Email Marketing and Mobile – A Match Made in Heaven?

What is one of the key things you do with your mobile phone? I bet checking email is well up the on the ‘most common tasks you do on your phone’ list, right? For me, it certainly is. I subscribe to the ‘Almost Timely‘ weekly email from the impressive Christopher S Penn, and every time I receive it, I read the full thing on my iPhone. Why do I do this? First things first, the layout is perfect for a mobile experience, it is uncluttered, uses imagery well and the formatting allows me to easily pick out the sections that are of interest to me. From a marketing point of view, the emails are rammed full of appropriate ‘calls to action’ meaning that the reader can easily head off to expanded content, or even leave feedback on that weeks editions on Chris’s Facebook Page. All of those points are key aspects of successful email marketing, especially when it comes to mobile.

What Can we Learn From This Approach?

Many people use their phones to sift through emails, deciding what they need to respond to, disregard, read on the spot or take time to read later. Email is so programmed in to our brains that ignoring its potential for mobile is crazy. Ensuring your email marketing is optimised for mobile should be an absolute priority. Why do I always read Chris’s e-newsletter when it pops up on my phone? Simple – I know that I will be able to fully absorb it when on the move, this is again due to its layout and logic. I am a massive advocate for social media and of course it has huge advantages in mobile, but the majority of the time, a user will have to actively go in to an app to absorb their Facebook or Twitter feed – with email our inboxes populate without any action from us and we automatically take the time to at least glance at the subject line (great email subject lines are a must!) before activating that sift process I alluded to earlier. As a marketer, mobile email gives you the chance to make an impression on that process and grab some attention.

Key Points for a Great Mobile Ready Email

1 – Have a mobile site – don’t wreck a great mobile experience by linking people to a non-mobile optimised site from your email!
2 – It has to work at a glance – you literally have a second or two to grab attention, so make it crisp, clear and easy to digest. And remember subject lines!
3 – Have clear calls to action – this relates to email in general, however try to always have a purpose to your emails, that can be as simple as leading people to your site for more information. This gives you something extra to track over and above open rates etc and will help you to prove the worth of your email efforts.
4 – You can have a solution that works well on mobile and static devices – Chris Penn’s emails look exactly the same on a PC, phone or tablet and work well on all.

Integrating Mobile Email Marketing with Social Media

Chris Penn does this very effectively in his weekly emails. By asking readers to head over to his Facebook Page and leave feedback or discuss the points from his emails, he is spreading his reach on to a key social platform and encouraging engagement from within his audience. Think how you can use your social media platforms alongside your email to offer a rounded experience to your customer, prospect or audience. Social network apps are very much part of the mobile experience, meaning a smooth transition between email and apps is possible.

There, you go, ignore the potential of email marketing via mobile at your peril!

Are you using email marketing and considering its implications on mobile? How is it working for you? Do you receive a great email from a brand/organisation etc that works well on your mobile device? Tell us in the comments below!

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About Mike McGrail

Mike McGrail is the owner of The Social Penguin Blog. He is the MD of Velocity Digital. He likes scotch and leather-bound books. Follow Mike's ramblings on Twitter. He also resides on Google Plus here.