Mobile Tips from the Email Insider Summit

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I recently returned from MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit, where I had the pleasure of joining Dylan Boyd, Chris Studabaker and Len Shneyder on a panel titled “Why You Need to Be Concerned About Mobile – And What You Can Do.”

We had a great discussion regarding the current and future state of marketing to consumers on mobile devices. Here were some of the highlights of our talk.

Mobile what? First, figure out what you mean when you say “mobile.” If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re talking about mobile email. Recognize that mobile also encompasses SMS, applications, websites and more.

Are marketers trying too hard? Mobile marketing represents an immense opportunity for growth and innovation, but we shouldn’t overcomplicate matters by creating problems that don’t exist. Have some fun and experiment a bit. “Don’t let perfect get in the way of better” was a mantra repeated often.

Discovery is an accomplishment. Accept that the industry is still learning what to do about the rise in mobile usage. Only five people (in a room of over one hundred) raised their hands when asked if they had data on their mobile audience. Digging into your web analytics to see how often your site is accessed from a mobile device is a great place to start. Try adding Email Analytics to your next email campaign to find out where your subscribers are opening. How is your audience engaging with your brand?

Where are consumers using mobile email? Using the data collected from more than 300 million email opens, we can tell that nearly 10% have been on a mobile device. Of those, about 7% were on an iPhone (which represents an increase from the 4% we saw in February of this year). On a campaign level basis, we’ve seen mobile opens range from 2-19%.

Design for the customer experience. Recognize where your customers are interacting with your brand on the go, and consider their needs at those points. Tiny screens make it harder to read loads of content (especially at small text sizes), and navigating with your thumbs mean that buttons (rather than text links) are more “clickable.” The mobile experience should be beautiful and usable. Think about their needs before yours.

Communicate! We’re talking to our customers all the time, but are we truly communicating? Consumers like choices. Give them a hand by explaining their options for interacting with you – by email, SMS, mobile apps, etc.

Interested in more? You can watch a recording of the entire discussion. Martin Lieberman also posted recaps of Day One, Day Two and Day Three.