The evolution of mobile email
20 Feb 2014
Consumer expectations are high in today’s world. With the growth of real-time marketing, consumers increasingly expect their favoured brands to deliver a more relevant experience, but I believe user experience to be as equally important. In email marketing the message needs to be relevant, accessible and more importantly actionable.
The email landscape is evolving and the popularity of tablets is growing.emailclientmarketshare.com states that over 50% of emails are being opened on a mobile device and Ofcom reported in August 2012 that 24% of UK households owned a tablet, a number which increased to 32% in November. These statistics highlight that creating an email that is accessible and actionable on a number of different mobile devices is now increasingly challenging.
The email is also competing in a crowded environment, no longer just the inbox. Your customers can now access their emails 24/7 – on the move and at home – so it’s important to consider these key factors when broadcasting your message. During the day people check their emails when they are on the move – in cafes, on public transport or walking along the street. In the evening people have more time to browse their emails, but bear in mind that they may be multi-tasking when they are doing this, by watching TV for example.
These scenarios highlight that a more holistic style of analysis and testing is needed. You should test time of day against mobile statistics and analyse against the length of view. This insight could help you determine the right message length and call to action. An interesting report found that iPhone and Android users spent the most time viewing emails.
With a billion screen sizes to optimise for the challenge has been set. Email designers and coders are working to enhance responsive email design (RED) and get around the tricky scenarios set by the ISPs. It’s well known that Gmail App and Outlook App do not support RED. The graph above shows that 45% of Android phone users only view emails for 0-3 seconds, this result may be due to a poorer user experience on email. With 80% of smartphones and 60% of tablets now running the Android10 operating system, we need to make sure we optimise for the market leaders.
The evolution of mobile email is accelerating and I have seen new exciting developments in the way coders are using a hybrid style of coding to optimise email across every device and scenario. Brands also need to adapt content, layout, copy length and image to make sure their message is read loud and clear.
With email leading as the channel for the highest ROI, conversion rate optimisation is a crucial tactic for 2014. The customer journey from inbox to check out should be as simple and user friendly as possible. If the customer is not ready for the sale or is still shopping around, then help your time poor customer by setting tasks. There are a number of helpful call to actions, for example ‘Add to wish list’, ‘Add to basket’, ‘Read later’, ‘Add to calendar’, ‘Click to collect’, ‘Tap to call’ or ‘SMS’ are a few options.
The rise of mcommerce can’t be ignored. Boxing Day saw 29.9% of all online traffic came from smartphones and 28% from tablets (Benchmarking report released from IBM). As brands take control, people become more comfortable with mcommerce and user experience improves, there will be a higher demand for brands to keep up and adapt the way they use the email channel to communicate.
Lexi Clarke, Creative Consultant, Teradata
Reference and further reading