Unless you have been hiding under a rock lately, you have certainly noticed that the mobile phone (or even better: the smartphone) has become an essential part in our daily lives.
Recent data shows that 145 million people in the United States own a smartphone. 67% of them finds themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts or e-mails even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. 44% of the phone owners sleep with their phone next to their bed because they don’t want to miss any calls, text messages or other updates during the night. And even 29% of them describe their mobile phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”
And now, consider the fact that e-mailing is the top one activity on smartphones, even ahead of Facebooking or web browsing . So there is a huge opportunity for you to reach your target audience with e-mail marketing via the devices that are used most often.
The majority of e-mails are still not optimised for mobile viewing and interaction. Most of the buttons are small and subscribers are forced to zoom in on the screen and move things around in order to see the e-mail. It’s simply very impractical and not user-friendly at all.
But keep on smiling! The future for mobile-friendly e-mail marketing looks bright with the following 8 tips and tricks!
#1 Base Your Mobile E-mail Marketing Strategy On the Behaviour of Your Target Audience
The first and most important step in successful mobile e-mail marketing is searching whether it is needed to change your mobile marketing efforts. For example, if only 4% of your audience reads e-mails on their smartphone, why would you optimise your mobile e-mail marketing? So the question that you can ask yourself is: How many of my subscribers reads their mail on their mobile device? This question can simply be answered by the software of Litmus E-mail Analytics. I highly recommend this software tool as it gives you an unique insight in the reading behaviour of your subscribers. Think about information such as; where your e-mail was read, which e-mail client was used (Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook etc.) or which device they used and whether they printed or forwarded your e-mail.
Image 1. Reading Environment by Litmus Software
With this information gathered by Litmus, you can decide if and how you want to optimise your mobile e-mail marketing activities.
#2 Make Sure Your Target Audience Trust The Title & Sender’s Name
The first thing that your subscribers see when scanning their inbox, is the name of the sender (also known as “the from name”). If subscribers don’t recognise the from name, they won’t trust the message and are less likely to open the e-mail.
Earning trust starts way before sending the first (mobile) marketing e-mail. You first need to position yourself well, after which you can start building strong and trustful relationships with your customers. Trust is an important factor for successful marketing in both offline and online marketing.
#3 Include Responsive E-mail Design (RED)
As you might know Responsive Web Design is the best web experience for a variety of devices (from desktops to tablets and all in between). The design of a responsive website scales up with the dimensions of a screen without compromising readability or the user interface.
RWD is not a new thing in the field of marketing. But, RED is! So if you want to ensure the optimal user experience for your subscribers, regardless of platform or device, creating responsive designed e-mails is a must. I’m sure your e-mail service provider will be more than happy to assist you with the installation and template designing of this new technology.
#4 Create Obvious Call to Action Buttons
Logically, the screens of mobile devices are much smaller than those of desktops. Subscribers will not search for your call to action, the call to action needs to find your subscribers! Therefore, it is important that you place the buttons as big, bold and obvious as possible on top of your e-mail. Make sure that the buttons are attractive to click on and make it easy to click.
And then… Consider persons with larger fingers. It’s often difficult for them to navigate on smartphones because of the small screen and buttons. So don’t put buttons next to each other and avoid putting links right on top of each other. This is especially important when it comes to live links (customers services, sales, returns, contact etc.).
Encourage speed and easy navigation at all time!
#5 Short Subject Lines
Today’s generation is sometimes called Generation S, which stands for a generation that scans information instead of reading the information carefully. Scanning is what we do all day. Our subconscious mind plays a very important role in our decision making process and decides for us which information we pick up and which info we only scan through. This is followed by our actions whether we click on certain links in our inbox or not.
In short: the shorter the message, the better. And create a certain message layer structure that works for your company:
1. Sender: Trustworthy source
2. Subject line + preview: attractive to open
3. Body text: Main info + attractive details
4. Landing page: Detailed info
#6 Include Related Images
You might think that your e-mail should be as short and concise as possible, and that images should be left out. But the reverse is true! Try to include eye-catching images that are related to the content. Whether your audience is B2B of B2C, people just love visuals. Seduce your audience and let them open your e-mails by using attractive or fun images.
Be aware: avoid dropping random images into your e-mails. This will be seen as wasted time of loading and waiting!
#7 The “Dangerous” Unsubscribe Button…
Are you a marketer that buries the unsubscribe option at the bottom of the e-mail in a tiny fond with a text colour that is almost impossible to read? You should be ashamed! 😉
Although it may seem counterintuitive, making the unsubscribe button visible and easy click to on, can actually be a smart strategy. The problem with a hard-to-find unsubscribe button is that you’re making it that much easier for subscribers to drag your e-mail to the “Mark as Spam” folder. And the more reports of spam the e-mail provider receives, the less likely it is that your e-mail ends up in your subscribers’ inbox.
With mobile devices, it is important to consider where your unsubscribe link is placed in relation to other links in your e-mail. Simply don’t put your unsubscribe link dangerously close to your main call to action! But also don’t be afraid of showing your subscribers that they can cancel receiving your e-mails.
#8 Test test test!
Keep on testing your e-mails! Marketers who send out traditional e-mail campaigns know about the need to test the response rates and amount of clicks on every single link. But testing is just as important when it comes to designing e-mails for mobile devices. When testing, make sure the test e-mails are sent to a variety of devices (different platforms, varying screen sizes etc.) or use the earlier mentioned Litmus Software to test the cut-offs for the subject line, pre-header and others.
Also testing the “clickability” is more than valuable. If your e-mails are not (yet) designed according to RED, look at the width to be sure the visuals are properly lined up. Ensure to emphasize upon the main offer and make it apparent on the screen.
Both consumers and businesses are increasingly demanding for mobile-optimised e-mails. I don’t want to scary you, but follow my tips and adjust your tactics or else you will risk to fall behind your competitors!
Good luck, yaaa’ll!