How to Make, Not Break, Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Marketing activities built for a mobile world are much more likely to be read and acted upon. Those are strong words, but there’s plenty of evidence – including a new survey that clearly indicates mobile-friendly display has become “make or break” to email marketing efforts.

The recent survey of smartphone owners found that 80 percent of consumers say it is “extremely important” to be able to read emails on their mobile device. And, three-quarters of respondents also said they are “highly likely” to delete an email if they can’t read it on their smartphone.

Knowing this, let’s say you send an email that looks wonderful on a mobile device. The research found that almost 80 percent of consumers are likely to reopen an email on a laptop or desktop after having originally opened it on their smartphone, and 49 percent said they are also likely to click on hyperlinks included in mobile emails.

Simply put, a good mobile-friendly display can lead to deeper relationships with customers through multiple views, and a better chance they view your website or even purchase your product through higher click-through rates. But emails with poor mobile display risk a quick trip to the trash bin, voiding all of the hard work you put in to it.

That’s definitely “make or break.”

Fortunately, optimizing emails for mobile display is easy. Follow these four steps and you’ll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of mobile friendly email:

1. Use a one-column template. While two-column templates have traditionally been customary in email marketing, they often don’t look quite right on mobile devices. There’s simply too much going on at once, and users have to pinch and zoom around to view the content clearly.

One-column templates are clearly organized and much more reader-friendly. And, consumers are much more accustomed to swiping up and down through content on touchscreen devices than they are to zooming in and out. A one column template is good for them, and good for you.

2. Type less, but say more, with one call-to-action and reduced text. People often glance at their mobile devices for a few seconds at a time while on the go. This means you need to simplify your content and cut to the chase. Selecting one clear call-to-action, and reducing the total amount of text in the email, are both great ways to stand out.

And really, this is less work for you, too. Creating great mobile-friendly content doesn’t require spending hours trying to conjure up additional content for your emails. Effective mobile-friendly email content should take less of your time, but produce just as good – if not better! – results.

3. Rethink the link. Take out your phone and open a marketing email. You’ll notice two types of links: text links, where the words are highlighted and underlined; and buttons, bold rectangular shapes with simple messages like “Join Now.” Which one is easier to see and tap? Exactly – the button.

You don’t need to avoid text links entirely, but make sure they’re large (at least 11pt) and easy to hit, and consider switching to a button instead to absolutely maximize mobile click-throughs.

4. Concentrate your subject line. Mobile devices have narrow screens and short line lengths, providing less space to get your message across in the subject line. Great subject lines are the key to great emails, so keep your subject lines under 30 characters to maximize their efficacy.

In summary, keep two rules in mind for your mobile-friendly emails: simplify, and shorten. In today’s mobile world, the best content gets to the point quickly and legibly, respects the reader’s time, and presents a clear call to action. Apply these four principles to subject lines, links, layout and content, and you can ensure mobile email success.

For more information on the consumer survey, which also delves into mobile email open rates among different age demographics, check out our research page here.

Submitted by Jim Garretson, mobile product manager, Constant Contact.

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