Partner Voices: 4 Tips for Mobile-Optimized Email Messaging
As the publishing industry continues to transition from print to digital forms of media, the important takeaway for publishers is this: If you're not effectively communicating with audience members via their preferred channel -- email -- you're not engaging with them in a manner that will deliver increases in advertising and subscription revenue.
And, of course, there is plenty of data that bears this out. Mobile usage is predicted to reach 8 billion subscribers by 2016. Moreover, in the U.S., 65% of all email gets opened first on a mobile device.
However, according to a recent FOLIO: survey, 16% of publishers say their emails are not mobile-optimized and they aren't sure where to start. Given where audiences are moving and their increased expectations for relevant and contextual engagement, that's a staggering number.
The Mobile Impact on Email
Put simply, email works. It drives traffic to content-rich sites, increases engagement and loyalty via personalized offers, and averages an impressive $44 for every dollar spent -- far outperforming every other digital channel on return on investment (ROI). .
Email plus mobile empowers publishers to deliver contextually-relevant content to audiences who are always on the move. The key is to remember that the mobile medium is "in the moment." Unlike print newsletters and magazines, the mobile medium is actionable, time-sensitive and always-on. It is best at delivering short bursts of content that are scannable, consumable and digestible for an audience whose attention span declines in direct proportion to the size of the screen on which they view such content.
Whether cell phones, smartphones, tablets or apps -- the time to optimize for mobile is now. Here are some tips for ensuring your mobile strategy helps drive subscriber engagement and revenue.
1. Track Users to Determine What Mobile Devices They're Using
Make sure your email service provider (ESP) is able to report not only on traditional email metrics, but also what devices your messages are being read on. This will help you prioritize your mobile optimization efforts, as well as determine the best approach for doing so. This information can also be used to tailor offers that target the users of specific mobile platforms.
2. Use the Analytics About Your Subscribers' Mobile Usage to Determine the Best Way to Optimize your Emails
In most cases, responsive design will be the best solution for designing messages across multiple devices and screen sizes, but not always.
3. Implement Your New Design-And Thoroughly Test It
A new mobile-responsive design is not guaranteed to return better results, which is why testing is important. Multivariate testing practices can help you understand how subject lines, images, content blocks and calls-to-action perform across different devices. If a design negatively impacts your email open rates, go back to the drawing board and figure out what's wrong.
4. Keep Measuring Performance
Just because you have adapted your messages to the most popular mobile devices doesn't mean that they won't change in the future. You need to be ready to tailor your messages for new devices, email clients and operating systems to keep all your audiences engaged and your advertising revenue flowing.
Email is a proven tool for customer acquisition and engagement. In today's digital world, optimizing your emails, newsletters and links to content for viewing on a wide spectrum of mobile devices is no longer a luxury, it's a business imperative.