Expert Panel, Forbes Agency Council
Successful PR, media strategy, creative and advertising executives from Forbes Agency Council share trends and tips.
With the increased use of mobile devices across the globe, marketing campaigns need to rush into adapting their styles of delivery. Email campaigns have proven exceedingly useful to reach out to consumers and develop leads. However, the change in format from reading on a desktop to reading on a mobile screen has already negatively influenced how users see email marketing campaigns.
Even though their formatting might be off, emails are still too effective to get rid of completely. The solution is to adapt emails to the mobile delivery medium. To help, 11 members of Forbes Agency Council look at how a company can set about changing its email marketing campaign to suit mobile devices better.
1. Think Mobile-First
Test designing emails that are exclusively for mobile. On mobile devices especially, a user's first instinct is to scroll. Marketers can leverage "long scroll" emails that completely disregard the fold. This opens up the opportunity for brands to design an immersive experience, that easily guides a user through the messaging. - Matt Doud, Planit
2. Make It Local And Personal
Take advantage of the user's mobile location to include personalized, local information in the email. You can integrate the local weather, or an event happening nearby to engage with the customer. They will be more likely to interact with content that is locally relevant, while highlighting your brand messaging. Mobile provides the opportunity to provide this additional layer of personalization. - Stephanie Shreve, PowerChord
3. Use A Simple Design And Bright Images
Simple design will always win with mobile campaigns. More than 80% of our emails campaigns are opened on a mobile device, yet so many people focus on the desktop design first. Reverse the mindset and think mobile first. Use a bold font, single column design with larger bright images to capture more attention and yield higher open rates. - Ryan Sprance, Kaihatsu Media
4. Test On Multiple Devices
Be sure your email message and layout render correctly on mobile devices -- 80% of recipients will delete it if it doesn’t and 30% will unsubscribe entirely. Make your message concise for today's short attention spans and easy to scan with large fonts, subheads and bullets. Include a “tappable” call-to-action button and be sure to test your message on multiple devices. - Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
5. Keep Content Short And Actionable
Be different. Stand out. Everyone is the best, most caring, etc. Focus on what makes you tick. With attention spans lessening almost as we speak, when it comes to mobile-friendly emails (or any omnichannel campaign, for that matter), the key is to keep content short, engaging and actionable. When possible and appropriate, let your compelling and branded creative design sell itself. - Ajay Gupta, Stirista
6. Write Winning Email Subject Lines
Use perfect email subject lines and snippets to create more mobile-friendly emails. These aspects do the heavy lifting of capturing a reader’s attention and given functionality will dictate what a reader sees on their mobile device. - Keri Witman, Cleriti
7. Use A Single-Column Design
Two-column emails might look beautiful on a wider desktop format, but they can easily become cluttered and confusing when viewed on a smaller mobile screen. Mobile devices are longer than they are wide, so follow this same format with a single-column design. Pairing down your content to one column will create a clean and simplistic design that translates seamlessly across platforms. - Adam Binder, Creative Click Media
8. Use Bigger Fonts
Emails must be quick and easy to read, so pay attention to the font size you are using. If the font size is so small that the viewer has to squint and strain their eyes to see it, then chances are they will just hit delete. A font size of 14 pixels will allow the user to read your email message with ease. Remember, bigger really is better for font size in emails for both mobile and desktop. - Katie Harris, Spot On Solutions
9. Incorporate SMS In Your Campaign
People don't email on their phones. They text. Businesses have to find ways to transition relationships from email to text whenever possible. The key is making relationships permission-based and the information delivered highly valuable -- a great offer or important update that the recipient wants to receive. The bar is much higher than with email, but the potential rewards are significant. - Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
10. Consider Your Timing
It’s no secret that on-the-go mobile users check their email frequently and consistently. They’re quick to engage with content or delete. In addition to concise, catchy headlines and front-and-center call-to-action messages, timing is critical. Schedule emails to send based on when data suggests your target audience is most receptive and likely to need your product or service. - Carey Kirkpatrick, CKP
11. Think End-To-End User Experience
Short subject lines, mobile-optimized design and pertinent content all shape how a user responds to email. But, at the end of the day, the goal is usually to get them to click over to something. So think through the entire experience to ensure it is optimized for mobile start to finish. Infographics and e-books are not particularly mobile-friendly, unlike video, which is. So start at the end. - Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group