March 22, 2012

E-mail marketing in a mobile world


Text messaging and taking pictures are the most common uses on smart phones. Yet, sending and receiving email is also high on the list. And when people do engage with email on mobile, they engage at a much higher rate than people who engage with email on desktop.

What does this mean if you're trying to reach people via email? First, people are on the run. Consumers don't read emails the same way on phones as they do on desktops. Understanding these differences will inform your design. For example, mobile email users don't scan email, they prioritize it. They categorize their email into "read now," "read later," or "delete."

How do you make the cut to help ensure that your emails are read now or at least saved for later? First, start with the subject line and concentrate on the first 20 characters: keep it short and keep it recognizable. That means getting the offer in first and being mindful of the sender name. Secondly, make sure that your key information is visible above the fold (duh) and make the call to action clear and conspicuous.

Now, given that many of you are likely working with limited resources, here are some tools and tricks for understanding your eligible audience and optimizing your email template. Several engagement tools in the marketplace, including Pivotal Veracity Mailbox IQ, allow for the marketer to get row-level detail on the email rendering device. Knowing the size of your mobile audience will help you justify the budget to optimize your template for this on-the-go audience. Getting the template right should be left to the professionals; people who have learned from months of trial and error. If possible, you should consider outsourcing your first few templates and let somebody teach you the ropes.

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