Over 400 million smartphones were sold in the first half of this year. If you’re a marketer, that figure should make your ears perk up. Why? Well, it turns out that the most popular Internet activity on smartphones happens to be email. Yes, email. In fact, around half of all email opens are from mobile devices. Mobile email has officially come of age. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your email for mobile.
Here are the four elements we think should be part of any great mobile strategy. Hint: it’s not just about design.
1. Make sure your email still “works” when viewed on a mobile device.
This is still the mobile issue people talk about about most. Test out your templates with design preview tools like Litmus to see how they look on iPads, Android phones and other devices. If you need a redesign, this video examines three options and this one demonstrates the ins and outs of responsive design for emails.
It might just take a few simple changes to make your messages mobile-friendly. Fingers are not as precise as a mouse when it comes to “clicking” and you don’t want to force mobile users to pinch and scroll to find the good stuff. Be sure to…
- Make links clear with adequate space around them
- Use shorter, attention-grabbing headlines and put your key messages at the top
- Create plain text and HTML email versions. Be prepared so your emails render quickly and clearly for either scenario.
- Reduce image size. Download speeds vary, but are usually slower. Consider using JPEGMini to cut the fat without sacrificing flavor.
- Craft descriptive alt text. If your header is an image, write the alt text so it speaks to the subject of your email.
- Tell ’em who you are. Make sure you clearly identify yourself to prevent your emails from winding up in the trash.
2. Adapt your email marketing to mobile email habits.
Mobile devices change the way people use email. For example, our partner Knotice found the share of mobile opens on campaigns peaks “during evening, late night and early morning hours”. Review your assumptions about email habits and consider some new tests on, for example, the best times and days to send your campaigns.
3. Account for mobile email users being, um… mobile.
Email marketers are just starting to tackle this issue. Consider what smartphone behaviors and features can you leverage through changes to your email strategy and content. Can you use demographics or geolocation to append details of your local stores or offices to your messages? Can you add more sharing options? ShareThis says consumers are nearly twice as likely to click and share content on social networks through mobile devices.
4. Use mobile connectivity to build your email list.
In a previous post, we mentioned how smartphones and tablets make it easier for people to subscribe away from their homes or offices. Identify opportunities where you have customer attention and run a sign-up promotion. Tradeshow booths, networking events, POS, signage, podcasts, ebooks, Adwords campaigns, invoices, and packaging are some good sources to consider. Also, be sure to test which CTA works best in your promotions: short URLs, QR codes, and SMS, or perhaps, a combination of the three.
As always, monitor what works and what doesn’t, and keep testing! Tell us! What tips do you have for taming the mobile monster?