Here is a post from the second new contributor of the day I am glad to welcome. Chris Yoko from Yoko Consulting, a performance driven marketing consultants firm, looks at mobile email in his first post (for this blog of course).
Of the many companies I speak with, as well as various colleagues and other professionals, most think they have their email game down pat. We’re tracking statistics, we test subject lines and creative and we’re following all the rules. What more could you ask for?
How many members of your email list receive email on a mobile device? Which devices constitute the majority of your list’s mobile segment? How easy is your campaign creative to view on various mobile devices? I could go on, but most don’t have the answers to even these few questions. Let alone solutions to help them edge out their competition in the mobile space.
If you’ve been turning a blind eye to mobile users, it’s time to stop. According to Morgan Stanley’s Mobile Internet Report (December 15, 2009) it is expected that by 2013 mobile internet use will grow over 66 times what it was in 2008.
That’s much more quickly than desktop internet ramped up. And while it is estimated that only about 7-9% of the world’s population actually own a computer, over 60% own a cell phone.
If those numbers don’t change your attitude, perhaps the recent proliferation of smartphones will. Cell phone web use is expected to account for 30% of all data traffic by 2013.
What all these numbers boil down to is one simple fact – more and more people are accessing technology on the fly, and those companies that adapt to reach those users in the way they (the users) prefer will ultimately increase their share of the market. But how do you do it?
Building a new list?
Starting from scratch? Terrific!
As you’re building a new list, it’s as simple as asking your users what they prefer. Ask if they prefer to receive your traditional emails or a mobile version of the email.
You’ll start building your list segments with each and every new user. Be sure to develop creative that works on each platform. It may be clichéd, but it’s best to keep it simple.
Already have a list?
Working from a list that is already in place has its pros and cons. You’re users are already interacting with you, so they’ll more than likely be open to sharing new information with you. Of course the downside is you have to make these modifications to your list. While it can appear a daunting task to some, it’s well worth it in the long run.
Your first option is to integrate a mobile option over time. Create a mobile version of your email creative, and host it on your server. Place a link in the regular email creative to allow a user to click to view the mobile version.
Track those users who click through, and you’ll begin to get an idea of what share of your list is opening your emails from a mobile device. If you have proper analytics reporting, you’ll even know what device they used to access your mobile email page. After a few emails are sent, you should have enough information to know how much of your list wants mobile content, and proceed from there.
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A quicker, more straightforward method for those who have an interactive email following is to simply ask your users if they view your email on a mobile device and if they’d prefer to receive a mobile version of your email. If you really want to get into details, ask them what device they use so you can further cater your campaign to them.
Once you have this information you can segment your list. If you want to do it quickly and simply, just set up one segment as Traditional email and another for Mobile email. Then, when building out your creative, simply build a mobile version as well, and send the appropriate version to the corresponding list segment. If you’re interested in making the most of your mobile email users, segment the list by Traditional email users (you may even subcategorize this by ESP or email program) and segment mobile users by device. Then build your creative to correspond to each device. Your readers will certainly appreciate it, and they’ll show their appreciation by doing more business with you.
Author Chris Yoko is the president of Yoko Consulting, an interactive marketing firm that helps clients make the most of their web presence, from website development and social media to email and mobile marketing. You can also find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.