3 Tips for Better Mobile Email Marketing

Once upon a time, you could launch mass email campaigns with the assumption that a significant portion of the emails would find their way to a desktop computer. But no longer.3 tips for mobile email marketing

Smartphones have changed the game. To better understand the challenges you now face, let’s carefully consider the perspective of the smartphone user.

Enter Pete, your typical smartphone user. Pete is a thirty-something male who purchased an iPhone last October. He uses it frequently to change his Facebook status, upload vacation pictures, tweet witty opinions, check the weather, browse YouTube videos, text his friends, and check his email—all while he drops off dry cleaning, picks up a latte, walks to the office, and eats a burrito for lunch.

As you can see, your message in Pete’s inbox has a lot of competitors for his undivided attention. In fact, there are so many competitors that nothing wins Pete’s sustained attention for long, and you have to be smart to get a slice of it. This is the new game.

Here is what you need to know to play it well.

#1: Pete Will Read Your Pre-Header

When Pete receives your message on his smartphone, he is going to see three things, one right after the other. The first is the sender (you), the second is the subject line, and the third is the preheader (the first few lines of your email). If you don’t make the most of it, the preheader may be all that Pete reads of your email before deleting it.

Your goal is to get Pete to open the email based on what he reads in the pre-header. Come up with something catchy, or link a plain-text version of the email in the preheader (remember that not all mobile devices can read HTML). The preheader does not have to be fancy, but it should be inviting.

#2: Your Email Is Under Pete’s Thumb

After Pete has read the preheader and then opened your email, he is open to encountering any number of frustrations. Maybe that important cheeseburger image didn’t load. Or maybe your double columned newsletter is difficult to navigate now that it has been shrunk to microscopic proportions. Or maybe you stacked three links right next to each other and his giant thumb can’t open the middle one.

You do not want Pete to face any of these problems. The best way to avoid them is to check what your email will look like on a variety of mobile devices. There are websites that will provide demo versions for different mobile devices. Find one and test your design before you send out a mass email. In short, your email should be understandable, readable, and clickable no matter what screen Pete uses to read it.

#3: Pete Is Probably On the Go

This means that he doesn’t have time to read a novel on his phone while running to catch his flight to Chicago. In other words, keep your email short and sweet. Have a tightly focused call to action to which Pete can easily respond. Make it simple for Pete to go to your landing page (which should also be compatible with his iPhone). Make it even simpler for Pete to share your product through his social media networks.

After all, Pete is not just another potential customer. Pete represents a highly connected network of potential customers. He’s compulsively addicted to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—they never leave his thumb or his pocket. By reaching Pete with your mobile email marketing campaign, you can possibly reach his friends too. But only if you play the game.

Guest Author: Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising and branding,  She writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.

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  • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan

    Great tips! I have been playing with email marketing more and more over the past year. I used to do my best to cram everything in there, but now I do my best to KISS the emails and have one call of action (generally a link) that I put in once near the top and once at the bottom to make it easier for readers to just move on with their day after checking out my email.

    • Tara Hornor

      KISS – keep it simple, stupid or silly, depending on your interpretation 😉 – is an excellent tip to remember. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/Pay_Per_Visit Stephanie Fischbach

    Love it Jeff! These tips are not only true but very important if you plan on sending email campaigns now. For me, one of the most annoying are the pre-headers that appear on mobile devices and how off-putting some of them can be. Keep up the great work!

  • http://twitter.com/brendameller Brenda Meller

    Great tips. Are there any email service providers like Constant Contact who offer mobile friendly email formatting in addition to standard HTML and text format?

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      You could try MailChimp or Aweber.

  • Amanda Prior

    Great tips. Particularly
    liked the one about the links being too close together. You mentioned sites
    that allow you to see how various devices display your email. Can you recommend
    any specific ones?

    • Tara Hornor

      You could try http://www.contactology.com/email-view.php, which is a free email preview generator. Or you could pay for email services such as with MailChimp or Litmus to get a full range of previews as well as other mailing services.

  • http://twitter.com/visualead Visualead

    Great article. The mobile world has changed the rules of engagement and it’s great to see how you concisely put together tips that will be the deciding factors as to whether corporate mail will go to spam or be starred as important,

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