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How do you adapt your marketing to the mobile consumer? Here are 3 steps you could apply today, by learning about your audience using email marketing. 

1. Mobile first? No, customer first

As we all know, mobile use is on the rise. Like an unstoppable force – every week new stats appear stating that more people have smartphones, more people are buying things on their phones, more emails are opened on phones…

(It seems the one thing people aren’t doing is making more phone calls)

“2013 was a big year for the email marketing world. Mobile opens finally hit and surpassed the 50% mark…” (Litmus)

Over 50%? You better get on that. Optimise everything for mobile, quick!

No, wait. Stop. That’s a nice, attention-grabbing stat.

But what you really want to know is: What is the breakdown for your audience?

For example, here’s a breakdown of a recent Adestra email:

Email Client Report

Well, look at that. Mostly desktop users, and mostly using Outlook. Mobile users are accounting for about 8 – 9%. So what does this tell me? That our audience isn’t mostly reading our emails on mobile devices. Yet.

But then, we send all our emails during office hours. So is that affecting the stats? And what about for you? What about your audience? When, and on what devices, are your recipients reading your emails?

How do you find out? Test it, try it. Check your stats. Then keep testing it, and keep trying it. Build a picture of how your audience are consuming your emails; where, when and on which clients and devices.

And keep it up to date. It will change over time. More of your opens will come from mobile over time, but make sure you know the ratio.

Marketing 101: Understand your audience as much as you can, then adapt your marketing around them.

2. Time to focus

There is a great side effect of having to think about mobile in your marketing. It gives you a great opportunity to focus your efforts.

You can start off with the best intentions for your email programme, but over time it’s easy to let things get more and more complicated.

“So, there’s a well written email with a clear call-to-action.”
“Can we also add some of our recent blog posts, in case people want to read them?”
“And some details of our latest promotion.”
“Share buttons, for every social network that exists.”
“Um… There’s a lot of them.”
“Video, that works well. Put some videos in.”
“I think we’re…”
“More calls-to-action, that’s what it needs.”
“And more images. Lots of them. People like images.”

And now, thanks to mobile, you haven’t got as much space or time to grab the attention of your subscribers.

You’ve got this:

Adestra Email on Mobile Screen

And your subscribers could be checking their phone while standing on a crowded train, in the few minutes before a meeting starts, or while waiting for a photocopier to warm up.

So, this is your chance to really focus on your subscribers. What content do they really want? What are they interested in? What do they click on? What do they ignore? Use a heatmap to find out:

Heatmap reporting on Adestra Email

Cut it down. Keep it targeted, relevant and timely. Use this as an opportunity to really refocus your campaigns on delivering what your subscribers want.

3. The wonderful iterative nature of email

Okay, I’ve been involved in email marketing for a long time. So I don’t mind telling you about the big soft spot I have for it.

The way you can put campaigns together pretty swiftly. The way you get to see the results as they come in. The little tweaks you have to make every time an email client gets updated.

I’ve also worked on a lot of websites, and while they too have plus points they tend to be big beasts that take time and resources to make changes to, and test with. Making your website responsive is a big undertaking that can take months.

This is where email can really give you an advantage.

Every email is like a little website you build and send to your lists. And in each campaign there are lots of opportunities to test different elements:

You can use your email campaigns to build up a picture of what your audience likes and responds to, and use that information to improve all your online channels. Let email marketing lead your testing and experimentation efforts.

So, what are the takeaways?

  1. Know your audience – when are they opening your emails, on which email clients and on which devices. Let that guide the use of your resources.
  2. Refocus your communications – deliver relevant, timely and uncomplicated messages to your subscribers. This is more crucial than ever.
  3. Experiment with email – it’s a great testing ground. Test things and experiment. If ideas work, try applying them to your website, social channels or print materials. Always be looking to optimize.

This post appeared first on the SIIA website