Avoid these mistaken mobile email head-first tactics
08 May 2013
Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Jordie van Rijn, the founder of emailmonday.
If you haven’t looked at all your marketing messages on the small screen, now is the time to do so. Mobile email is hot, and not in the sense of a hype, but in the sense that you need to take it into account. Otherwise you will lose revenue. E-mail is shifting from a pure desktop orientated task to the real, always-on world. Always on has a strong preference towards mobile. The latest report on mobile email shows that the growth isn’t over yet.
The mobile tipping point
On average 41%. of the opened emails originate from a mobile device according to the latest report by Knotice. These are smartphone as well as tablets. The mobile tipping point, the point where half (or more) of email will be read on a handheld device is just around the corner. Earlier this year there was a mobile email tipping point infographic. The researchers expect that the tipping point will be reached this year, even within 6 months.
That is impressive because just a year ago this was only 27%. Although of course you always need to understand your metrics especially concerning mobile email. The shift to mobile has some real implications because the email marketing engagement takes a very different form on mobile devices. Think about the fact that touchscreen are used instead of the much more accurate mouse. The different interaction with mobile webforms and shopping behaviour as well as the reduced screen sizes.
Clicktrough rates on mobile devices
To get a view of the interaction on mobile devices we also need to look the next levels of interaction. Opens are great but more often it is about clicks and conversions. So in the Knotice report the open statistics are complemented with clickdata. Take notice these are the mobile email clickratios, compared to the clickratio on desktops.
Increased mobile email engagement
The clickthroughs on mobile devices are lower compared to desktops, we can all feel that is quite logical and not bad per se. Take emails from financial institutions for instance or emails that link through to a downloadable PDF. Although you could open those on mobile more often these days, it is also the question if you are in the situation to do so. And if recipients feel comfortable doing so. The context also matters, where you are at that moment. It is interesting to see the clickthrough rates from tablets now beginning to become higher than smartphones, these used to be almost identical.
The clickthrough rates on mobile are increasing, this could be explained by three trends:
- More companies are sending mobile optimized email
- Recipients are more used to interacting with email and websites on their mobiles.
- More websites are responsive and are fit to interact with on a tablet or mobile device.
Differences between industries
Mobile e-mail marketing statistics differ strongly per industry, something which is common in all email marketing statistics. Many of the industries appear to level off in their growth, while others are still growing strongly in mobile email. For instance consumer products (22,3% growth, now 36,22%), Cable and Telco (12,6% growth, now 40,35%), consumer services (19,3% growth, now 50,29%). The data from the report is from last quarters of 2012, the first 2013 numbers show a small decline in opens.
Why mobile email should needs an Upgrade instead of an Update
Being unconscious about mobile is definitely no longer an option. Although some say that mobile email optimization (with responsive design) is just a shiny new thing. Tim Watson wrote an excellent piece about how optimizing your mobile email is a waste of time for many. I would say, going from just the title: that is nonsense.
If you are going to optimize for mobile, the trick is to not to treat it like an update, but as an upgrade. This means avoiding the triple play of mistaken mobile-head first tactics.
* Don’t just make your current design “fit for mobile”,
* Don’t just add some “mobile best practices”,
* Don’t just make a new template which the designer filled with things he thinks are cool.
Instead treat it like a chance to swing your emails around and put results first instead of“mobile first” .Go ahead and design a new template if you will, one that takes all the above head-first tactics if you must. But think about your conversions and how you are going to increase your results. As an anecdote, I was involved in a new template design which had already been mobile optimized. But we made a different, new one, Guess what? The new mobile optimized design outpreformed the old mobile optimized design by 75%. 75% revenue that is.