A new whitepaper, Email Marketing for the Third Screen, by ExactTarget’s Director of Strategic Services Morgan Stewart and E-mail Strategist R.J. Talyor, comments on the growing adoption of mobile e-mail and its impact on e-mail marketing practices. The authors clearly state that mobile e-mail is not a customer’s preferred form of e-mail. Viewing e-mail on a PDA or SmartPhone simply is a matter of convenience for consumers. Mobile e-mail users read rather than write e-mail on their phones and “are primarily interacting with messages they deem urgent, not commercial e-mail,” according to the whitepaper. However, mobile e-mail adoption is growing, so e-mail marketers need to prepare for its challenges. Here are a few ways Stewart and Talyor suggest you adapt your e-mail to maintain impact in the mobile landscape.
1. Be succinct. Like the preview pane in an e-mail inbox, sender and subject lines in PDA and Smartphone inboxes often are abbreviated. “Ensure that your name is immediately recognizable and the subject line includes a compelling call-to-action in the first 25 characters,” say Stewart and Talyor.
2. Leverage text. Because the majority of mobile devices render e-mails as text, send your messages in multipart MIME to maximize the number of subscribers who see your message. The authors also suggest using the text version “as a headline with a link to drive subscribers to click through to ‘view the e-mail as a Web page’ link where HTML can be standardized to mobile HTML standards or users can elect to flag and follow up later.”
4. Don’t bury your message. Instead of displaying just the link name, the full, trackable link is displayed on a Smartphone, which can cloud the customer’s view and understanding of your marketing message. “Reconsider the use of ‘standard’ links at the top of e-mail messages (e.g., ‘Add to address book’) and navigation links that may bury your core message behind an overwhelming number of links,” the authors suggest.