Email's Evolving Role in a Social World
Pham cited a recent campaign from Southwest Airlines as an example of a successful integration of mobile and email. The airline sent a SMS message to its subscribers detailing its “Click 'N Save” program, where subscribers are the first ones to be automatically notified via email about special travel deals. Recipients of the SMS message just had to text their email address to be enrolled in the program. This one-time, low-cost campaign netted close to 30,000 email addresses.
Rules to live by. The panelists gave some design advice for creating mobile-optimized emails:
- Simplify the header area, said Beasley. This spot needs relevant and useful information that's going to grab the reader's attention. Push graphics to the side, she added.
- Say who you are, what you're offering and include a call to action in the pre-header section of your email, said Pham. Optimize your emails for mobile devices by using Arial or Geneva font, he added.
- Addressing what he called the “fat fingers” theory, make sure you provide a 30-pixel cushion around all links on mobile emails, Pham said.
Quality over quantity. Social has become a numbers game, noted Phelan. Marketers are thinking more in terms of “I have to have a million Facebook fans” rather than what those fans actually mean for the brand. Take a quality over quantity approach when it comes to your email list. Focus on how you can grow relationships with loyalists and influencers. Social media has changed email marketing, said Phelan. “ISPs [internet service providers] will now ding you for mailing to inactive addresses as hard as they would for sending spam.”
Building on Phelan's thoughts, Berkowitz said that email marketers should look to Facebook and other social media platforms as acquisition opportunities.
Share to make friends. Making your emails as viral as possible is key to a successful email program. Most consumers are familiar with “share this” links or Facebook “like” links, so incorporate them into your emails, Berkowitz advised. Give e-newsletter subscribers the ability to share a portion of your e-newsletter without having to send the whole thing, he added.
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