The hot thing in email marketing right now is mobile: for those just getting started with creating (or adjusting) their email marketing campaigns here’s a mobile email marketing checklist to make sure you’ll be successful on the mobile and touch platforms including iPad, iPhone, Android-based tablets/smartphones and more.
Why spend time and effort on mobile email marketing?
In the past few years, mobile email usage has been skyrocketing. Just a few weeks ago, Justine Jordan of email testing & analytics company Litmus noted that email on the mobile platforms is very succesful: people are either reading email solely on those mobile platforms, and more and more people are making purchases based on mobile email marketing campaigns.
It is therefor definitely worth it to spend time and effort on executing good mobile email marketing: provided that your contacts are opening your emails on mobile devices, of course. To find out, consult with your ESP or check Litmus’ email analytics services. Below is a simple but comprehensive mobile email marketing checklist with guidelines for all factors involved.
The mobile email marketing checklist
This is the part to copy and paste into your email marketing plan, your corporate mobile device, your strategy presentations. Have every (mobile) email marketing campaign be checked with this, to make sure you and your team have done everything you can to make it a success! Here we go.
1. The message should be clear from the start.
Remember, you’re on mobile: time and space is precious. Convey your message quickly and clearly, or you’ll lose the reader’s attention (also, see #3).
2. What do you want the receiver to do? Have a clear call to action.
This counts in all of email marketing, but especially mobile email marketing. What do you want the readers to do? Click, order, subscribe, fill in a form, anything? Make that action loud and clear together with the message.
3. Subject line: keep it short, sweet and simple.
Remember, you have only seconds to capture that attention, and the subject line might also be your most important conversion factor. Also, have a look at ‘Subject lines and mobile: what works?‘ On a regular smartphone’s screen (4″ these days), when viewed vertically, there’s space for about 26 characters including spaces. Use them wisely.
4. Touchy touchy – finger navigation means more spacing!
Accidental clicks or skips are cumbersome and irritating. The human finger is a bigger mouse pointer than the classic mouse pointer. Reserve space between all objects in the message, especially links: a navigational misfire means time and a fluid user experience are lost. Fix it before it breaks: more whitespace, bigger fonts (that last part to save zoom action).
5. Localization: where is the receiver?
When someone’s on the mobile platform, chances are they are not at a desk in the office or at home. Probably on the go, on a cafe terrace, in a bar, you name it. If possible and applicable, use localization to optimize for the user experience. Show where your shops are. Show where your products can be bought in the receiver’s vicinity. Make them feel like ‘these guys are smart, saving me time and effort, I’m gonne drop by!’.
6. Testing here, testing there..really testing everywhere.
As with #2, testing is of the utmost importance: the quality of your email marketing is your business card to the outside world. Grammar, spelling, rendering, navigation path…everything should be sorted out and tested out before it goes out. This one will cost quite some time and effort for big email marketing campaigns and / or if you want do it right, but will save you and your company’s reputation in the long run.
7. It’s how they land: get your landing pages in shape.
Why would you spend time making email look good on mobile when the subsequent landing pages are difficult to navigate, let alone have people convert on them? Be sure to have landing pages detect mobile browser clients and serve the proper landing page or website. It’ll earn respect, love and money in the long run: a fluid user experience. Beautiful.
8. Spread the word: offer easy social sharing with benefits.
Social has been tied together with mobile from the very beginning of smartphones and social networks. Have a cool email marketing campaign or a daily offer email? Be sure to include the right social network sharing options: your reach may just quadruple in a few hours.
9. Media queries might be your saviour.
If you’re having trouble having your emails look good on certain mobile devices, or don’t want to create a gazillion versions of an email campaign, media queries can save the day. They are meant to have parts of emails be displayed differently depending on screen size, device type used and such. Smashing Magazine has a cool post on media queries for creating a mobile website, while MailChimp also has done a few post on them here and here (including examples) with regards to email.
10. Lean and mean.
As much as everyone loves juicy graphics and big photographs, bandwidth, processing power and transfer rates of mobile devices are not yet up to par compared to their desktop chained counterparts. Be sure to keep the ‘weight’ of a message and connected landing pages to a minimum, maximizing and optimizing the user experience in that respect.
Speed is part of a positive user experience. If I can get something done from email within 10 seconds, I’m happier than when it takes 30 seconds, or 50, or 2 minutes…you get the point.
There you have it. The mobile email marketing checklist that will help you battle it out on the mobile platforms and succeed with your email campaigns. This list is of course not complete, so make sure to create your own unique checklist for mobile along the way: because the best way to learn anything is by doing it. Have your own tips or examples of great mobile email marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments.
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