On Every Subscriber’s Wishlist: Mobile-Friendly Email Content!

Do you have a mobile plan for the holiday season?

MediaPost reports that almost half the US population has a smartphone now. Of those smartphone users, 87% of them use their phones for email and Internet access. And this holiday season, nearly half of all smartphone users plan to do their gift shopping from their phones.

This means it’s probably a good idea to make your email marketing campaign mobile-friendly for the holidays, especially if your list has a younger demographic (72.7% of 18-to-24 year olds plan to buy gifts on their smartphones this year).

Mobile-friendly encompasses more than just your email’s design. Learn what kind of content your mobile subscribers will respond best to this holiday season.

What Mobile-Friendly Looks Like

Before we talk about content, let’s revisit mobile design tactics to make your emails easier to read on a smartphone screen.

Mobile-friendly emails are designed for smaller screens and fingers touching links. When you’re designing your mobile emails, think about how they’ll display on a smaller screen.

This is how a recent email from Bluefly displays on a computer desktop:

And this is how that same email displays on mobile devices:

The iPhone automatically scales emails to fit the screen. This makes the small text in Bluefly’s unoptimized email too small to read. The links are so small they’re unclickable. Other phones like the Android don’t scale emails to fit the screen. This means your mobile subscribers have to scroll across a small screen to view your entire email. Here’s Bluefly’s mobile-friendly version of their email. The text is big enough to read clearly on a small screen, and the links are spaced far enough apart to easily tap with a finger.

To design your own mobile-friendly emails for your campaign, read our other mobile design posts here:
Optimizing Email for Mobile Devices
Mobile Email Design Tips
iPhone Tips for HTML Email

The Content Mobile Email Subscribers Are Looking For

Once your email design is optimized for mobile devices, it’s time to tackle content that matters most to your mobile subscribers.

EMarketer reports that 56% of smartphone users plan to use their phones to download coupons this year. Comparison shopping and product research are also high on the list.

Make the most of your mobile-friendly emails by offering content your mobile readers can’t resist:

Coupons

Coupons are a big draw for mobile shoppers this year. Email downloadable coupons that you can scan right from your subscribers’ phones.

Yankee Candle Company included a scannable coupon in a recent email:

Specs, Prices and Your Competition

Internet Retailer says that 59% of consumers will use their smartphones to comparison shop, while 51% will be looking for product information. Smartphone users are also more likely to comparison shop on their devices.

Make your email a one-stop comparison shopping destination by including product highlights, prices and specifications in your message, like Barnes & Noble did here:

Their phrases like “the best in HD entertainment,” “Most Advanced… Touchscreen,” “World’s Largest Book Store,” and “Superior Battery Life” should appeal to a mobile shopper’s desire for product information and research. You might even take it further and discuss how your products or prices compare with the competition.

Mobile Destinations

A majority of younger consumers plan to holiday shop directly from their smartphones this year. Make it easy for them with a mobile landing page they can make their purchases from.

Use your email’s preheader to direct subscribers to your mobile site, like Neiman Marcus does:

And make sure to leave plenty of white space around the mobile link, so your mobile viewers can easily tap it with a finger.

Your mobile site should follow the same best practices as your mobile emails. Think vertical instead of horizontal for navigation, like clothing retailer H&M’s mobile site:

Click the image to view the entire mobile site layout.

What’s Your Mobile Plan?

How mobile-friendly is your campaign right now? Are you planning to optimize for your own mobile subscribers?

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4 Comments

  1. Well, I thought I was pretty smart but had not even considered emails being important for vendors. I do local marketing and will definitely need to address this with at least one of my clients.

    12/6/2011 9:51 am
  2. Ron Givens

    Excellent article, thank you!

    Love the screenshot examples.

    12/6/2011 11:38 am
  3. Perfect! Thanks Aweber for all of your information.

    12/8/2011 10:51 am
  4. Every company that deals with consumers now needs a mobile website in addition to their existing website. They also need to rethink what appears on the mobile website. It should not be a copy of everything on existing websites. Flash video won’t work on iphones and ipads. You don’t want heavy graphics because it is data intensive for the user and takes long to load.

    I have started creating mobile websites for my own business and the customers I consult with because they have no idea how to get them done. It takes special software and some careful consideration of what the customer will want to do on their mobile phone.

    Thanks AWeber for bringing the topic up. It’s very important for people to be aware of this problem.

    12/9/2011 12:37 am