By Chris Goward
Remember the good old days, when your web visitors only used their computers and smartphones to access your website? Oh, and maybe a tablet. These days, there are nearly infinite screen size variations. We’re living in a true screen-size continuum.
As marketers, you need to adapt your websites, applications, and emails to work on any device so your customers can connect with you using the device of their choosing.
Here’s what you need to know about making your campaigns work across all screens to maximize conversions:
1. Screen Size Options Keep Visitors
When designing your landing pages and conversion paths (such as checkout funnels), you have to consider all screen sizes or risk destroying your credibility.
I’ve been browsing car websites lately for a personal purchase, for example, and I’m shocked at how poor their mobile experiences are. Shopping from Canada, MINI’s build and price tool is virtually impossible to use on an iPhone. Many of the company’s premium models and options are forced off-screen. The Mercedes-Benz site isn’t much better; it’s non-responsive and non-adaptive, and the forms aren’t intuitive. Even the confirmation email I received after filling out the form on my laptop was illegible on my phone.
To address issues like these, your site should intelligently present the best experience for each device. Your options are to use responsive web design (RWD), which allows your site to automatically respond to any screen size; adaptive web design (AWD), where your servers detect the device and deliver an appropriate experience for a smartphone, tablet, or desktop; or a separate mobile version, usually hosted on a subdomain such as m.domain.com.
2. Integrated Email and Mobile Strategies Are Essential
Email as a powerful integration tool is often overlooked in mobile strategy. It can be a key tactic for tying together a view of your customers across devices. If a visitor completes a form on your desktop site, for example, then clicks on a link from your email campaign and visits your mobile site, you now have enough data to tie information together and customize the visitor’s experience on a personal level, rather than a device level.
And because mobile email readership has surpassed desktop readership, emails and landing pages should be optimized. Otherwise, you run the risk of annoying or even losing that customer.
3. A Cross-Browser Web Is Seamless
Google has long promoted an integrated approach to the cross-browser web. Smart marketers are aiming for this by ensuring each call to action (CTA) is appropriate for the device while maintaining the same brand look, feel, and usability.
There’s sometimes no difference in how your site is used on a mobile device, but depending on your business, it could be appropriate to emphasize a “Save for Later” or “Email to Myself” button, rather than your main desktop CTAs. Rigorous A/B testing of the design, content, and usability of your integrated experience will tell you which are your best business drivers.
4. Attribution Is the Holy Grail
Google Analytics (along with other web traffic analysis services) has always supported the ability to see how traffic reaches your site. Now, Google is leading the charge to track and target people on an individual level across all devices with the aim of providing a complete picture of visitor interactions. Have you noticed how aggressively they want you to log in to your mobile Google Maps app? That’s so they can track you. Google will soon empower marketers to view attribution across multiple devices.
Mobile detection features built into many devices (such as geolocation) allow you to target localized offers easier than on a desktop. This allows for more accurate A/B testing with services like Artisan and Optimizely (or whatever your choice of testing tool is), as well as better message targeting.
Computers once filled entire rooms and warehouses, but these days, computer screens are everywhere. They’re in our living rooms, on our appliances, and in our pockets. Getting your message to people in an age of constant connectivity and instant gratification takes an integrated desktop and mobile marketing strategy. With an ongoing testing program and a few adjustments, you can maximize the ROI of your marketing and reach customers, no matter which device they’re using.