Smart(phone) Marketing: Quick Tips for Better Results via Mobile Email

Chalk up another victory in mobile’s ongoing march to take over the Internet. Having already overtaken desktop computers in terms of time spent online, search preferences and email open rates, it seems that people are moving beyond simply reading their email on their phones; they’re also taking action as a result.

According to a new report from Movable Ink, they’re actually converting, clicking through to websites, tapping click-to-call links and otherwise demonstrating their interest in what you (or your competitors) have to say. The data not only challenge the old trope that mobile users don’t convert but also underscore the importance of getting your mobile marketing right.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Mobile emails accounted for almost 67% of all email opens vs. 33% for desktop
  • Among mobile devices, iPhones accounted for 41% of email opens, followed by iPads (16%) and Android phones (7%)
  • Mobile devices accounted for 63% of email conversions, with iPhones accounting for almost one-half of them (31%), followed by Android phones (18%) and iPads (12%).

Given the above, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of providing a good email experience for mobile users. Here’s how:

Hook ‘em fast: In the tap-and-delete environment of mobile email, an enticing subject line is crucial to getting readers’ attention. As I type this, the two most recent marketing emails in my inbox have the following subject lines: Iconic City Views: Twilight in Memphis and 149 Travel Deals You’ll Love. Considering that I’m planning a fall vacation (which, by the way, won’t include Tennessee), which one do you suppose is more likely to get opened?

Pull ‘em in with the preheader: On most mobile devices, emails show up with three elements: the sender (self-explanatory), the subject line (see above) and the pre-header, a small snippet of text that can be used to provide additional information. Many organizations go with a default message — e.g., “To view this email in your browser…” — but it can be modified to add descriptive text, highlight a special deal or otherwise entice viewers to keep reading.

Keep it short: When it comes to viewing email (or just about anything else) on their mobile devices, most people don’t actually read; they scan. Make it easy for them to find the information they seek with short block of copy, links and subheads that let them jump from section to section and enough white space to keep things easy on the eyes.

Include a call to action: Sharing news or information is a wonderful thing but, really, the whole point of sending marketing emails is to get people to click through to your practice website. An effective call-to-action link or button entices them to do so, often by providing a clear value proposition (a free ebook, for example), a sense of urgency (Sign up now!) and a direct link to a specific landing page (not your homepage) that provides more detailed information. Make it big and finger-friendly, too, to avoid frustrating mis-clicks.

Keep in touch: Not everyone who clicks through to your website is ready to book a consult. That’s especially true for aesthetic consumers, many of whom research their options for a year or more. Sending the occasional follow-up email — not flooding their inbox — is an excellent way to stay top of mind over time. Having already established an ongoing relationship, you’re more likely to make the shortlist when they’re ready to commit.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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