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Past the Tipping Point: Strategies and Metrics for Mobile-Minded Email Marketers

Posted on 4.03.2017
It’s clear that mobile is beyond the tipping point for email marketers; according to Litmus, 55 percent of email is now being opened on mobile devices.

As consumers are becoming more comfortable using mobile phones and tablets as their primary devices for interacting with brands, the industry is seeing an increase in email opens on mobile and a decline in email opens on desktops.

According to EasySendy, there are 2.6 billion email users in the world, but only 900 million of them are desktop computer users; the disparity in numbers reflects an audience that expects emails to be catered to them according to their consumption preferences.

For marketers, establishing a new approach to both email marketing strategies and mobile marketing performance metrics is in order. Read on for insights into how to best approach this new era of email marketing. 

Beyond the Basic Best Practices

It’s important to keep in mind that even if contacts are not showing high interaction with emails via mobile, they are still likely to first view them on mobile. First impressions are crucial here, as 89 percent of email consumers are likely to delete mobile emails if they are poorly formatted.

To increase the odds of emails getting opened and eventually engaged with, marketers should make mobile emails easy on the eyes and convenient to navigate. Specifically, this means that the font should be large enough to read and the layout should allow for vertical scrolling.

Converting mobile emails into sales is paramount, so for email users who do prefer to engage with mobile messages beyond just the first glance, it’s essential that brands ensure that every step of the process is optimized for mobile. For instance, if the email links to a landing page or brand website that’s not easily navigable on mobile, the customer journey is likely to end there.

Additionally, email replies sent from mobile devices are about 60 percent shorter than replies sent on desktop, so ideal emails for mobile-first campaigns offer more information than they ask for in return. Thus, emails requesting feedback or survey participation are not as likely to perform as well on mobile as they would on desktop.

Metrics to Monitor

Just as the mobile customer’s journey continues to evolve—and with it email marketing strategy—so must the way in which marketers measure their email performance.

Knowing that contacts are still more likely to engage in depth with email from a desktop computer, opens alone are much less valuable on mobile devices than they are desktops, so marketers need to take measurement a step further.

The ultimate measure of success for any brand comes down to conversions and revenue. In email, conversions often correlate with click-throughs, so marketers should be sure that click-through rate is a key performance indicator (KPI) in their reporting.

Email marketers should also partition conversion and revenue data by mobile and non-mobile devices, allowing them to see what role mobile email marketing is playing overall in business success and calibrate accordingly.

Mobile Moves Forward

Given the current mobile landscape and the technology advancements being made available to consumers, we can only expect consumer comfort with and use of mobile to increase drastically in the years to come. Therefore, it’s vital for marketers to take the time now to understand their audience’s interaction patterns with mobile emails, strategize content accordingly and make measurement a priority.

Most importantly, as the only certainty regarding mobile usage in the future is that it’s destined to change, marketers must keep their tactics dynamic and pay close attention to the mobile climate constantly in the months and years to come.

EJ McGowan, general manager of Campaigner, has more than 25 years of experience in the software industry with expertise in building highly available, scalable SaaS-based solutions.
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