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You’ve Got Mail: Mobile Email Marketing

Drakatos Product Mktg Manager
May 16, 2012

Smartphone and tablet adoption has exploded over the past couple of years (over half of US consumers are now using a smartphone) leading to a huge growth in mobile activity. If we’re not constantly playing games on our smartphones, we’re shopping for clothes, or sharing activity with friends, or paying our bills–but let’s not forget the most basic communication channel we are addicted to: email. And as mobile penetration continues to grow, email opens on smartphones and tablets grew by 82.4%, meaning consumers are relying more and more on their mobile devices to open email, and less and less on their PCs and desktops.


With email opens increasing on mobile, many marketers are overlooking the huge opportunities that lie in this incredibly personal channel. It is important to take mobile email seriously, as it has developed into the most universal and acceptable way of consuming email in the modern day–both for work and pleasure. So how can marketers and brands take advantage of this channel to develop a one-to-one communication with the consumer? Below are some key opportunities and challenges to consider:

  • Get your subscriber’s attention – You only have two lines, in some cases 3, to convey your message and interest your audience. Do it wisely through the display name, the subject line and the first line of the message. Marketers need to make sure that their email address or display name is memorable and relevant with the rest of the message.
  • Design for mobile – Make sure that the message is also designed for a mobile audience, who expect to retrieve the information they need instantly. Even though smartphones hold a dominant share on the mobile device market, marketers need to think about how their message is displayed across devices and operating systems. For example, only iOS devices download images instantly, while most other operating systems require a user action to do so—making embedded URLs behind images is not the best way to present your emails. And remember, 63% of Americans and 41% of Europeans would ignore or delete an email not optimized for mobile!
  • Design for touch – With the proliferation of touchscreen devices (such as the iPad, iPhone and other Android devices), email readership is increasingly being opened on these mobile gadgets. This represents a huge need to create more touch-friendly and interactive mobile email campaigns, where the call-to-actions need to be clear and easily “thumb-pressed”.
  • Make your message appealing – Whether on touch devices or on featured phones, users are very selective with what they choose to read instantly, save for later, or just delete. The key to an effective mobile email strategy is to present great offers, good products or a call-to-action that is time sensitive.
  • Timing – As with any mobile advertising strategy and medium, mobile email marketers should consider the time of the day and the location of the recipient. Users are more likely to read a promotional email in the evening while relaxing at home or in the morning when they are eager for news stories and information.
  • The aftermath – The single most important element of a mobile email campaign is the seamless experience the user receives after interacting with the email. A mobile email campaign needs to have the right post-click experience to be considered successful. From small product promotion to full enterprise campaigns, marketers need to make sure that every mobile email interaction or URL redirects users to a mobile web page or action (such as product information, coupon download or video gallery) to convert readers into customers.


As emails are opened more frequently in the palms of people’s hands, brand marketers have the opportunity to capture the user’s full attention. An effective mobile email campaign is expected to find the right balance to reach a large number of audiences during their down time. Due to this fact, mobile email users are more engaged than web or desktop users, and it is up to marketers to utilize these opportunities to create campaigns that drive click-throughs and post-reader activity.


Do you have some tried and true mobile email marketing tips? Share them with us here in the comments below!



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