12 Days of Christmas: It’s the Mobile Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted by Bonnie Malone on

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – – and also the busiest. With shopping, parties, and family events added to the calendar, people are rushing around even more than usual to fulfill the many demands December brings. But thanks to technology, we now have one must-have-to-survive-it-all item to keep people in touch with one another and work, while also managing schedules and spur of the moment internet searches. Yes – it’s the mobile phone.

Smart phones have soared in popularity over the last few years – and according to emarketer.com, more than 50% of Americans now rely on these devices for email. (In case you were wondering, that’s triple the usage from just 3 years ago.) For email marketers, this means that mobile has quickly gone from a channel to watch, to a crucial channel to optimize. Because of the fast rise of mobile, many email marketers haven’t been able to fully leverage the channel, choosing instead to keep mobile at the bottom of the to-do list for the sake of time and more urgent priorities. So, why not now? Take a few minutes to evaluate the mobile-health of your email program:

How does it look? Just as email renders differently in Yahoo and Outlook, mobile phones each provide a different viewing experience for subscribers. Take a look at your email campaign on a mobile device to experience firsthand how limiting the 3rd screen can be.
Are you flexible? Pre-headers can be some of the hardest working space in an email – if you use them to their full advantage. How long has it been since you’ve updated your pre-header? Consider using the space to offer links to view mobile and web versions of your email, as well as a clickable summary statement of the message content.
How big is too big? Review the width of your email – if it’s larger than 640 pixels, downsizing may improve mobile viewership without sacrificing the web experience.
Is your message legible? With webmail (Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc…) traditionally representing the majority of inboxes, marketers often dedicate a large percentage of email real estate to images, which for the most part, render well in web-based environments. Mobile is different. Images usually aren’t visible (with the exception of the iPhone), so if your message isn’t in a text format, it can’t be read. And, if your links are button-format only, subscribers can’t respond either.

So as you prepare for the holidays this year, consider implementing a few of these small changes to provide subscribers with a better mobile email experience. It might just make the season a bit more wonderful for your year-end business!

Previous posts in our 12 Days of Christmas series:
1. Learning from last year
2. Scrooge Isn’t The Only Complainer At Christmas Time!
3. Don’t Stuff the Inbox with Fruitcake
4. Leverage Your Good Reputation with Certification
5. Holiday Fashion Tips for Your Email
6. The Art of Giving
7. Don’t Forget the Holiday Wrapping
8. Silent Night (and Day!) – When Your Subscribers Stop Engaging
9. The Mobile Questions and Answers That Will Impact Your Email Program All Year Long

We’ve also created a quick tip sheet of the 12 steps you need to take to be more successful this holiday season.


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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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