- Category: March - April 2010
The type of use and technical handicaps in displaying text and graphics on mobile devices require special email marketing for mobile phone and smart phone users. Although the mobile Internet is finally reality and the use of mobile data services via mobile phone has soared in recent years, it seems that email marketing driven companies aren’t yet sufficiently prepared for the trend.The specific user preferences of mobile phones due to the limited size of the screen are a challenge email marketers still have to adapt to if they don’t want to risk losing the important mobile target group. This is especially so because in the future, emails on mobile devices will be for sure quite common.
Gartner for instance predicts that by 2012 around 20 percent of all emails will be sent or read on mobile devices. Already today, one in three mobile phone owners (35 percent) uses mobile Internet services like email and in the management sector, even twice as much.
Applications and technology beyond the traditional email marketing
There is no doubt that, the ever-advancing development of mobile devices provides a better handling of mobile Internet services. That this was an obstacle in the past proves the use of mobile email messages between the different types of devices. Although mobile email is used only by 13.1% of mobile phone users, but 35.4% of smart phone users, and even 75.4% of iPhone owners, according to ComScore, the still inconsistent technique is to some extent associated with some significant handicaps.
The small display size that limits text presentation, the ability to display HTML and the response opportunities become a challenge for the marketing industry, as these parameters depend on the operating system of the mobile device and the respective email client and browser - sometimes even on the adjustments of each recipient. But not only technical constraints differentiate mobile email marketing from its traditional counterpart. The mobile situation evokes other user preferences and thus different requirements for content and design.
Anyone who believes mobile email marketing newsletters are meant to be read on cell a phone is wrong. Mobile email marketing has to face up to a completely different situation of use and technical constraints that could even kill the traditional way of thinking about email marketing. But it is precisely this challenge that provides very special, completely new opportunities, making mobile email marketing an interesting channel.
Mobile email marketing in practice
In practice, email marketers should determine first how many mobile devices really reach them. For it, subscribers can be questioned; log files could get analyzed for user-agents or email marketing system used with appropriate recognition. If the result demonstrates a strong group of mobile users in the distribution, it is necessary to make email marketing mobile:
Many mobile devices can’t display HTML emails or do it only incomplete. It is therefore advisable to offer a text version of the email newsletter. Since mobile browsers usually have a better presentation than mobile email clients, there should be a link to at least one alternative HTML online version.
Small displays and a small amount of text displayable make a creed even more relevant than ever: you shall be brief! This applies to both the content as well as the sender name and subject line, in which important keywords should be placed at the beginning.
Remember the specific usage preferences of mobile users. Traditional newsletters are barely read on mobile devices. More relevant are here compact services messages or information which may serve during waiting times or breaks as entrance to further information on the mobile web.
Mobile Landing Pages
Often forgotten is the world after the click. Landing pages should be mobile compatible, include no Java script and focus on the reduced display width. It should also avoid complicated reaction pathways such as filling out form etc.
At least mobile ready
Not all emails are read mobile. Frankly speaking, it is an art to get people to the point to read emails on mobiles at all. Although newsletters or graphically large emails can be received on the mobile, they are viewed mainly on the PC. So it is not always necessary to design every email communication mobile-ready. But keep in mind: The relevance of the subject and the first recognizable content sometimes decide whether your message even survives till its read on the PC. So take advantage of the sender, subject and the text beginning to arouse sufficient interest and to ensure that the email isn’t deleted directly as irrelevant.
Mobile RSS - the alternative
An interesting look outside the box, and sometimes an alternative to mobile email, are mobile RSS feeds. RSS supplies the need for compact information even more than email. In addition, the various announcements, available as part of each exclusive feeds, do not compete with a variety of other incoming messages. Many phones today already support RSS, since it is platform independent.
For those who understand German, there are more tips and information available on Artegic AG’s Website: http://www.artegic.de/mobilecheckliste
Source: Artegic AG (freely translated by Daniela La Marca)