If you haven't made mobile a priority for your email marketing initiatives, you’re almost certainly falling behind. And not just behind the times. In all likelihood, you’re also losing sales to your competition. After all, your prospects and customers are going mobile in greater numbers. Mobile traffic is spiking, and conversions and revenues are following in turn.
The benefits of expanding your email program into mobile web and apps and empowering your email templates for mobile platforms can no longer be ignored. For those who haven’t yet started, here are five things marketers must do now to incorporate mobile into their overall email strategies:
Make the Trend Your Friend: Mobile traffic and sales surged during the 2014 holiday shopping season: 22.6% of all online sales in November and December came on smartphones and tablets, and mobile drove 45% of all online traffic. (Source: IBM) Mobile traffic also hit two all-time highs: 52% on Thanksgiving Day and 57% on Christmas Day, when mobile sales hit 35% of all online sales. Mobile commerce will account for 24.4% of overall ecommerce revenues by the end of 2017, ABI Research reports. These stats show mobile use can no longer be ignored or put in the “emerging” category. It’s here to stay. Get on board, or get left behind.
Make Your Emails Look Good (and Function Properly) on Every Screen: Last year, more than half of all opens happened on a smartphone or tablet, compared with 30% on webmail services (Gmail, Yahoo) and only 20% on desktop systems (e.g. Outlook), according to Litmus. That means your customers’ journey is beginning on mobile more often. They need to be able to open, view and click on your message from their mobile device. Marketers can’t afford to lose them from the get-go.
Be App Enabled: Marketers should use email to create push notifications promoting their app download page, and describe why users should use and enable this. Why? Apps have become part of everyday life for typical mobile users, and they are opening apps more often – an average of 10+ times a month in 2014, up from seven monthly opens on average in 2012, eMarketer states. In addition, experts say 37% of consumers are more likely to purchase on a mobile-optimized site. All of this points to the fact that marketers can and should use email to promote apps to their subscribers, as well as to send how-to reminders to those who download but don't register app activity, and to send mobile push notifications to boost app opens.
Ride the Coattails of the Most Popular Apps: As marketers can use email to drive users to engage with the most popular apps (think Pinterest and YouTube), they need to build a significant presence on each. While mobile users tap into an average of 24 apps per smartphone each month, they spend 80% of their time on just their top five apps, says Forrester Research. Marketers can boost their app’s engagement by adding benefit-based content to broadcast emails, and by linking to their app locations on their websites, and to the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.
Implement Mobile Payment Platforms: Your meticulously designed mobile website or cool responsive-design email will be missing a key opportunity if it doesn’t have a one-click mobile payment system enabled, such as Amazon Pay or PayPal. Consider the fact that 24% of Americans have now used a mobile payment system, and mobile payments accounted for 17% of transactions in 2014, with an estimated value of $37 billion in the U.S. alone, according to MobileFOMO and PunchTab. Not implementing a mobile payment platform and requiring users to type in a billing/shipping address, credit card number and various other fields on a small screen will be a significant barrier to conversion.
Marketers with a weak (or no) mobile aspect to their email campaigns are likely losing customers. Integrating mobile capabilities into their programs will enable them to break down traditional channel silos, move closer to a true 360-degree view of their prospects and customers, and, most importantly, increase reach, responses and sales. Indeed, going mobile - and getting it right - has become essential for today’s effective digital marketing programs.
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