MindFire Communications, Inc.
Mobile email marketing: flirting with the tipping point
July 7, 2014 | Kristin Stires


Ever feel like a slave to your inbox? We know the feeling. The Radicati Group reports approximately 182.9 billion emails were sent worldwide each day in 2013. Yep, that’s billion with a "b.”

Along with business and personal emails, commercial emails also flood your inbox. Some are wanted (why hello, sale at Target), others are definitely not. Most of these commercial emails get ignored. If you’re taking time to look at any of them, chances are you are opening them on a mobile device.

A recent report from data management platform provider Knotice® finds that mobile email marketing is flirting with its tipping point. The report, which focuses on permission-based email marketing campaigns, is based on a sample of 1 billion emails sent by companies representing 11 industry segments. Overall, 48 percent (nearly half) of marketing emails were opened on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) in North America in 2013. Taking a look at specific industries, mobile open rates for consumer services, hospitality and financial services all rose past 50 percent in the second half of 2013. Open rates were measured on smartphones and tablets versus a desktop (including laptop) computer.

Knotice has tracked email activity since 2010, and the data proves that mobile open rates continue to climb. But what prompts the decision to open marketing emails? According to a report from the email marketing service Campaigner®, just over 42 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed say familiarity with the sender’s name is the biggest influencer, followed by awareness of a deal/price (21 percent) and the email’s subject line (20 percent). The report is based on a survey of 3,038 U.S. consumers who receive promotional emails.

Does this make you wonder if you should re-evaluate your email marketing strategy to make it more mobile-friendly? We can help you light a fire under your mobile email marketing approach with these seven tips.

1. Less is more.

Keep content short. It’s one thing to open an email, it’s another to read it. Send easy-to-digest, snack-size content to consumers. Prioritize content, keeping the most important information at the beginning of your email.

2. Add value.

Campaigner reports 42 percent of respondents said irrelevant content irritated them the most about mobile marketing emails. No surprise there. Emails should include content that adds value for your audience. Including links to additional relevant content on your website adds further value for consumers and increases your brand awareness through site traffic.

3. Consider design.

Your email design should be responsive (mobile-friendly). Designing for mobile can include images that scale according to screen size, large buttons and shorter copy. Be sure to include text within the design so if the viewer turns images off, they can still respond to your call to action. Make it easy for your audience to interact with your content and connect with your brand messaging.

4. Keep it short.

The general rule of thumb is to keep email subject lines to 50 characters or less – keep in mind, a phone will display 25 to 30 characters. So get to the point with short, clear subject lines. Avoid using "spammy” features like ALL CAPS and exclamation marks! Otherwise, you’re just asking to get filtered. Check out email management provider MailChimp’s examples of best and worst subject lines.

5. Use an email service provider.

Use a quality email service provider to manage and measure your email campaigns. At MindFire, we’ve used a few including iContact, ConstantContact, Emma, Lyris and others. Remember to personalize the "From” line so it’s clear the message is coming from your company.

6. Collect actionable data analytics.

Email campaign behavior data (e.g., click-through rates) provides insights into consumer preferences and interests. This insight allows you to improve consumer experiences by adapting brand messaging and sending that message at the right time.

7. Be respectful.

While the very thought of someone not wanting to receive your emails may be incomprehensible, it’s reality. Be respectful of your recipients’ privacy. Include an "unsubscribe” option link in your emails.

Remember, the tipping point for mobile email marketing is quickly becoming reality. Content is still king, but be sure to translate it using a mobile mentality – setting your email marketing campaigns up for success and getting your brand into the minds of consumers.

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