January 17, 2017
By Tushar Patel
With more than half of all email messages being read on mobile devices, there is little question about the importance of optimizing for mobile.
What is more, recent research has shown us that many shoppers will mark email as spam if it does not work on their mobile devices, a move that potentially endangers deliverability across the board.
Given how much is at stake for merchants, it is crucial to deliver email messages that meet not only expectations for formatting, but also present content and offers that are compelling and appeal to mobile shoppers.
To win opens, clicks and sales, merchants should adopt user-friendly best practices and entice mobile engagement with the relevant content.
These seven tips are guaranteed to get merchants on the right path to mobile engagement success:
• Optimize the subject line for mobile and use pre-header text. Merchants can help mobile users get the gist of messages by placing critical text in the first 30 characters of the email’s subject line.
In addition, retailers should use pre-header text to ensure the first-line preview of the message’s body displays pertinent content, not global header information.
• Activate click-to-call for all phone numbers and create buttons for clumsy fingers. For shoppers who want to use their mobile devices to make a call to a local store outlet or customer service centers, activate click-to-call and provide click-to-chat links.
Retailers should also consider including Facebook Messenger for Business for email recipients to reach one-on-one help easily.
Providing shoppers adequate white space around calls-to-action to prevent launching the wrong content and frustrating shoppers is also a proven best practice.
• Design image-rich campaigns. Although merchants must keep email load times down, they should endeavor to put mobile-appropriate images and in-email video front and center, as the color and content of eye-catching content can significantly engage mobile email skimmers.
• Individualize email content. Use advanced personalization tools to include relevant and personal products, content and promotions based on your customers’ segments, location, recent behavior, purchases, search terms and preference.
Tailoring these offers to each individual consumer will drive the experience that they want, resulting in higher response rates and conversion.
• Feature social media in content, not just in buttons. Knowing that social media is now mobile-first, merchants should tap into this activity by encouraging shoppers to connect with their branded social outposts and use social content to populate email campaigns.
• Put emphasis on distinct product features and information. Because mobile shoppers conduct research on the go, merchants should provide them with the fodder they seek.
Email campaigns can feature links to in-depth product information, comparison tools and, for the holidays, expert gift guidance that highlights unique product attributes within the email content.
• Integrate physical store promotions and information. The impact of mobile research on in-store shopping is indisputable.
Merchants should do more than link to a store locator in email promotions. The focus should instead be on fully integrating in-store offers and events with online links to convince shoppers that they will receive consistent access to products, services and discounts wherever they choose to shop.
THE NOTION THAT ecommerce emails must be mobile-first is now an accepted best practice. But with the array of devices on the market, it can be hard to know what formats and content are most appropriate for mobile consumption.
With the season of stepped-up email cadence fast approaching, merchants should ensure that their emails meet all criteria for mobile effectiveness and ecommerce email success.
Tushar Patel is chief marketing officer of Kibo, San Francisco. Reach him at email@example.com.