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Posts Tagged ‘mobile marketing’

Email Marketing: 4 steps to optimize a mobile experience for better conversion

April 15th, 2014 No comments

Mobile is big, but just how big is it?

Justine Jordan, Marketing Director, Litmus, posed that question during her Industry Perspective session, “Email Design: How to optimize for all environments in a mobile world,” at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014.

mobile-demographics-chart

 

Almost half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, according to Litmus research. That’s definitely big – especially since it was just three years ago that Litmus found only 10% of emails were opened on mobile.

So what can we do to capitalize on this drastic shift?

Justine said we need to re-examine the subscriber experience from the mobile user’s perspective. While she covered the whole path, we’ll hit on four of the steps subscribers experience.

 mobile-conversion-path

 

Step #1. Don’t ignore pre-header text

Many inboxes are formatted so that users can see not only the subject line, but also a line of additional text in the email. This text is pulled from the first bit of text at the top of your email. However, you can hide this text and still have it show in the pre-header area if you wish.

The default text for most templates is not very valuable messaging. She showed these examples of dos and don’ts to the Summit audience:

mobile-preheader-examples

 

“My challenge to you is, is this a positive brand experience? Is this really what you want people to associate with your ‘From’ name and subject line? Go back and re-evaluate your pre-header text – it’s showing up in mobile inboxes everywhere,” Justine advised.

She suggested making your pre-header “tie into the subject line, bringing [readers] in and encouraging the click.”

The pre-header is another opportunity to infuse value into your email – don’t let it go to waste. iPhones cut your subject lines off at about 35 characters.

 

Step #2. Embrace scrolling in an opened email

mobile-email-comparison

 

This is the same email but it looks completely different. Why?

“It’s because not every smartphone or mobile device is going to support HTML and CSS or even display the email in similar way,” Justine said.

Plus, Android devices vary in what they do and don’t support, so they can be challenging to work with. Some scale the email, some cut off the right side of an email and some support responsive design. Justine said iPhones are a little friendlier, scaling to a 320-pixel width.

But with scaling comes other issues to keep in mind: text and images resize as well.

Justine hit on another key aspect of the user’s experience after opening an email on your email: scrolling.

“Scrolling is a really natural behavior on any mobile device,” she said. “Clicking, or tapping, represents a decision. It’s a point of friction that people are going to either have to embrace or move past.”

mobile-site-clicksIn an email like the one to the right, you don’t know where you’ll be tapping. Where will your finger land with so many small choices? You need to make the user experience more friendly in emails. You don’t need to compact as many options as possible “above the fold.” There is no fold on your iPhone.

“Embrace the scroll; people are inherently going to scroll on mobile devices,” Justine said.

 

Step #3. Recognize a finger is the new mouse

On mobile devices, people are not clicking. Instead, they’re tapping, rendering your “Click Here” call-to-action illogical. There is no mouse to click on a smartphone – only a finger, or stylus, to tap.

“’Click Here’ is a really crappy call-to-action anyway. You need to add a lot value, make sure the buttons are topical, and tell people what they’re going to get when they click or tap on your emails,” Justine said.

The “tap” experience is more than the text of your buttons and calls-to-action. It’s also about the area or location you want to physically tap.

Justine said, “You no longer have a one by one [pixel] target area. It’s more like a 40 by 40 target area.”

A finger requires more tapping space than a mouse needs clicking space. Make sure they can actually tap on that valuable CTA you crafted.

 

Step #4. Don’t stop at the email – optimize the entire path to purchase

“You can spend all day long optimizing your mobile emails to make sure they look really beautiful on all these devices and the whole thing could fall apart once they get past the email and hit your webpage,” Justine said. “I know that’s a challenge for a lot of us. In my team we’re really small, but still someone else controls the landing pages.”

Do your best to sync those two worlds together.

That means your landing page should allow people to convert – literally. On this Victoria’s Secret page, Justine could not buy the item in her cart.

victorias-secret-popup

She could not get the pop-up to disappear no matter how many times she tapped the “X” or zoomed in on the box. With the pop-up fixed on the page, she could not finish her purchase.

For B2B companies, make sure people can read and fill out your forms. 

mobile-form-example

 

“Make it easy. Don’t create more friction than you have to,” Justine advised.

After all, you successfully moved subscribers past the first five steps to conversion – you don’t want to fail here in the final step.

 

Interested in learning more about mobile email marketing? Watch Justine speak on the Responsive Design Panel at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 in this free on-demand video replay.

 

You may also like

Optimizing the Evolving Landscape of Mobile Email Marketing [Email Summit session video presentation]

Marketing Research Chart: Which mobile tactics are most effective? [Marketing Chart of the Week]

Mobile Marketing: 5 takeaways from MarketingSherpa case studies [More from the blogs]

Mobile Commerce: 4 creative approaches for using Flipboard

January 28th, 2014 No comments

Creating an awesome experience that engages users across desktop, tablet and mobile devices is tough.

When you factor in additional research projecting significant growth in Internet usage among mobile users, the need for brands to build a presence in the mobile marketplace is also increasing.

In short, the mobile monster is growing and the race is on, so what do you do?

 

Creativity drives mobile engagement

Mobile apps are a powerful tool to help bridge the gap in connecting with mobile users, but the trick is taking a creative approach to using them.

Flipboard, for example, is an app that helps users turn aggregated Web content into customized magazines. Other users can subscribe to your magazine, creating a captive audience for your curated content.

In today’s MarketingSherpa Blog post, we will take a look at how some brands have incorporated Flipboard into mobile marketing to provide examples that will hopefully inspire your efforts to tame the mobile monster.

 

Cisco’s “The Futurist Feed” aggregates tech news from around the Web

 

Cisco’s “The Futurist Feed” is an aggregate of tech content from around the Web.

In my view, this is one of the easier approaches to marketing on Flipboard, as aggregating content is really a core part of the app’s functionality. Consider this approach as a gateway tactic to help get your feet wet and experiment a little while keeping brand top-of-mind.

 

Levi’s Jeans uses fashion news to create a social catalog

 

Levi’s Jeans Flipboard magazine was an early adopter of using the app for e-commerce. Its magazine launched in late 2012 as part of a larger campaign. I like this approach as it has helped pave the way for integrating cart functionality into a social content experience.

Read more…

Social Media: 3 brands that totally get using Vine

January 3rd, 2014 2 comments

In social media, if 2013 was the emergence of Vine, then 2014 will likely be the year of more Vine videos.

The creative potential that surrounds the app will be fun to watch this year as more brands adopt it into their marketing mix.

I personally like Vine, and consider it the equivalent of a living breathing Pinterest; a mashup of all the goodies social media can offer in low calorie servings of six second videos.

Vine’s success in social media is also no real surprise to me.

Considering its story as a company founded in June 2012, it was gobbled up by Twitter three months later only to skyrocket to the status of most downloaded free app in Apple’s iOS app store before blowing out the candle on its first birthday cake.

What’s also exciting is with any new technology, there are always those few early adopters who set the bar only high enough to be outdone in ways that are as exciting as they are unique.

In today’s MarketingSherpa post, I wanted to highlight three trailblazing brands that are using Vine to reach their customers that you can use to help get your creative mojo going.

 

Lowe’s “fix in six” tips help customers build know how

Lowe’s uses the app to create mini “tutorials” that are strung together to help customers keep home repair D.I.Y.

 

 

Oreo Cookie shows its followers how to “Snack Hack”

I’m not too surprised by Oreo’s early adoption of Vine given its prior success with Twitter. Oreo’s use of the app serves as a great example of combining creativity, product and entertainment to engage an audience.

 

General Electric uses contests and tech mashups to engage consumers and drive new innovation

In the last few years, GE has really made any excuses B2B marketers have for slow adoption of social media quite tough to accept.

The brand’s use of Vine for holding contests to redesign jet engine parts using 3D printing is truly setting a bar for creative uses of social media in B2B marketing.

Read more…

What the Country Music Awards Can Teach Us About Social Engagement

November 22nd, 2013 1 comment

A few weeks ago, I was watching this year’s Country Music Awards (CMAs) with friend of mine and her mother. I was surprised by a few parallels I noticed between the awards show and some of our recommended best practices at MECLABS.

 

 

Set goals that encourage awareness

For the CMAs, its goal, according to the mission statement on the website, is to “heighten the awareness of country music and support its ongoing growth by recognizing excellence in the genre.”

Consequently, the CMAs serve as an outlet for recognizing excellence, while providing an entertaining awards show to heighten viewer awareness.

The goals of the CMAs are not explicitly stated at the beginning of the show. This falls in line with a best practice of not stating your goals on your website, but rather, your intended goals should be the conclusion customers reach on your landing page.

To help you accomplish this, you should answer the question: “What do I want the visitor to do on this page?”

 

Active engagement matters

Another aspect I found interesting about the CMAs was its drive to involve the audience. For example, during each artist’s performance, their Twitter handle was placed at the bottom of the screen.

This encouraged audience participation with their favorite artists.

 

Yes, it even had a phone app.

Throughout the night, the hosts encouraged viewers to download the Shazam app. Viewers who used the app would receive exclusive access to content and free music downloads.

So, how did this engagement strategy pay off?

Well, according to Country Music Rocks, an online music news source, the strategy was a huge success.

People went directly from Shazam’s CMA experience to iTunes and Amazon approximately 50,000 times during the broadcast to buy the tracks and albums of the nominees, winners and performers – this does not include the two free tracks available for download.

– Country Music Rocks

 

Here are a few ways you can encourage active engagement on your website.

Leverage social media: Actively post and manage related content on your social media feeds. In addition, encourage your visitors to share, retweet or email this information to their friends.

Try to offer exclusive content: What you can offer will depend on your industry, but providing exclusive content will encourage visitors to come back and interact with your site in the future.

Offer lots of related resources: This can be anything from previous blogs or articles to encourage the visitor to stay on your website for a longer duration.

 

Ease of use is always appealing

The CMAs did a variety of things to appeal to every element of its audience demographics and made it easy for viewers to participate.

For starters, there were performances from artists both young and old, comedy skits and emotional speeches from award winners.

My point here is that appeal never gets old for your customers, even when delivered in large doses. There’s nothing more appealing I can think of than a landing page that is easy to use.

I recommend taking some time for usability testing, as this can go a long way to make sure the focus of your site remains customer-centric.

  Read more…

Email Marketing: Verizon, REI share ideas to profit from growing mobile e-commerce traffic

August 30th, 2013 1 comment

If your emails and websites aren’t optimized for smart devices, you’re likely losing at least 20% of your marketplace, according to an analysis of more than 500 million online shopping experiences by Monetate, a website testing platform.

In the Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ1 2013) report, Monetate revealed more than 21% of e-commerce traffic comes from smartphones, up from 2% merely two years ago. Yet, it reports only 14% of companies optimize websites and emails for smart devices. Verizon Wireless and REI are among them.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, Laura Velasquez, Marketing Program Manager, REI, and Jason Jennings, Associate Director, Digital CRM, Verizon Wireless, discussed their success and lessons learned in the mobile optimization process.

Check out highlights from their discussion in this video excerpt of their mobile email panel.

 

:10 Jason outlines what you must consider when optimizing for mobile.

1:11 Laura discusses how REI developed a single, focused mobile strategy from many strategies.

1:53 Jason explains Verizon’s approach to developing pages that load fast, and why he designs for mobile before designing for desktop.

3:05 Laura explains how to begin optimizing for mobile. Hint: Look for small programs with a big impact.

Read more…

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?

  Read more…

Email Marketing: 58% of marketers see mobile smartphones and tablets most impacting email

March 7th, 2013 1 comment

In our just-released MarketingSherpa 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, we asked marketers about new email marketing developments for 2013 …

Q: What new developments will affect your email marketing program in the next 12 months? Please select all that apply.

 

As always, we asked your peers what they thought of this data. Here are three takeaways from their feedback …

 

Takeaway #1: Use mobile marketing and social media to engage a younger demographic

“In our market, loyal customers are getting older so we are focused on mobile and social as a way to communicate with younger customers to increase their loyalty. Spot on!!” said Randy Kobat, Vice President and General Manager, Strategic Initiatives.

 

Takeaway #2: Consider mobile design, not just content

“Mobile is dead on with our strategy and focus. We are developing programs with mobile in mind not only through content, but design. How have you faired with responsive design in email? Have you seen engagement go up?” asked Ivan Printis, Email Product Manager, Gannett.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, I moderated the Mobile Email Panel, in which Laura Velasquez, Marketing Program Manager, REI, shared the retailer’s experience with responsive email design.

Below you can see how the emails display differently on an iPhone thanks to responsive design.

Default on iPhone Responsive on iPhone

 

Results

 

The above charts show the results of A/B testing the responsive design email versus a traditional email, and you can see how Laura’s team was able to improve open rates with responsive design.

Laura also noted while mobile was slowly increasing as a percent of all opens of REI emails, the largest increase came after the change to a responsive layout.

For those looking to move to a responsive email design, Laura suggested marketers shouldn’t only focus on making mobile-friendly changes and creating a template, but they should also look at change within their organization. She advised marketers to have discussions with key stakeholders so they understand how their email messages will be affected.

Read more…

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.”

Read more…

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 …

Read more…

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.

Read more…