eView: Many Barriers Still Exist for Successful Mobile E-mail Marketing
I was working the other day and a short message service message appeared on my iPhone reminding me of my upcoming dentist appointment this week. At first glance I wasn't too surprised that I received this communication. However, after further thought, I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback by this proactive outreach.
There should be no doubt in anybody's mind that with the introduction of affordable mobile communication solutions for the masses, we're creating a major shift, both culturally and technically, in how we communicate now and in the future.
Technology expectations have certainly reset our ability to allow a natural course of interaction to occur between marketers and their clients. Instant expectations and immediacy for delivery are slowly changing the face of basic marketing principles.
As a result, let's look at some issues and questions pertaining to the mobile world that could be barriers for marketers.
The U.S. is the only country that allows providers of mobile services to essentially double bill you for a phone call and an SMS message. If I communicate with you, we will both pay for the call or message, which doesn't seem fair to me.
This cost model could prohibit a marketer from considering the powerful medium of the mobile world for expanding client outreach and marketing strategies. Unless we can change this issue, it may prohibit the mobile marketing space from maximizing its obvious commercial potential.
Senders of e-mail have no obligation to deliver any message unless their clients' request it and proactively add the sender's e-mail address to their address book.
So would the reverse be true? Considering the financial model of mobile communications, should we expect our messages to make it to the appropriate device? Don't the providers of these communications have a financial obligation to deliver all communications, regardless of content?
Permission and preferences
Permission and preferences are cornerstones for any successful e-mail marketing program — mobile or otherwise. If marketers ignore this, they can create a negative client engagement that will only damage their brands.
Who's reading your message?
The simple answer is that we don't really have a sense of how many customers' e-mails are actually read on mobile devices. We are somewhat in the dark on these statistics. But as marketers, it wouldn't hurt to ask.
How do they look?
Nothing will disengage your clients more quickly than a poorly designed and rendered message in their devices. Many mobile platforms exist globally, so test any rendering for your mobile marketing efforts. Pivotal Veracity offers a great mobile testing suite for mobile requirements. It may be worth checking out.
The mobile marketing space offers a great opportunity for all of us to leverage an amazing business opportunity if we approach it right and if all our interests are met as an industry. That brings me back to my dentist. I'll be billing him for the text message he sends me. Or, I may offer some basic marketing consultation at a reduced rate. Now he may feel some discomfort.