"You've Got Mobile Email!"
According to the Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, 48 per cent of companies do not know what proportion of the emails they sent were read on mobile devices. The latest figures from the largest survey of email marketers in the UK make grim reading, and reveal that companies are working largely in the dark when it comes to engaging with their mobile audience.
Lack of knowledge and lack of targeting mean that many marketers are still employing 'load and blast' techniques to this demanding sector.
These companies are effectively wasting marketing resources, because their messages are not optimised for the relevant reading device/email client, be that mobile, desktop or webmail. As mobile has delivered the fastest growing ROI of any marketing channel over the last five years, the potential here appears enormous.
As Return on Investment is such a key metric for any marketing channel, we must explore it for mobile. Simply put, get it right and mobile returns can be huge. ROI from mobile is growing faster than any other channel – since 2008, mobile has shown a 23 per cent increase in companies that rate it as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ for ROI. Yet today, the mobile channel trails way behind the likes of email marketing and SEO in terms of ROI. One reason is sure to be the severe lack of tracking and monitoring.
Integrating mobile and email
There are still low levels of integration between email and other areas, with no large increases for company respondents since 2011. Despite the growth in smartphone adoption, only 3 per cent of respondents said their email activity was “well integrated” with their mobile marketing. Integrating your mobile marketing with email enables not just optimisation, segmentation and automation, but a clearer picture on customer behaviour and engagement.
As with all email marketing communications, good design, copywriting, subject lines and sender reputation all play an important part in creating a successful response – but adding a clear mobile strategy and mobile optimisation will reap serious dividends.
From our study, we can see that a large number of companies do not have any strategy in place for optimising their emails for display on mobile devices, with 39 per cent reporting this as “non-existent”, and 37 per cent saying their strategy was “basic”. This is despite figures from Google showing that smartphone penetration is now at 45 per cent in the UK. On the supply-side, the results for their clients were very similar, with only 26 per cent saying that their clients’ strategy was “moderate” to “very advanced”.
With the smartphone now being an important part of many people’s lives, marketers just can’t brush a mobile strategy under the carpet. Yet despite this, a large proportion of companies and agencies say they have no mobile strategy in place.
So what can you do? The first thing is to monitor the performance of your email campaigns to find out what’s working and what’s not for your recipients. For example, a quick study on open times may find that prime time for people to engage with your brand via mobile email is in the evening.
You can also ask your Email Service Provider to help identify the type of email clients recipients are using, with a breakdown of each major version. This enables a greater understanding of reader behaviour and optimisation for a company’s specific audience.
Ideally, an email client detection report should be split into desktop, webmail and mobile clients. This will show the breakdown of mobile devices used by recipients (iPhone, iPad and Android), the different webmail services and web browser emulators, and variations in desktop clients. The aim is to ensure the look and design is as you intended across the different delivery methods.
Once you know the mobile subset of your data, ensure campaigns are optimised for them. Then start testing, lots of it - subject lines, times of day, different templates, different offers etc. Then look at further segmentation, automation and engagement marketing.
Finally, get creative. Ensure your email campaigns look the part, and have captivating copy and subject lines that are going to make your audience engage with your message.
There’s a lot to do, but marketers need to make a start or miss out on that untapped revenue. With the rapid surge in use of mobile email, it’s a channel you can’t afford to ignore.
Reena Mistry is marketing director at Adestra