Mobile email marketing: a perfect storm?

We live in a mobile generation; we are connected to the world around us at all times thanks to the power of Wi-Fi hotspots and the devices we carry. So really, marketers should have perfected email on these devices, right? Not necessarily. Mobile email marketing is still a minefield of format, content and searchability issues.

In this post I will reveal what you should avoid and how you can make your mobile email marketing a success.

Start with the design

Format and layout are the key components in any email. If an email isn’t responsive for mobile, the content is often overlooked. Investing in a responsive template is the first step in creating beautiful emails across devices. But even with a responsive template in place, there are a few rogue design issues to be aware of when creating emails for mobile:

  • Padding
    Padding can slip the net. Some platforms use legacy rendering engines and disregard padding around some elements. Keep padding consistent and give elements room to breathe.
  • Images
    Resizing images for mobile email marketing is a dangerous game. Often, when an image is resized on a mobile device, the copy can become too small to read.
  • Buttons
    Mobiles have small screens and I have big fingers. Make links in emails big, bold and clickable for best results.

To mitigate these issues, find out the most common devices used by your audience. You can find this information in your marketing automation platform or through website analytics data such as Google Analytics. Once you know this information, then prioritise testing on these devices.

Keep content cool

Once the mobile email layout is looking awesome, it’s time to shape the content. Where best to start than the subject line? Split testing subject lines will allow you to analyse the language which best suits your audience. For one of the businesses we work with, email open rate doubled when the subject line included a statistic. That open rate had a knock on effect on website traffic, conversions and leads through email activity.

Deliver an appropriate CTA

Calls to action on an email need to be tailored to users depending on the device they are using, this is because the content digested by users on a mobile is different to those using a desktop. Users are less likely to pay attention to PDFs and detailed case studies, simply because PDFs on mobile aren’t responsive.

Whereas they are more likely to engage with a video that is either embedded in the email or via a screenshot and link through to where the video content is hosted.

Responsive landing pages

If mobile audiences are increasing then it’s a no-brainer to think about your landing pages as well. A consistent experience with beautifully optimised emails and landing pages is a must. If they aren’t, you could see a steady increase in unsubscribes or dropping open rates.

A pet hate of mine is a gated form on a landing page from a mobile campaign. It happens far too often: I receive an email, click through to a landing page and am then confronted with a form consisting of an email address field that blocks me from the content until I have filled it in.

My rant: Seriously? You emailed me. You’re the one sending me your branded content, yet you want me to give you my email address that you already have in order to download a piece of content where you’re going to sell me your service.

Don’t forget about social shares

Sometimes when I’m on my phone, I don’t have the time to read my emails, and I doubt many people do. In which case, it needs to be super easy to read them later. By using Add This, you can include a button which saves the link to Pocket or Evernote, where the email can be read later… frickin’ genius!

If your readers like your content and it’s shareable, then encourage them to engage through social media with a ‘click to tweet’ button. These can be tracked through advanced social searches and using tracked URLs. What’s more, you can respond to these users with a ‘thanks for sharing’ GIF that will guarantee you’re in their good books.

So, these are the 5 fundamentals of mobile email marketing that tick all the necessary boxes to achieve email greatness:

  • Create a responsive design for all devices
  • Promote content that is mobile friendly
  • Make buttons big for fat fingers
  • Push users through to a mobile ready landing page
  • Reward those who share your content

Do you have anything to add? What are your thoughts on mobile email marketing? Tweet us at @modernb2b and let’s chat.

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