This holiday season, mobile marketing is key

This holiday season, mobile marketing is key

The holidays are a particularly tough but vital time for marketers to set their promotional messages apart from the crowd. This year more than ever, mobile-friendly email marketing campaigns are poised to offer exceptional returns on investment by adapting to the habits of the contacts in your email database.

Email marketing firm Campaigner recently announced the results of a survey that revealed millennials, in particular, are going to their mobile devices to make purchases. According to the study, 85.7 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 who own smartphones or tablets are using them to read marketing emails and follow up on promotions.

What firms stand to gain from emails that cater to mobile is considerable, but marketers' efforts will have to be strenuous, as the attention of millennials appears to be uniquely difficult to earn. The Campaigner survey showed that 70 percent of the demographic is unengaged with holiday marketing emails, and 21 percent say they are inundated by promotions and therefore ignore them. Just under 50 percent said they weren't sure how the emails they receive this holiday season will impact where and how they spend their money.

However, the email malaise of millennials is no reason to leave the potential rewards of marketing to them unreaped, according to Campaigner's General Manger E.J. McGowan.

"This generation is a game-changer for retailers, and they will need to approach targeting this valuable demographic from all angles – mobile design, personalization, social and content that engages. It will be an exercise utilizing the best mobile email marketing practices, and Campaigner is here to help lead them to success," McGowan said.

How will your emails look on mobile?
In order to truly craft an effective, mobile-friendly email campaign, you'll need to consider how your messages will appear on a smartphone or tablet screen.

The virtues of designing for mobile are different than they are for the Web. Entrepreneur noted that writing a catchy preheader – the first content after the email topic, just above the header image, also known as the snippet text – is just as important as a solid subject line. In fact, the preheader is the first piece of content your recipients see on a smartphone. Rather than something commonplace – instructions on how to view the email in a Web browser, for example – intriguing, memorable text should appear in that space, the news source suggested.

Entrepreneur also pointed out the benefits of responsive design for emails. A Web design concept that has recently begun to be applied to email layout, responsive design helps ensure pages are coded so as to appear differently on respective users' browsers and optimizing systems, taking into account the parameters of each platform to optimize attractiveness.

Don't get left behind
Putting these mobile optimization tips into practice sooner rather than later may be essential for marketers who want to stay ahead of the trend, as mobile commerce is growing at an impressive rate.

Emarketer recently released a study that predicted mobile commerce in the United States would total $41.68 billion – 16 percent of total ecommerce revenue – in 2013 and grow to $113.57 billion in 2017, accounting for 26 percent of retail digital sales.

Large firms aren't the only ones who can embrace mobile, either. A recent survey by Manta showed that small businesses are catching on, too. According to the report, 13 percent of independent retailers expected mobile offers to boost in-store sales, while 20 percent said their total mobile purchases would increase this year. 

"With the changing demographics and mobile habits of millennials coming to the forefront, these trends will continue to accelerate and gain importance," said Manta's Director of Marketing Kristy Campbell.

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