6 tips for effective responsive email template design

“If an email does not display correctly, 71.2% will delete it immediately.” (1) Combine that with the fact that 45% of 2015 email opens occurred on a mobile device (1) and it becomes clear that responsive email design is critical. By creating a few responsive templates you can efficiently send out marketing messaging that is mobile-friendly and on-brand. Here are six important tips for ensuring responsive design best practices:

  1. Minimise the amount of imagery in the email
    Images are not very mobile-friendly for two reasons. First, they demand a lot of space. With mobile, space is at a premium. Second, they take a long time to load because they have larger file sizes. For mobile users, time is precious. If you only have an average of 400px of width to work with, you want to be sure they’re not entirely filled with a single image.
  2. Condense the content.
    Mobile users are often on-the-go, in between tasks and easily distracted. This means they don’t have time for reading the same amount of text you would include in a non-responsive email. Get to the point quicker if you want to get to the customer at all.
  3. Increase the font size.
    Mobile screens are small and backlit text is more difficult to read. Accommodate this by increasing your text so it is clearly and easily legible on a small screen, typically 14pts or larger.
  4. Shorten your subject line
    According to a study by MailerMailer, shorter subject lines (4 – 15 characters) achieved higher open rates. (2) This is likely partially due to the fact that longer subject lines get cut off on mobile devices. iPhones cut off subject lines at 34 characters, while Android devices continue the subject line below the main preview, but still limit the primary, bold subject line words to the initial one or two. (3)
  5. Only link to responsive websites, landing pages and forms
    Responsive emails alone are not sufficient. You also need to optimise your website and forms for mobile devices. Anything that could be accessed by a mobile device should be mobile-friendly. If you have a responsive email template, any links you include in it should go to a page that is viewable on a mobile device also.
  6. Large CTA buttons with adequate empty space.
    If you want your CTA button to be clicked, you have to make it clickable for mobile users. This means plenty of empty space around the button so the click registers without requiring the reader to zoom in.

Responsive email tips for increased relevance.

Responsive emails are important because they help your messaging remain relevant to an always-on audience. As it becomes normal for people to access information via a variety of devices, accommodating all of them is most efficiently managed with responsive design. Email is not dead, in fact, it is the preferred method of communication for marketing communication. In a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. (4) Listen to your customers and use these responsive design tips to make responsive email templates a successful reality for your organisation.

If you would like to know more about responsive design best practices and how to apply them to your email marketing campaigns contact us today.

1. http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics#optimization
2. https://www.mailermailer.com/resources/metrics/2013/subject-lines.rwp
3. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/your-next-email-subject-line/
4. https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/07/email-marketing-stats.html

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4 key mobility-friendly requirements for digital marketing

A mobile-friendly approach is the key strategy for reaching the always-on customer base, but having the right mindset isn’t quite enough to succeed. Certain technology tools are needed to carry out the hallmark elements of a mobile-friendly strategy. Ultimately, realising success with this approach requires both a mindset and a toolset. Do you have the right tools for the job? There are 4 elements that are crucial to optimising your digital marketing efforts for a mobile audience. This combination of technology tools and marketing mindsets is the best way to begin adapting your digital marketing efforts for mobile consumers.

  1. Marketing automation platform
    Marketing automation software is at the epicenter of any mobile-marketing strategy. This is the platform all other related technologies will integrate with. Beyond integrating with vital mobile-marketing tools, a marketing automation platform by default contains many features that enable the level of relevance and personalisation that always-on customers expect. By monitoring customer behaviour, marketing automation allows you to analyse patterns and recognise opportunities for personalised and timely communication.
  2. Responsive design
    Responsive design emerged as a way to accommodate a variety of changing screen sizes. As the plethora of mobile devices continues to grow, using responsive layouts is the best way to ensure your web pages, emails and landing pages are all mobile-friendly. If any of those elements are not easily viewable on a mobile device, they are inhibiting customers’ ability to find what they need. In an age where it is common to be online with multiple devices each day, ensuring your brand appears professional and accessible from each is a priority.
  3. Short, relevant and timely content
    While design is critical for accessibility, content should also be optimised for the different needs of a mobile user. Mobile devices are smaller and their portability means they are often used in situations where the user could be easily distracted at any moment. Adapting content so it capitalises on the diminished real estate and simultaneously captures reader attention quickly is critical. Most consumers wouldn’t choose to read a 10-page case study on their phone, so consider offering summarised content in more digestible forms. Similarly, relevance and timing is more crucial than ever. Mobile users are often in a hurry and on the move without time or tolerance for irrelevant offers and other content.
  4. SMS capability
    When used properly and with respect for the user, text messaging can be a unique opportunity for timely interaction. Traditionally, texting has been reserved for communicating with an inner circle of family and friends. As more and more businesses start to use this as a new marketing channel, preserving this element of trust is vital. Use this channel to communicate reminders, proximity-based offers or time-sensitive things. While you need an opt-in to legally send SMS messages, once you have permission to do so this channel opens up new opportunities for interaction.

Optimising existing marketing processes so they are mobile-friendly doesn’t have to be a challenge. By combining the right technology tools with the proper customer-focused approach, organisations are poised to leverage mobile devices in more effective ways than ever before.

If you would like to know more about how to optimise your digital marketing for mobile, contact us today.

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What is a mobile-first approach to marketing?

A mobile-first approach encompasses more than mobile app development or responsive design. It signifies a shift in perspective where digital marketing efforts are reimagined from the perspective of a mobile consumer. Think beyond the phone, there are psychographic motivations at play. A mobile-first marketing approach involves a reexamination of the customer journey with a focus on how each stage can be optimised for a customer base that is always-on with a short attention span and little patience for irrelevant messaging. Accommodating the unique needs of this demographic means adopting some new technology tools to carry out this approach and embracing a new strategy that adapts to their expectations.

Examining the customer journey from a mobile perspective

Customers access information from a variety of devices each day, which means their customer journey is far from linear. This makes tracking their behaviour, needs and preferences challenging. To overcome this, proactive organisations integrate mobile technology tools with their marketing automation platforms. This creates one centralised database with customer information and it ensures the most complete picture of each individual. This, in turn, increases the level of relevance and timeliness they can achieve.

Smaller, shorter, faster

Consider the commonalities amongst these mobile-first best practices:

  • Responsive design
  • Shorter content
  • Simplified navigation
  • Smaller images that load more quickly

Yes, mobile phones have smaller screens, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Planning with a mobile first approach means thinking critically about the unique needs of those who are using their phones to access information; including:

  • They are often on-the-go and have less time to consume informatio
  • They tend to be easily distracted because they’re multitasking while they’re on their phone
  • They care a lot about recommendations and reviews from other purchasers
  • They are less patient because they have limited time to be absorbed in their phone so irrelevant or lengthy content will likely to be ignored

All these factors play integral roles in a mobile-first approach.

Multifaceted campaigns

Digital marketing campaigns have evolved beyond a simple series of emails. Today a campaign can branch dynamically and automatically as a response to recipient behaviour. If an email is ignored, a text message can be sent instead. If a customer walks past your storefront you can send them a real-time purchase incentive. The game has changed.

Planning for this multifaceted approach means incorporating mobile optimisation in all areas; for example:

  • Content should be written in more digestible chunks
  • Typefaces should be larger
  • Layouts should resize dynamically
  • Email subject lines should be shorter
  • Links should always go to landing pages that are responsive
  • Offers should be redeemable online or in-person, etc.

It isn’t sufficient to optimise only some elements for mobile and not others. Mobile-first means mobile-first for any and all points of contact with a user who is increasingly likely to be on their mobile device.

The ultimate goal of a mobile-first approach is to engage with customers in a relevant way that contributes to a seamless buying experience. The phone or other mobile device may be the channel, but the primary goal isn’t to focus everything on a smaller screen size, it’s to think critically about the unique needs and expectations of mobile-users so the buying experience isn’t compromised.

If you would like to know more about how to take a mobile-first approach to your marketing, contact us today.

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How is marketing automation software mobile-friendly?

Marketing automation software makes modern, digital marketing possible and mobile marketing is an increasingly important part of this constantly changing field. As mobile device usage continues to increase, marketing automation software is evolving to better meet the needs of the customers who interact with them across five pivotal components:

  1. Relevance

    A mobile-first approach is vital for attracting the increasing number of always-on customers using their smartphones to access information online. Catering to these customers means accommodating their expectations of easily accessible, relevant, personalised and overall mobile-friendly information. Marketing automation software is a scalable, automated way to meet those expectations. With capabilities like behaviour-triggered messaging, visitor tracking and lead scoring, marketing automation software ensures that all aspects of your marketing communication is as relevant and timely as possible. This is hugely important to mobile users.

  2. Responsive templates

    Most marketing automation platforms offer responsive templates for emails and landing pages. Responsive design is a best practice for mobile-friendly marketing as it allows a design to change based on the size or orientation of the screen being used to view it. The provided templates make it easy and efficient for you and your team to regularly produce mobile-friendly content.

  3. SMS and push notifications

    When SMS and push capabilities are integrated with a marketing automation platform, you can schedule those types of mobile-friendly communication and monitor feedback data from them automatically. This means that SMS can be part of a complex nurture campaign or a large-scale mobile marketing initiative. Reacting and responding to online mobile behaviour becomes a possibility.

  4. Centralised customer database

    A more subtle, but very powerful mobile-friendly aspect of marketing automation software is the centralised database. By integrating all of your mobile marketing tools with a marketing automation platform, you can leverage your data and insights from one location. This means that other features, such as lead scoring and behaviour-triggered campaigns can harness mobile customer data.

  5. The keystone tool

    Marketing automation software is the one marketing tool you cannot afford to be without if you want to succeed with mobile marketing. On its own the software enables many mobile-friendly features, but ultimately it is the integration of the other tools with it that make a marketing automation platform essential.

    If you would like to know more about how to optimise your mobile-friendly marketing automation, contact us today.

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Best mobile marketing tools and technologies to capitalise on

Marketing with a mobile-first approach is crucial to reaching the always-on customer, but doing so requires some powerful mobile marketing tools and technologies. We’ll examine the best mobile marketing tools you need below and explain why each is so important.

Marketing automation software

Marketing automation software makes mobile marketing possible. Mobile marketing requires responsive designs, the ability to interact via SMS and push notifications, and a way to analyse success with behavioural data. A marketing automation platform enables all of this and more, so it is absolutely essential for reaching the always-on customer. All the other technology tools will integrate with your marketing automation software so a strong platform is crucial. Choose an established platform with a global presence to ensure that this primary technology tool will be around for the long term as your business grows. We recommend and use IBM Silverpop.

Push notification technology

To send push notifications from your marketing automation software you will need to integrate a tool like IBM Xtify. This application integrates with your marketing automation platform, IBM Silverpop, and the integration makes it easy to communicate efficiently with mobile customers and improve your mobile marketing overall. “Marketers using precision mobile push notification functionality enjoy annual improvement (4.8%) in Return on Marketing Investments (ROMI) whereas peers not using precision notifications experience a rather substantial annual decline (14.6%) in this key metric.” (A) Push notifications can help improve buyer experiences, incentivise purchase behaviour and increase app effectiveness.

Diagnostic technology

When responsive templates are put into practice, unexpected difficulties can be encountered by your customers. Without some form of diagnostic technology to monitor your mobile marketing strategy, you might not become aware of these user experience issues until a serious drop in conversions occurs or a customer complains. For this reason, we recommend a user experience diagnostic tool like IBM Tealeaf. IBM Tealeaf integrates with our marketing automation software and helps reveal opportunities for an improved user experience by analysing user behaviour patterns.

Beacon technology

Beacon technology for mobile marketing uses location beacons to trigger signal-based communication and data gathering. Retail stores can trigger purchase incentives based on proximity to the store or a specific location inside, making it possible to promote highly relevant and timely offers to brick and mortar customers. This is a unique way to automatically merge data for a single customer with both online and offline interactions.

A mobile-first approach encompasses a lot more than sending a text or designing responsive templates. It entails making it easy for a customer base that is constantly online but also constantly multi-tasking and on-the-go to find the information they need and act on it. By accommodating their unique needs, your mobile marketing strategy will be relevant and effective but you need the right mobile marketing tools and technologies to realise this goal. If you would like help with identifying and integrating the right mobile marketing tools for your business contact us today.


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