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Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Mobile Email: Tips on getting started

March 20th, 2015 3 comments

For email marketers, tackling mobile email is a relatively new challenge, but a challenge that needs to be addressed. According to research from Litmus, the email testing and analytics vendor, 49% of people access email via a smartphone — a figure that’s risen fivefold since 2011 and continues to trend upward.

mobile

 

To provide some insight for you, the MarketingSherpa Blog reader, I reached out to five email marketers who addressed the mobile email challenge with two basic questions on the topic.

Read on to find out what this expert panel had to say about mobile email:

 

MarketingSherpa Blog: What one tactic has the most impact on mobile email campaigns?

Justine Jordan, Marketing Director, Litmus

Ah, the million dollar question! As with most things with email, it’s hard to make a generalization since it can vary greatly based on your industry and audience. If I had to pick just one tactic, I’d go broad and say responsive design has the most impact on mobile email. MailChimp sends billions of emails every year, and they’ve seen a 15% increase in unique clicks for mobile users when responsive design is used. Even without huge gains in performance, sending responsive campaigns sends the message that you care about providing the best possible user experience for your subscribers.

 

 Brian Graves, UI Team Lead, DEG

Simplifying the experience. In addition to helping deal with the smaller amount of screen real estate available on mobile devices, statistics show that customers typically spend less than 15 seconds reading marketing emails, with iOS users spending the least amount at around 3 seconds or less. Look at repositioning your email layout to lead with your most important messaging. The most effective emails are typically concise and have a clear focus. This is not only a good tactic for mobile but is one way in which a mobile-first approach can help improve your campaigns across every platform.

 

Ted Goas, Designer and Developer, Canfield Scientific

Work as a unified team from day one. Having product managers, marketers, designers and developers working together from planning through to execution helps ensure a campaign’s quality doesn’t degrade as it gets ‘thrown over the wall’ in a waterfall process. Everyone knows what’s happening and why.

 

Dan Denney, Front-End Devevloper, Code School

Designing an email for scanability has the most impact. We want everyone to read every word, but people want to find what they’re interested in and move on. Make it easy for them.

 

Fabio Carniero, Lead Email Developer, MailChimp

Spongy development (sometimes called hybrid development), in my opinion, has the most impact. There are a fair number of pitfalls associated with mobile email, and the spongy development method — a combination of fluid and non-fluid email markup — can generally resolve most of them. The most pertinent example is the Gmail app on Android and iOS; the app doesn’t support media queries, which are generally necessary for responsive design. The spongy/hybrid technique serves as a work-around for providing ‘responsive’ email in clients that don’t support the technology specifically.

This development technique, with its inherent flexibility and robustness, also has the benefit of being stable in a very wide variety of email clients and platforms, from desktop to tablet to phones.

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Mobile Marketing: How mobile impacts customer awareness

January 9th, 2015 No comments

I’ve always felt that the aphorism about true wisdom being a byproduct of first admitting you don’t know everything to be accurate.

When I attended the ClickZ Live conference in Chicago last October, I got the chance to be exposed to some great new content. However, I felt one of the stories still being told was something I’ve been hearing on repeat since 2011. The story I’m talking about is that of mobile marketing and how it is the “wave of the future.”

We here at Sherpa have been preaching the shift in marketing budgets to mobile for years as well — just take a look back at this chart from last April.

chartofweek-04-15-14

 

Taking a look at some of the mobile channel data

I don’t think there’s any argument on where the industry is going anymore. That being said, I do feel that some of the most convincing data about focus on mobile is being under-utilized by marketers, or even worse, it’s being used by marketers to justify decisions that are not in the best interest of their business — decisions that will not show the best ROI and could be spent more effectively in other channels.

Working on partnerships in different industries over the past several years, I have seen both the good side and bad side of the mobile revolution, while making plenty of mistakes along the way. Seeing just how terrible mobile conversion rates can be compared to other channels is often disheartening.

It’s not enough to just say “mobile is the future.” We need something more actionable. Marketers admitting as an industry that we don’t know everything is the first step.

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Mobile Marketing: 3 tips from ModCloth on mobile app engagement

August 8th, 2014 4 comments

Seldom do I condone a selfie.

Nothing makes me want to cut a slice of humble pie for someone more than a pointless, self-taken snapshot. If you’re doing absolutely nothing but think you look darn good, it’s pretty clear you’re pulling for some strokes to the ol’ ego.

In the driver’s seat of your car? Not a photo op. Working at your computer but having a great hair day? Don’t click the cam.

However, I do think there are some exceptions — and perhaps even necessary occasions — for a selfie. If I run into Jennifer Aniston on the street but no one’s there to take the pic, you best bet I’ll hold up my iPhone and do it on my own.

While my iPhone’s photo album doesn’t have celebrity-accompanied shots (I’m working on it), it’s not selfie-free, which brings me to my other exception: fashion.

Putting an outfit together or buying a piece of clothing is often stressful. I can look in the mirror as long as I want to see if I think a shirt looks funny or if my shoes go with my dress, but there’s nothing better than a second opinion.

I can get that second opinion by taking a photo of myself in the outfit, texting it to my girlfriends to weigh in. What do you think of this top? How does this skirt look with these earrings? Should I buy it? All of my friends and I do this.

Fashion retailer ModCloth, a brand my wallet knows all too well, integrated this selfie behavior into its mobile app. I learned all about it when ModCloth’s Chief Technology Officer Udi Nir chatted with me in the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE.

 

Udi co-hosted an IRCE session in Chicago titled, “Mobile Commerce: Get Ready Today for Tomorrow,” where he gave me the scoop on ModCloth selfies along with how crucial it is to have a strong mobile presence.

“It’s really important because that’s where our girl, our customer, is,” Udi told me. “We are wherever she is. If we want to serve her, we have to be in all those places she wants to access our site.”

On the marketing side, mobile unlocks new opportunities for marketers to reach customers in ways and at times they couldn’t have before.

“Mobile basically provides us new moments of found time,” he said. “Those two minutes in line, a few minutes on the bus or whatnot that weren’t able to be used before.”

ModCloth has channeled its mobile focus into its app, which has helped the company achieve both entertainment and engagement among its customers.

One particular feature is the app’s Style Gallery, a place where ModCloth customers can upload their outfit photos to show how they’ve styled their clothing to give others inspiration, Udi explained.

modcloth-style-gallery

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Marketing Research in Action: Don’t focus on mobile-optimized email, focus on revenue

March 12th, 2013 No comments

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, I grabbed Manny Ju, Director of Product Management, BlueHornet, and asked him about mobile email marketing for our latest episode of Marketing Research in Action …

 

 

Here is a closer look at some research Manny shared. First, Manny discussed research from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report (Full discolosure: BlueHornet is the sponsor of this Benchmark Report, and was a sponsor at Email Summit 2013). As you can see, increasing sales conversion/revenue is the top business objective for mobile marketing.

Q: What are your TOP BUSINESS OBJECTIVES for mobile marketing in the next 12 months?

 

In the MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, financial return on investment (quantitative return on email investment) was the most important objective as well …

Q. As CMO or the senior marketing executive in your organization, how important are the following factors in helping you determine and communicate the value of email marketing programs?

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Mobile Marketing: 5 takeaways from MarketingSherpa case studies

February 28th, 2013 1 comment

While looking through the MarketingSherpa 2012 Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report, I noticed a parallel between the top mobile tactics to be implemented within the next six months and the most recent case studies MarketingSherpa has published on mobile marketing.

 

Recent MarketingSherpa case studies have focused on four of the top five tactics, even touching on the top tactic, mobile website. Some marketers have started the implementation process of mobile marketing, and they have already seen great results. To help you get started on these top tactics, we pulled out the key takeaways from these case studies.

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Mobile Marketing: 7 tips based on CNET’s mobile newsletters

February 14th, 2013 No comments

The MarketingSherpa Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report shows a staggering 55% of marketers reported lacking an effective mobile marketing strategy, as well as not having adequate staffing, resources and expertise.

With MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 quickly approaching, speaker Diana Primeau, Director of Member Services, CNET – who will be presenting a session on win-back campaigns and list cleansing at the event – has insight to offer on this topic to fill in the knowledge gaps when it comes to developing an effective mobile newsletter strategy.

Diana said she knows many marketers become overwhelmed when upper management demands “mobile” without understanding the time and work that goes into it.

“It is not a little magic wand … because if it was really easy, every single email we look at today would work well on mobile,” she said.

 

Tip #1. Know what your audience expects

Mobile newsletters take quite a bit of planning, Diana said, and the most important question to ask is: “Who are you going to design for?”

Knowing your audience will allow you to not only understand what their expectations of you are, but what types of devices the majority of them use, and how often they interact with your emails on their  device.

The MarketingSherpa Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report also shows 31% of marketers don’t know their mobile email open rate – start by determining what that rate is, and become better acquainted with the needs of your audience.

“Who is your audience and what do we need?”  Diana asked. “If somebody has a business that requires them to have certain attributes in their emails, what are those attributes and will they work on a mobile platform?”

 

Tip #2. Consumers expect a multi-device experience

Like most aspects of marketing, mobile newsletters are not something you can wash your hands of once it’s accomplished – it is a constantly evolving process where your customers will always want more.

With mobile, Diana said, “Our customers are just like everybody else’s customer,” meaning every aspect of an average customer’s day from dawn to dusk is filled with multiple devices, and they expect their emails to reflect that.

“They might be commuting to work and they are on their phone, and they might be sitting at their office and they might be on their desktops. They might be going to meetings and they might have their tablet with them, and they might be sitting at home and they have their tablets or … their phone with them,” she said.

Knowing how your customer spends their day will help you develop your mobile email program, and decide how expansive you need to be.

Diana knows with CNET customers, “the idea of being able to move from device to device is an expectation, not something that is like, ‘Oh wow, that is really cool.’  It is expected and we know our customers look at their email across multiple devices.”

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2013 Mobile Marketing Trends: 2 key data points to help you understand this growing behavior

February 12th, 2013 1 comment

“Mobile is a behavior, not a technology. It’s about accessing content wherever you are. It’s really the use that is mobile, not the device,” Anna Bager, VP and GM, Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, said in an interview with ClickZ.

This leads to part of the challenge facing marketers. How do you optimize for this emerging behavior? After all, technology is easier to optimize for than fickle people. If you were just optimizing for technology, you could simply, or not so simply, make sure something reads well on mobile.

So to remix an ancient Greek aphorism …

 

With all thy knowing, know thy customer

In today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, we’ll give you an abbreviated look at some data and resources compiled by the MECLABS Business Intelligence team to help you understand this new and still-evolving customer behavior.

“According to a recent Adobe survey, mobile optimization has been identified as the most exciting digital opportunity of this year,” said Gaby Paez, Associated Director of Research, MECLABS. “As marketers, we need to learn as much as possible how consumers of all ages are using their smartphones; how and when they are visiting our websites, checking their emails, etc. More and more people are using their phones instead of laptop or PC to buy online.”

“We put together this summary to help our team get a quick snapshot of key takeaways they can incorporate now in their optimization projects. We hope this summary helps many of our readers, too,” Gaby offered.

 

Key Data Point #1: Users are spending a growing amount of time with their devices

What struck me about visiting New York City a few months ago is the sea-change in behavior of office workers. You used to walk through Midtown Manhattan and see people on the street in front of office buildings taking a smoking break. Now, everyone is milling around checking their smartphones.

Website traffic coming from mobile devices increased 84% from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012, according to a report from Walker Sands.

 

Nielsen also shows mobile growth but breaks it down slightly differently and looks at a slightly different timeframe – July 2011 to July 2012. Its study shows a significant difference in time spent in mobile Web versus apps. Time spent in mobile Web grew 22% while mobile apps grew by 120%.

 

How you can use this data: First off, this data is a great proof point to secure the budget necessary to reach mobile customers.

Second, you can use these mobile growing habits to help grow other, more traditional channels as well. For one way to do this, read the MarketingSherpa how-to article, “Mobile Drives Email List Growth: How to use SMS and relevant content to add opt-ins.”

Of course, that growth isn’t occurring in broad brush strokes …

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Mobile Social Media Marketing: 3 tips to take advantage of this growing convergence

February 7th, 2013 3 comments

Fun Fact: the iPhone can make phone calls. I say this because two years ago, when Consumer Reports found that the iPhone 4 was prone to dropping calls, media reports were filled with people who didn’t care.

They didn’t care … that their phone … couldn’t make phone calls.

Because people no longer use phones to make calls—they use them to check Facebook and Twitter— the issue of call quality was simply not of importance.

I’m exaggerating, of course, but not by much. According to Nielsen’s State of the Media: Social Media Report 2012, use of the mobile Web has increased 82% from July 2011 to July 2012 and app usage time has more than doubled. Of course, many people connect to social media through an app.

 

 

While less people are using the computer to connect to social media, more people are using mobile phones and tablets to receive their daily Timeline fix.

“The Nielsen report has demonstrated significant evidence to support the idea that the growth of social media and mobile technology are mutually supporting,” said Jonathan Greene, Business Intelligence Analyst, MECLABS.

“According to Nielsen, people continue to spend more time on social networks than any other category of sites – 20% of that time spent on PCs and 30% on mobile devices. This leads to a loose hypothesis that the increase in mobile usage and the increase in social media usage are related, with more people being able to access their social platforms with more frequency and increased lengths of time as a result of the proliferation of mobile technology,” Jonathan explained.

Here’s why this all matters to you, the marketer. We all hear about the meteoric growth of mobile devices. If people are using these mobile devices in large part for social media, that should inform your mobile strategy.

Here are three tips to help you improve the way you communicate with mobile social media users …

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Mobile Marketing: 6 mobile marketing challenges every marketer faces

February 5th, 2013 4 comments

In the MarketingSherpa Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report, we asked marketers about their challenges …

Q: Which barriers exist to overcoming your organization’s top challenges?

The MarketingSherpa community members shared their insights based on this data, which I hope you find helpful …

 

 

Challenge #1: Mobile site or mobile app?

“Strategy and staffing are (not surprising) linked. The resources required to fund a well-researched and well-structured mobile marketing strategy – or even a mobile strategy at large to address the primary question: mobile site or mobile app – are the very same resources necessary to staff such an initiative,” said Aaron Orendorff, Copywriter, Content Strategist & Project Manager, CREO Agency.

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Mobile Marketing: 50% of marketers do not know how many customers interact with their local mobile marketing

January 24th, 2013 No comments

In the MarketingSherpa Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report, we asked marketers about their local mobile marketing efforts …

Q: What percentage of customers/prospects interact with your organization’s LOCAL mobile marketing tactics?

 

While marketers who do track these numbers saw some very impressive results (about a quarter of marketers finding that more than half of their customers engage with social check-in, opt in to geo-fencing communications, and redeem mobile coupons), the biggest surprise is the number of marketers who simply don’t know.

“The fact that the research suggests 50% don’t know how effective they are is evidence that although mobile consumption is increasing and marketers are increasingly adopting it as a marketing channel, analytics and measurement have still yet to catch up,” said Grant Osborne, head of agency, FIRST. “I believe tracking and analysis of mobile (both mobile Web and apps) will be a great source of gaining competitive advantage in this space this year.”

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