Why Email Marketeers are Optimizing for Mobile ?

Though email increasingly competes with other digital channels for consumers’ time and attention, it continues to be an effective tool for marketers, according to a new eMarketer report, “Email Marketing Benchmarks: Key Data, Trends and Metrics.”

Email open rates in North America have risen in recent quarters, even as clickthrough rates (CTR) have been slipping. Data from Epsilon and Email Experience Council for the last two years showed clickthroughs fell below 5% for the first time in the first quarter of 2012.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that email is still highly relevant to consumers in the US.

More than nine in 10 adult internet users in the US will send an email at least once per month in 2012, according to eMarketer estimates. This vast audience, representing more than three-quarters of the US population, will continue to grow through 2016, eMarketer predicts.

For marketers trying to reach consumers, email remains one of the best ways to find them. The challenge is cutting through the breadth of messages flooding inboxes. To do so, marketers are increasingly looking to mobile.

As of April 2012, 36% of emails worldwide were opened using a mobile device, according to software company Litmus. Yet many marketers haven’t moved to optimize their messaging for mobile. StrongMail found that just 22% of marketers surveyed worldwide were using mobile-optimized templates, also as of April.

Marketers that are diving into mobile email optimization have different goals and, as a result, their efforts represent different levels of ambition and complexity. At the basic level, most are using common optimization tactics such as reducing text length, increasing font size and narrowing the template to fit within the confines of a smaller mobile screen. Incorporating fewer calls to action and designing messages to be more touch-friendly are also best practices.

Other strategies marketers are beginning to use to create more effective emails include personalization, with so-called triggered emails continuing to raise the bar for timeliness and relevance to consumers. Finally, some marketers are using “Big Data” to craft smarter, more targeted email communications.


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