The entire mobile marketing landscape, well, almost.
In order to navigate the world of mobile email marketing, you need chart your course by paying attention to these compass points:
- Mobile ads, mobile search
- Mobile websites and landing pages
- Mobile commerce, mobile payments
- So-Lo-Mo (social + local + mobile)
- QR codes (they’re not going away just yet, but almost)
- Mobile apps, app ads
- Mobile emails
This post focuses on mobile email marketing, with the caveat that all your marketing programs must be integrated for consistency.
Why is mobile email marketing such a big deal?
Mobile is a must for today’s email marketers and, like any new territory; it has both a tempting and terrifying allure of the unknown. The best way to demystify mobile email marketing is to understand its components.
You’ll find that mobile devices run the gamut from feature phones, with limited functionality, to portable gaming and MP3 players. Email marketers, however, should focus on smartphones and tablets, with accessibility to the web. While these two categories of devices seem quite manageable, keep in mind that you’ve got to account for various devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows.
If you still doubt the importance of mobile email marketing, here’s a statistic for you: According to Forrester research, 78% of U.S. email users will also access their emails via mobile by 2017. And don’t assume that smartphone use is limited to the younger generation. Emarketer predicts that this year mobile web and smartphone penetration for baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will pass 50%.
Here are a few mobile email marketing tips.
Smartphones offer 24/7 accessibility and instant gratification, known as “snacking,” for users. So it’s helpful to think “bite size” in terms of mobile email marketing.
Adaptive and responsive are two types of design for mobile-friendly emails. Adaptive design triggers content changes and reformatting to optimize for typical screen sizes for smartphones, tablets and desktops. In responsive design, the design format and content dynamically changes based on the screen size. Here are a few best practices:
- Use a vertical, single-column layout (350 pixels max)
- Keep subject lines to under 75 characters (shoot for under 35)
- Make your text larger, preferably 16-pixel, since most mobile email applications automatically resize smaller text
- Embedded links are more difficult to click than large buttons (44 x 44 pixels)
Consumers have high expectations regarding mobile. Strangeloop Networks reports that 85% of mobile users expect sites to load as fast or faster than on their desktops. In reality, however, median load time for 3G smartphones is 40% slower than on desktop. It’s not enough to build mobile-friendly emails. You’ve got to build mobile-friendly landing pages and sites, too.
The mobile email takeaway?
Mobile isn’t going away. On the contrary, it’s here to stay – and it’s a force to be reckoned with. Email marketers who embrace this technology will be ahead of the curve – and ahead of their competitors.