It’ll surprise no-one to hear that smartphones and mobile devices are changing the way we receive email. Research suggests 63% of women and 71% of men access email services on their mobile device.
But it’s important to remember this isn’t just a platform used on the bus or in shops. There’s just as much chance you’ll find someone surfing through emails on their mobile while at home on the sofa.
It is perhaps the most ubiquitous way of consuming email in the modern day. So it’s important to take it seriously.
Whether that means making sure emails render properly on mobile devices or ensuring a smooth transition when recipients click through to a mobile landing page, mobile integration can’t be just an afterthought – it needs to be discussed and considered at a strategic level.
Use what you already know
One piece of good news in considering mobile email is that you don’t have to invest in new technologies to get ahead of the game- you’ve got them already. Many email service providers will be able to tell you the exact devices your recipients are using to read your emails and help you focus your attention on certain screen sizes or platforms.
Once you have this baseline understanding, the other important signal to look for is whether this audience is growing and how fast. The opportunity once you have this group segmented is to send them different emails optimised for the platform and test open rates and reactions.
A big part of the potential success here will depend on your business – what works for a retailer may not be so effective if you are a massive B2B services house. But there’s only one way to find out and get ahead of the game.
Responsive design is the future of email
Even better than a separate version though is a relatively old trick, stolen from the world of website development, called responsive design. This allows you to intelligently juggle two style sheets within the same email, but it’s not often that I see this used in all the emails I receive.
It means you can have a more balanced layout specific to the screen size your recipients are using, without obscuring any important calls to action or rendering emails disproportionately.
The best of both worlds.
The last mile
What often lets recipients down is the user experience when they click through to the landing page.
Of course, responsive design could also provide a solution here on your mobile landing page conundrum. Many email marketers get everything right when it comes to the message itself, only to be let down when mobile recipients click through and find a landing page that is impossible to view without some radical scrolling.
It has been argued that perhaps for certain customer databases, mobile opens are not that high or that the rendering of emails on mobile email clients isn’t that bad on templates around 600 pixels wide. However, I would go the extra mile and take a serious look at media queries and responsive design if your mobile open rates are high. This is where it will pay off the most.
It is important to remember that every campaign is a process and that equal attention should be paid to all parts of the recipients’ user journey. Make the most of info you already have – especially when it comes to mobile.
Simplicity, clarify and accessibility
With mobile email marketing, simplicity, clarity and accessibility are always the most important considerations. Smartphone screens are small, the connection can be flaky and a recipient’s time is short. If that recipient is to be worth anything to you, you should consider their time as money!
Mobile presents a world of opportunity and it’s vitally important to tap into this but, at the same time, it is crucial to keep on top of changing trends. Innovations in mobile technology are being so rapidly adopted that some recommendations are out of date as soon as they are published.