Direct Line Blog

Mobile Email: Optimize or Perish

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 Email opens on mobile devices r expected to surpass desktop opens by 2013
Email opens on mobile devices r expected to surpass desktop opens by 2013

Seventy. It's a number that should make a marketer's blood run chilly.

Why? Because 70% of smartphone users will immediately delete an email that doesn't display correctly on their mobile device. Seventy is also the percentage of the world's population that currently has a mobile device. Add to that the fact that almost half of all email, about 42%, is opened on mobile devices, and you've got a #scary situation.

Now, math isn't my forte, but that seems like a pretty convincing argument in favor of email optimization to me.

Mobile-ready email was the topic under discussion at a StrongMail-sponsored TweetChat (#StrongMobile) on March 27 hosted by Direct Marketing News. We had Eric Lepetit (@ericlepetitsf), StrongMail's mobile campaign strategist, on hand to answer optimization questions and talk mobile email do's and don'ts.

For example, subject lines are more important now than ever. As TweetChat participant @fionalandrews pointed out: “It better have an awesome subject line for me to check on my laptop later, or I'll delete it!”

It's a good point. I don't know a single person who says they get too little email. With the glut of messaging out there, there's not much motivation to click on something mediocre.

Speaking of click-throughs, or shall I say tap-throughs, only about 2% of people who first view an email on a mobile device look at it again later on a desktop. Mobile users also want their emails hot and fast when they're checking messages on a phone. If an email's confusing, or it's not clear where to tap, best case scenario the user will delete it. Worst case scenario, if it happens enough, that user might disengage with the brand completely in a frustrated huff.

But follow some mobile email best practices, and you should be in the clear. Tweeter @valthinks asked Eric if there is “a magic formula for a number of links or is it simply all about clean messages?”

And no matter how awesome a brand's messaging is, if it isn't optimized for mobile, it's probably not going to fly.

OK, enough fear-mongering. Here's a number that'll turn that frown upside down: 120, as in a 120% decrease in disengagement for optimized emails. That's what StrongMail's seen for the messages it mobile-optimizes for its clients. That and a more than 24% increase in click-through rates.

Really, when it comes to mobile-ready messaging, the only person standing in your way is you. Get smart about optimization and the world is your mobile email oyster.

Check out Storify to view more highlights from the chat.
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