First, the challenges. Mobile e-mail comes in dozens of shapes and sizes, with little standardization on either the creative or technical fronts. Beyond text messages and SMS, which do little to promote a real brand experience, it’s tough to design e-mail creative that works across all types of devices. And, of course, marketers can rarely tell whether a user is checking e-mail on a computer or a mobile device, so it’s difficult to deliver different creative to these different segments.
Despite these constraints, marketers can—and should—take the time to create an effective e-mail marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to get started today.
- Create an online “preference center” that lets users indicate whether they mostly read e-mails on a mobile device or a traditional computer. Even better, let users select different types of e-mail for specific devices. An alert-type message may be great for mobile, but newsletters are better for computers, for example.
- Make sure every e-mail has a “preheader” that lets users “switch to a mobile-friendly version” or “switch to a standard Web browser.” (Remember, if you offer these choices, make sure to actually have two versions of the e-mail available).
- Create mobile e-mail messages that are succinct, clear and concise, and have minimal graphics. In the b-to-b market, these messages could be a “click now” promotion, a heads-up about a new blog post or a service offer.
- Send out individualized, time-sensitive alerts when your customers want to be contacted (for example, a billing reminder one week in advance). These alerts take time and data to set up, but their relevant and convenient messages will turn your customers into mobile e-mail converts.