Six Ways to Send Better Mobile Emails

By: Kahuna | November 13, 2015 | Mobile Marketing
Optimize email for Mobile

With the majority of emails now being opened on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to ensure your messages are tailored for the screen your customer is reading them on. Mobile has fundamentally changed customer expectations for email, as they want messages that are immediate, simple and contextual.

While email has the potential to be an effective channel for brands in the mobile era, it requires a different approach. Here are six ways brands can ensure emails are relevant to their mobile-first customers.

Responsive Email Templates

We’ve all had the experience of opening an email on a smartphone that has clearly been designed for desktop consumption. This is a poor experience that often includes tiny text, pictures that don’t render well, and links that are too small to actually tap on.

Up to 80% of people will delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device. Successful brands ensure their emails shine on any device by using responsive email design. These responsive email templates should include a single column layout, have touch-friendly buttons, have a larger font, and include high-resolution images.

Personalize Content for Individuals

Now that your customers are willing to open your emails on mobile, make sure the content is relevant and compelling. This should go beyond just including the customer’s first name in messages. The best brands incorporate behavioral data into the content personalization.

For example, if your customer has purchased a vacuum cleaner, it makes sense to email them when you have sales on vacuum cleaner bags or accessories. Emailing this customer about sales on vacuum cleaners isn’t relevant—they’ve already purchased one—and it could actually damage your brand by angering the customer.

That’s a relatively straightforward example. But systematically personalizing email content based on an individual’s behavior will boost email engagement rates. The only scalable way to do this is by relying on tools that can automatically personalize email content based on the individual’s interactions with your brand.

Optimize the Best Performing Copy

There are a lot of factors going into how customers respond to your emails on mobile. Personalizing content is the first step to making engaging emails for mobile but the best brands optimize the best-performing copy. This includes optimizing the subject line, as well as the meat of the email.

In the mobile era, successful brands lean on tools that enable them to automatically optimize the best-performing copy in real time, based on all of the user’s interactions with your brand. For example, an on-demand transportation service may find offering discount codes during certain events (big conferences in town, public transportation strikes) will perform the best. It benefits the on-demand transportation app to ensure that message goes out to as many people as possible.

Optimize the Best Performing Time

For the longest  time, email marketers have deluged customers with emails on Tuesday at 10 a.m. because that’s the “best” time to send messages. The truth is: as email becomes a mobile-first communication, there’s no best time, only the best time for each individual user.

There are some exceptions, of course. Transactional emails like purchase receipts should be sent out immediately, and the type of content within the email (newsletters, morning) could also dictate sending out emails at a set time on a set schedule.

Brands that send exceptional emails understand when and how their users prefer to interact. Sending an email at 3 a.m. may not sound intuitive but that could be the ideal time to interact with a customer who works the third shift and likes to interact with your brand at the time.

Trigger Campaigns Programmatically

Brands have been programmatically triggering email campaigns for a while—transactional emails, newsletters, etc.—but the next frontier in boosting email engagement is tying campaigns to deeper interactions with your brand.

For example, a news app can trigger email campaigns based on the customer’s overall engagement state within the service. This email campaign will automatically incorporate a responsive email template, provide personalized content, optimize for the best-performing copy, and send the email at the right time.

Use Cross-Channel Behavior Patterns

Jeremy has verified his email with your brand and uses your app to browse product but he prefers to buy in person. Meanwhile, Samantha has opted in to push notifications, verified her email, connected her Facebook account, and prefers to purchase through the app. Should you email these two customers the same way?

The biggest mistake brands make with email marketing is not thinking of the customer’s behavior patterns in other channels. This is often the result of a siloed email marketing team and it can lead to a customer getting the same message on various channels. Using cross-channel behavior patterns to inform your email strategy is a critical element for winning the mobile era.

To learn more about how to send better mobile emails, feel free to watch the on-demand webinar, “From SPAM to BAM! Using Behavioral Data to Send Impactful Emails.”

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