It’s no secret that mobile devices present both opportunities and challenges for email marketers. Consumers love the ability to read their email on the go and marketers love to reach them any place, any time.
But if those emails aren’t optimized for mobile, no one is happy. Many of the challenges can be device specific, notes Tina Stewart, senior vice president of marketing, Lyris.
One big problem is that Adobe Flash doesn’t work on many mobile devices, notably the iPhone. “Integrating flash into email was the future at one point, and now people are holding back on that, because the i-devices are so prevalent,” says Stewart.
Subject lines in mobile email must also be shorter and sweeter, almost like ad copy, she adds. “We’re seeing much A/B testing of subject lines, even A/B/C/D testing, with subject lines about half the size of ‘normal’. There needs to be a crisper, clearer call to action.”
Overall, you need to get to the point much quicker in mobile. People don’t want to scroll a lot on their smart phone. “If you make them work too hard, they’re going to lose interest,” she says. “Good, clean design with less content is more important, and you need to consider the sensitivity and awareness of the [mobile] devices.”
Late last month, Lyris introduced an app for customers to manage their email campaigns on the go, offering a 30 day mobile look back on campaigns. About a dozen customers beta-tested the app, which Stewart described as being more for users rather than CMOs.
The app allows users to preview campaigns and make minor edits on the fly. “Right now, no one wants to create emails from scratch on their mobile devices,” Stewart notes.
One of the beta testers was Dave Mossop, interactive media specialist, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, which sends anywhere from 7 to 20 campaigns a week, targeted to American/English, Canadian/English and Canadian/French recipients.
Campaigns go out on behalf of Expedia CruiseShip’s 3,500 consultants, says Mossop, adding that while they are moving towards mobile optimization, because much of the company’s audience is age 55+, their email concerns with mobile aren’t as strong as some other businesses.
The mobile app has been convenient, “especially when people expect you to know stats off the top of your head in a meeting—which can be difficult in a week where you’ve done 20 campaigns,” he notes.