How Mobile-First Is Changing Email Marketing


We now read more emails on mobile devices than on desktops. Analysts argue about precisely when that crossover happened, but they agree that mobile-first design is a necessity. The mobile revolution isn’t new, but the speed of it is; according to Nielsen NV statistics, five years ago, only a third of email opens occurred on mobile devices, and today, only a third of them take place on desktops.

What does mobile-first mean for email marketing, and how is your marketing strategy equipped to meet the needs of an essential yet rapidly evolving channel?

Responsive Design

A decade ago, email content creators could be reasonably sure about the way their email displayed to readers, almost all of whom read their mail on desktop units. Today, the same email might appear on anything from a 3-inch mobile screen with a vertical format to a 26-inch landscape-format screen on a desktop computer. A viewer might open the same email on different devices, adding another layer of complexity to email design.

All email design now has to be responsive – that is, it has to display images, links, and text in a way that works equally well on all devices. Each element of a responsive email design is modular and can move to accommodate the screen on which it’s viewed. This flexible design is built into automated marketing systems’ email creation programs, so upgrading to automation lets companies keep pace with changing device standards.

Future Flexibility

Change is a constant in consumer technology, and email marketers must consider not only how people read email today but what they might use to read it in the future. Wrist-worn devices are making waves in the marketplace, restricting email real estate to an even smaller screen than other mobile devices. Responsive email ensures that the next tech breakthrough won’t mean a full retooling of an email marketing program.

Tailored Timing

Mobile email allows users to check their email from anywhere at any time. The old rules about the best times to send email aren’t necessarily accurate. At one time, prevailing wisdom decreed that marketers should set emails for morning arrivals so messages would greet office workers as they started their work day. Now, many readers check their business in-boxes on the commute to work, and email that hits in-boxes at 9:00 may already be too late. The only way to know what’s best for your market is to test, and a marketing automation system is built for easy A/B testing.

Triggered Email

Because readers can check their mail on mobile devices anytime they like, a system that manages triggered email is more important than ever. Conventional email services send autoresponses to subscriptions and downloads, but they lack the power to orchestrate a fully functional drip program with more sophisticated triggers. To get the timing right on triggered email, businesses need automation.

How your customers read their email may change, but the fact that they read it does not. Email remains one of the most effective channels for lead generation and customer communication. Make sure you’re ready to make the most of it with marketing automation that gives you simple, powerful mobile-first design tools.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2015 All Rights Reserved.


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