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Email boosts social, mobile integration

MOBILE MANDATE

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Not surprisingly the other focus area for many email marketers this year is optimizing email for an ever-growing number of mobile devices. “This is something that should be front and center for b-to-b marketers,” said Tom Sather, director of professional services at ReturnPath, a provider of email deliverability solutions. “Businesspeople are even more busy today, and you're competing with more senders. Content needs to fit into that third screen.” Marketers must understand how their customers and prospects are reading email and develop a practical strategy based on that, ClickSquared's Thompson said. “A fair amount of people are seeing email in two places [on their desktop and mobile device], so marketers must make sure their content is optimized for both,” he said. Additionally, marketers must identify which version of Outlook their users have because Outlook 2007 displays emails differently than Outlook 2003, he said. “Make sure also that you're not precluding your customers from seeing the content you want them to see because it's not optimized,” he said. For Nationwide, the way the audience is viewing email informs what types of content the company uses, Rothman said. “If they're reading on a desktop, we can add more content,” he said. “BlackBerry chops up more email, but on the iPhone we can play with the format a little more because it displays better.” Giving the audience what they need in a format they can read will be top-of-mind for Rothman in the next year. “We'll work with our database folks and increase relevancy,” he said. “We'll open up the lines of communication even more with the people who are consuming our emails to figure out what they want from the program. With any email program, you have to determine if you're meeting subscribers' expectations, because, if you're not, you're not going to have a program for long.”

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