The Small Device Having a Very Big Impact on Your Email Strategy

With smartphone penetration in excess of 50% in Australia, and mobile internet usage continuing to surge – spare a moment to think about the impact that this could be having on your email marketing strategy. Although it is not one of the more sexy digital topics, email is still a very important staple in the digital toolkit – and now more than ever the channel needs love to adapt to the change in consumer behaviour bought on by mobile.

So what are some of the most important things to think about?

When was the last time you tested send times?

Time of Day
A recent study conducted by Pure Profile (which surveyed over 1,000 Australians) found that 41% of Australians check their mobile phone at or before 7am, with almost half indicating they check their phone as soon as they wake, even on weekends. Whilst a report released in September by ExactTarget found that 71% of Australians checked their email as their first digital priority of the morning. Research by Pure Profile also found that 45% of Australians, check emails on their phone as the last thing they do before they go to sleep at night, even on weekends. This opens up new opportunities for marketers to trial sends before 9am and after 5pm in an attempt to kick start declining open and click through rates.

Is Saturday & Sunday the new “in” days to send
For years email marketers avoided Saturdays and Sundays like the plague as consumers moved into leisure mode. But unsurprisingly email viewing via mobile devices is highest towards the back end of the week and on the weekends – as consumers switch away from desktops. With bricks and mortar retail trade often highest towards the end of the week and on weekends – this represents a significant opportunity for retailers as inboxes are largely uncluttered.

Email and Social Media IntegrationShould you be thinking mobile first when designing email templates – you betcha!

According to Return Path, by the end of 2012 more emails in the US will be read on a mobile device than via a desktop / webmail experience. As Australia’s smartphone penetration is the second highest in the world (second only to Singapore) it is safe to assume this trend is as equally as relevant. The implications of this are fairly self explanatory – those that aren’t optimizing their emails for mobile devices stand to lose out. But what are the most important things to think about when designing the ideal mobile friendly email template?

eDialog reports that around 80% of all users find it harder to read email on their phones and sums up the biggest complaints (so you can ensure you avoid them):
• Having to scroll to read all information (15%),
• A surplus of textual content (9%),
• Images rendering badly or not at all (8%)

Are mobile devices for viewing or subscribing?

One of the hotly debated topics is whether or not consumers go to the trouble of subscribing to emails via mobile devices – given subscription forms can be difficult to complete on a mobile device. According to a study conducted by The Relevancy Group, 20% of consumers have used their mobile device to opt in to emails – demonstrating that mobile isn’t hampering consumers desire to sign up to email communication. As a result, brands need to ensure not to do away with sign up functionality on mobile sites when attempting to provide a more simplified mobile version of their desktop website.

Here’s a video from Hubspot on Social, Mobile, and Email Marketing Updates:

References
http://www.themultichannelretailer.com/news/7064/marketers_need_to_embrace_changing_email_habits/
http://www.returnpath.com/resource/email-in-motion/
http://www.startupsmart.com.au/online-and-email-marketing/four-in-10-australians-check-their-phone-before-7am-report/201210057791.html
http://www.startupsmart.com.au/online-and-email-marketing/three-top-email-marketing-trends-revealed/201209137559.html

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