The #1 Item On Your Holiday Email Marketing To-Do List!

You might be ready to lock down your holiday email marketing plan, but don’t flip the switch until you are certain that the mobile experience your mobile shoppers will encounter is as good as you can make it.

This doesn’t mean just being “mobile friendly.” Today’s email messages can’t just be readable on mobile. They must function just as well as – if not better than – they do on desktops.

Your mobile customers must be able to do everything on their phones and tablets that they can do on their desktops – see content and images quickly and easily without excessive scrolling up, down or sideways, click on links without making “fat finger” mistakes, see animations correctly and perform all other functions without frustration.

If your emails pass that test, great! Now the real work begins.

Get mobile-ready all through the customer journey

  • What happens when your customer clicks through to the landing page on his iPhone or Galaxy?
  • How’s the checkout process?
  • Are the transactional and follow-up emails you send just as mobile-ready as your promotional messages?

All you need is a smartphone and some time to run through your process. Even if you use a third-party verification service, nothings beats testing the process yourself.

Once you do that, you can answer authoritatively when someone asks, “Is our holiday email marketing program mobile-ready?”

4 stress tests for mobile users

1.) Email to landing page:

This is the first big stumbling block on the customer journey. Start with a recent campaign email, one that looks like your standard promotional emails. Call it up on your phone and start clicking on your primary call to action, any secondary buttons, text links, whatever’s on offer in the email.

Here’s what to look for:

  • How easily could you understand what the email wanted you to do? Did the call to action stand out?
  • Did you go to the landing page you expected?
  • How easy was the landing page to see and act on without excess scrolling, sideways or up and down?
  • Did you notice any issues with visibility and legibility of key images and copy blocks?
  • Could you click accurately on the buttons and links?

2.) Landing page to interior pages:

You optimized your email. You optimized the landing page. But shoppers will stray to other pages on your site. How well do your product, content, FAQ, search and registration pages stand up to the mobile test?

Use the same checklist from No. 1 to visit the pages on your site that customers often click to after they reach your landing pages.

3.) Cart and checkout process:

This must be as friction-free as possible. Drop something in a cart, start a download, register an account, or perform some other function that’s key to your business plan, and follow it all the way through completion. Also, test your abandonment process to see how well the recovery works on mobile. Abandoned carts and registration process will go way up this holiday season, so this must performs as expected, too.

Look for these friction points:

  • Did the checkout/download/registration page render as expected?
  • How easily could you choose products, change the number of items in your cart, remove an item or pay?
  • Did the confirmation page render as expected?
  • Did you experience any timeouts?
  • Try a process using both your phone’s data and wifi. Did you notice any lagging on either source?

4.) Transactional and follow-up emails:

We see it every day: A brand sends great promo emails, but its transactional emails are a nightmare of tiny type, teeny images, one long line of copy, no branding and the like.

These emails are just as important as your promotional messages, because they reassure your customers about doing business with your brand. They’re essential for keeping your customers moving along on the journey.

Use the list of email-to-landing-page friction points to review how well your transactional and follow-up messages performed.

Next step: Fix what you can ASAP

It’s probably be too late in the marketing year to do a total mobile makeover. List your fixes by priority (“ASAP” to “whenever”), and test and correct what you can before shoppers swarm your sites.

One last tip:

Ask a friend or family member, who doesn’t know your email and site as intimately as you do, to test your processes as well to spot issues that aren’t as intuitive as you think they might be.

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