While email is the top channel for ecommerce companies to invest in, mobile marketing is at the bottom for digital marketing investments.
With more and more customers checking email via mobile, the two channels are in a sense one and the same. This lack of budget for mobile can undercut the investment in email marketing.
We talked to three experts who, collectively, were involved with more than 7 billion emails sends over the past year to give us some tips on how you can start and improve your mobile email marketing.
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Dennis Dayman: I think the one thing that still is not occurring is the idea of creating mobile content that is scalable, fluid or responsive to the device or email client in use.
With the sharp rise in mobile sales, it’s no surprise that email consumption on mobile devices is following a trend. [Customers have gone from] reading email on a desktop to it being done on a mobile device, and, more scarily, mobile is being used to triage less important email before the user returns to their desktop.
[According to a Return Path study of 400 million data points,] mobile email open rates increased 34% in the last six months of 2011. Compared to mobile, desktop email opens dropped by 9.5%. Similarly, email open rates via webmail decreased by 11%.
Marketers really need to ensure — like many websites are today — that their emails are able to be read easily and with some sort of action that will make that user keep that email in their inbox to look at on their desktop at a later time vs. triaging it to the deleted folder.
Loren McDonald: Beyond the obvious responsive and mobile-friendly design approaches, leverage what you know about your subscriber to serve up content, products and offers based on behavior and past purchases.
You must narrow the focus of your emails and make them more personally relevant for smartphone users who spend less time and view fewer pages on your website than they do on tablets and desktop devices.
While smartphones are browsing devices, the quicker your email content can get a subscriber to your conversion point, the better chance of having them add something to their shopping cart, register for a Webinar or other goal.
Ryan Phelan: Segment. This is a pristine channel, and not only are marketers learning what it means to utilize this channel, but consumers are trying to understand if they like it.
The annoyance factor for consumers is pretty high, so segmentation is really a way to ensure that consumers don’t end up hating you. This is not like email. SMS is still considered a 1:1 medium, so you need to act like you know the consumer. Any segmentation will help, but realize that this is not a broadcast medium where it’s one message to everyone.
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