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What do marketers need to know about reaching subscribers who access e-mail via mobile devices?

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Mobile users are an increasingly important demographic for e-mail marketers. As more and more Americans switch to smartphones to coordinate their personal and business communications, marketers must be prepared in a few key areas:
  1. Timing is one of the biggest concerns for e-mail marketers targeting a mobile audience. Previously, it might have been acceptable to send an e-mail at night so that recipients have the message first thing in the morning. With the constant connectivity of mobile, marketers must be aware that people check e-mails around the clock, which has an impact on how they perceive or interact with certain messages. Because people typically use their mobile devices for both business and personal communication, timing is key.
  2. Integration with social media and Web content is a must. Though a mobile audience is a challenge for e-mail marketers, it is also an opportunity. Marketers can target smartphone users with social media content, creating an integrated customer experience. Mobile is a prime opt-in point to learn about customers' demographics, location, contact information and preferences—knowledge you can use in designing future social media or e-mail communications. By integrating the viral elements of a social media campaign with the functionality of e-mail, marketers can stretch their dollar. Additionally, marketers cannot overlook the fact that landing pages (and websites in general) must be optimized for mobile users. Customers who click on a link in your e-mail via their mobile devices expect the page to load properly for mobile. If it doesn't, they will likely abandon the interaction immediately.
  3. Measurement is essential with respect to a mobile audience. A well-designed campaign that integrates SMS, e-mail, Web and social media will see traffic across platforms through links, and measuring that traffic is vital to understanding a complex audience. Capturing certain metrics will allow marketers to better personalize and optimize future campaigns.

Rusty Warner is VP-product marketing at Alterian (www.alterian.com), a provider of customer engagement solutions.

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