilities.

3. Keep content short and sweet

As we mentioned before, with mobile email marketing your copy needs to be succinct. Long words and long sentences mean that your subscribers will have to scroll down more, which means the chance of them becoming disinterested halfway through is very high. More than ever – ‘above the fold’ is important here. By keeping it clear, simple and brief there is a better chance that your subscribers will save the message to read later on their PC.

4. Test, test and test again

As with any campaign you need to test it before you send it out to thousands of people. However, this just got a bit trickier. You’re not just testing to see what it looks like across Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!, but also how it looks on the different smartphones or any phone that has an internet browser function. So while you’re testing it on your Blackberry and your colleague’s iPhone, also test it on a couple of older mobile devices. In short, cover all your bases.

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