Maximizing Mobile Email Marketing
Now that more than 50% of emails are routinely read on a mobile device, it’s clear that the future of email marketing is here.*
Despite that current stat and the expected growth to 78% by 2017 nearly 50% of marketers admit to not knowing what percentage of emails are read ‘mobilely’ and 40% report that they don’t have a mobile email strategy.
Without doubt, this must change if the email is to hold onto its position as the reigning online marketing tool. Also without doubt, the continuing migration to mobile means a whole new set of opportunities--and challenges—for email marketers.
The challenges -- the same as desktop but more so
- 10% of iPad users use their tablet as their preferred device to read email and 9% for sending it, which means that when we say mobile we are mostly talking about smartphones.
- Mobile email open rates are not consistent across audiences and markets. It can comprise anywhere from 15% to 65% of opens. For example, B2B, financial & healthcare tend to skew lower on the scale of opens than consumer services. Make sure you check your email stats regarding where your marketing emails are being opened before you dive into creating your mobile strategy.
- 62% of mobile email readers say that newsletters aren’t easy to read and 46% of them say that newsletters that are poorly designed for smartphones reduces the chance that they will buy something from that vendor.
- 69% immediately delete any promotional email that does not display correctly on their smartphone.
Here’s some other reasons email recipients give for not buying from a mobile email:
The Opportunities -- the same as desktop but more so
- 78% of smartphone owners report checking email on their phone at least sometimes, making email the number one most popular activity on a smartphone -- beating out talking.
- 90% of smartphone owners access the same email account on mobile and desktop and users who have recently read email on their mobile will do so again about 45% of the time. Mobile purchasing decisions are most influenced by emails from companies (71%) only surpassed by the influence of friends (87%).
- About 11% of emails are optimized for mobile, optimize your emails now to give your promotions a leg up.
- As with desktop email, “Subject” is the most cited reason to open an email with 38% reporting it as the primary driver. Somewhat surprisingly (to me) only 23% report saving time as the primary reason. Other reasons they read marketing emails on the go are:
Minimize challenges & maximize opportunities – the same as desktop but more so
Here’s what people who read their emails on their mobile device say are their most common complaints:
- scrolling across a page to read all the information
- too much text
- images not rendering properly
- failure for all the content to download
Despite the fact that marketers intuitively know that a better user experience would most likely mean better results, only 12% of B2C brands use responsive email design and 10% use mobile-aware design.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you build out your email campaigns
- Subject Line – put first things, first; place the most important stuff in the first 30 characters or shorten to 30 characters to account for the smaller screen and lessened visibility.
- Body Design – hybrid or responsive? In simple terms, a hybrid approach uses a template that works across desktop, mobile or tablet. Responsive design changes to match the device it’s being viewed on; it’s more complicated to do and may not work on many email clients. If you aren’t currently optimizing, starting with a hybrid template is a great way to get started.
- Click-Thru – think BIG BUTTON rather than multiple links or think large text link with lots of white space around it.
- Order Page – since you are going out to the web, create this page in responsive design and get rid of fields you don’t need. Think 5-7 fields max. It should be quick to load, easy to understand, fill out and submit.
Take-Away: Now is the time to test mobile-friendly email. More than 50% of email users are opening marketing emails on their mobile device and, on average, only 11% of those emails are likely to be optimized for viewing on a smartphone. Don’t be one of the 69% of emails that are immediately deleted for poor mobile formatting.
*All the stats noted are courtesy of the following sources: Litmus: "Email Analytics" (Jan 2014), Forrester Research:“Email Marketing Forecast 2012 – 2017″ (2012), eConsultancy:“Email Marketing Industry Census” (2012), Perion: “iPad Owners Survey” (2013), eMailmonday: “The Ultimate Mobile Email Stats” (Jan, 2014), Apsis:“The Email Barometer, Email on Mobile Devices” (2013), BlueHornet: “Consumer Views of Email Marketing” (2012), IDC and Facebook: “Always Connected” (2013), ExactTarget – “The 2012 channel preference survey” (2012), Steel: "Are your emails ready for mobile devices?"(2012), Litmus:“Saving Email for Later: Opens Across Devices & Environments” (2012), Adobe “2013 Digital Publishing Report: Retail Apps & Buying Habits” (2013), Equinux, Edialog “The Future of Mobile Messaging” (2011), Chad White Exact Target: “The State of Email Mobile-Friendliness” (2013).