According to comScore, 64% of Americans accessed email almost every day from their mobile device; which signals the importance of optimizing email campaigns. While many companies focus on the form factor of these new email devices, many do not weigh the environmental factors that also come into play.
It’s not just the form factor of these of these new devices that must to be considered, we also need to consider how the use of email on a day-to-day basis has changed. Here are five ways that will allow you to better use mobile emails as a strategic marketing tool:
1- Use mobile optimized emails: Mobile optimized emails are different from desktop optimized emails in many ways. Most of the time, emails optimized for desktop computers contain large images or multiple columns of content. This format makes it difficult for people on a mobile device to read the message in a convenient way. The reader will have to scroll both horizontally and vertically in order to view content or read the email’s text. Readers may also have to pinch and zoom in to view images.
With mobile optimized emails, recipients will get emails that are specifically designed to resize on mobile phone screens. Viewers will only have to scroll up or down to read your entire message. You can also embed a video in your email encouraging readers to watch it instantly on their phone. Make sure to use a mobile email provider that will adapt the video format based on the mobile operating system and will track the number of times it is played. You can also reward your readers with coupon barcodes and special offers that can be easily saved onto their devices.
2- Link your readers to mobile landing pages: Like mobile optimized emails, mobile landing pages are a great way to render your content and message in a mobile friendly way. These pages can play a complementary role in your mobile email campaigns. Instead of bombarding your email readers with tons of information within the message, encourage them to go a step further and learn more by clicking a link to your landing page. This can be done by including only the most important text elements in your mobile email, then by building specific mobile landing pages for more information. Tracking those landing page clicks will give you insights into what they are most interested in.
3- Setup Auto-responders and Triggers: Auto-responders are a great tool to turn your subscribers into buyers and engage with them on the go. By using auto-responders, you can build a series of emails and schedule them to be automatically sent after the user opts-in. Since your customer activation points are mobile, utilizing auto-responders is a very effective way to communicate with your subscribers when they are most interested or even in your store.
You can also provide triggered communication to each subscriber either before or after purchase based on other types of interaction with your company. You can link their credit card or loyalty card and trigger auto-responder after purchases. You can link their email to your application and leverage GPS based triggered auto-responders.
4- Mobile Originated Email & Picture Submission: The term Mobile Originated (MO) comes from the SMS world where customers engage with a brand by texting something from their phone. Mobile Originated emails are similar, except instead of texting to a short code, the customer can email a dedicated email address. Now that email inboxes are just as convenient as SMS inboxes these types of campaigns are useful ways to engage and interact with your customers. You can use Email MO for sweepstakes contests where customers can send pictures or videos to enter. You can also use it for customer service. Whatever email address you use for submissions, keep it short, simple and memorable. Also make sure that you reply back immediately with an auto-responder since you have the customers attention.
5- Leverage Mobile activation points, QR, SMS, and Email MO: Since your email campaigns are now targeting mobile devices you should expect that your campaigns activation points also transition to mobile. The web is no longer the only place where people will give you their email address to receive information. You can provide an SMS Keyword based email opt-in where they text a keyword and their email address to subscribe. This method is good for non-smartphone users to opt-in to email campaigns. Another way, as mentioned above, is the use of an Email MO; they can simply send an email with content to your address and opt in to receive information back. Finally you can use a QR code to drive a consumer to an opt-in form. Landing pages give you the ability to describe what the customer is signing up for. Using Landing pages you can also conduct surveys or polls and collect email addresses along with feedback about your product(s).
Rich Eicher is the president and CEO of Skycore, a Boston based mobile marketing technology company that provides mobile commerce, mobile email and messaging in addition to QR code capabilities. Reach him at email@example.com.