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Thinking outside the inbox – maximising your mobile email marketing

Over the last few weeks we’ve been making plenty of suggestions about how to make your emails stand out in mobile email clients. Good design and content are key, but if you have a large mobile audience then you can also use your email marketing in partnership with other techniques to keep people interested.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Develop apps
Our recent subject line study showed that mentioning apps in the subject line can increase relative open rates. Of course to do this, you need an app! But if you have one, including links to it in your emails and promoting it in your subject line is a great way of engaging more of your recipients.

2. Increase sign-ups with SMS
SMS is a great way of organically growing your database and getting more active recipients, especially those who are more active mobile users. It can be used to get more people who are on the move signing up to receive your emails, and combining this with a welcome campaign means you can grab people’s attention while you are at the forefront of their minds.

3. Quick Response (QR) codes
Mobile email can also be used as a communication tool to announce marketing campaigns that use QR codes. For example, brands can encourage further customer interaction by pointing them to webpages, tv ads, printed material (e.g. posters at an event) or social media sites where the QR code would be available to scan. These can be used to download offers or just to get more information about a particular product. Use your email marketing to generate interest around your QR codes and get people looking out for them.  Generating QR codes is easy – a simple Google search shows up dozens of free services.

 4. Camera phones
The cameras on most mobile phones no longer take fuzzy, out of focus pictures, but instead are good enough that many of us frequently use them instead of regular cameras. Encouraging people to share their photos is a good way of getting customers ‘talking’ to you – why not sell the idea to them in an email and include a link to where you want them to share the image? By using a special mobile site optimized for uploading photo’s you can make this a quick and fun experience for the user, as well as increasing your website Quality Score. This ultimately means you get better advertising for your website and happy interactive customers – a win win!  You could even add a competition element to it, for example by choosing the best photo’s and selecting a winner each month, or have themed entries.

 5. Social media integration
Social media sites are actively used by a huge number of people, and particularly those on mobiles. Before adding every social share link available though, it is worth taking the time to think about which type works best for you and testing a few ideas out. If you want to sell new products then using images or videos on sites like Pinterest or YouTube might be a good starting point. If you want to get people talking and connected then Facebook might work better, while if you work in recruitment, for example, then consider adding a LinkedIn share. Why not include a # in your emails for customers to tweet on their way to events, or to use when reviewing a product that you have been promoting in your emails?

Having a large number of people reading your emails on mobile devices is a great opportunity to open up more communication channels. Make the most of it and see how you can use it to your advantage by integrating some new ideas with your email marketing:

  • Promote your apps in the subject line and link to them in your email
  • Encourage recipients to share pictures taken with their camera phones
  • Build your contact data and encourage sign-ups with SMS
  • Use email to communicate your QR code campaigns
  • Share wisely on social media sites for added campaign effectiveness

Claire Shepherd, Account Executive

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