Practical Ecommerce

Email Marketing for Mobile Devices: 5 Insights

Between 12 and 19 percent of email marketing messages are now read on mobile, Internet-enabled devices like smartphones or tablets. To continue to get good results from email, marketers should consider mobile user behavior and device capabilities.

Last year, eROI, a digital agency, conducted a survey, finding that about 12 percent of all email marketing messages were being read on mobile devices. When certain times of day or days of the week were considered, mobile devices counted for some 19 percent of readers, according to eROI.

With such significant percentages of email readers on mobile devices, there are certainly some things to consider when planning or executing email campaigns. In this article, you’ll find five insights related to email marketing in the mobile inbox era.

1. Know When Users are Mobile

eROI found that email readers were more likely to use mobile devices early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening. What’s more, there was significantly more mobile email use from Thursday at 5 p.m. until Monday before 9 a.m.

Knowing when your target audience will be mobile should have an effect on how you market. For example, if you are sending a text-heavy newsletter that is designed to engage readers with articles, it might pay to aim for times when they are not likely to be on a mobile phone. But if you are offering lighter content that can be scanned and acted on quickly or that otherwise takes advantage of mobile features, aim for those times when users are out and about.

2. Have Mobile-Oriented Goals

It is also important to understand that users will behave differently when on a mobile device as opposed to a desktop or laptop computer. Try to keep these behaviors in mind when you’re creating your email campaign.

For example, there is some anecdotal data showing that while mobile commerce is rising, you may be more likely to sell a durable good when a user is on a laptop or desktop system. With this in mind, email messages sent late on a Thursday or over the weekend — when users are more likely to be using mobile devices — may aim at getting users to add an item to a wishlist or encourage a click for more information.

It may also make sense to engage mobile-specific capabilities. For example, you might offer a 10 percent off coupon for checking in on Foursquare or Facebook Places.

3. Consider How Non-Mobile Content Renders

If your email campaign links back to a video, blog post, or landing page, be sure you know how that destination content will render on mobile devices. For example, linking to an Adobe Flash video may be fine for some Android smartphones, but that content won’t play on an iPad. Likewise, an ecommerce site not optimized for mobile could be hard to manage on a phone.

4. Have Excellent Content

Mobile users may also be less patient due to potentially slower download speeds and smaller screens. This means that if a mobile user takes the time to open and read your email campaign, you need to reward them with excellent content.

5. Write Compelling Subject Lines

Mobile email clients, for the most part, do not have preview panes like desktop clients do. This means that the reader will see your subject line and nothing more. If compelling email subject lines were important before, they are vital for mobile inboxes.

Final Analysis

Increasingly, users are reading email on mobile devices. Savvy marketers want to be aware of this trend and tailor email campaigns to ensure that mobile users are receiving a good experience.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
Bio  |  RSS Feed


Get the Practical Ecommerce RSS feed

Email Newsletter Signup

Sign up to receive EcommerceNotes,
our acclaimed email newsletter.

And receive a free copy of our ebook
50 Great Ecommerce Ideas