That eCommerce emails must be “mobile-first” is now accepted best practice — but with the array of devices on the market, it can be hard to know what formats and content are most appropriate for mobile consumption. With the season of stepped-up email cadence fast approaching, merchants should ensure that their emails meet all the criteria for mobile effectiveness and eCommerce email success.
With fully 54 percent of all email messages being read on mobile devices, there’s little question about the importance of optimizing for mobile. What’s perhaps more surprising is how harshly consumers punish sellers whose offerings aren’t mobile-friendly. Forty-five percent of shoppers report unsubscribing if emails or eCommerce website content didn’t render on their devices and more crucially, more than a third of shoppers have marked email as spam when it didn’t work on their mobile devices, a move that potentially endangers deliverability across the board.
Given how much is at stake for merchants, it’s crucial to deliver email messages that not only meet expectations for formatting, but present content and offers that are compelling and appeal to mobile shoppers. To win opens, clicks, and sales, merchants should:
Adopt usability best practices.
- Optimize the email subject line for mobile and use pre-header text. Ensure that mobile users scanning their inboxes can get the gist of your messages by placing critical text in the first 30 characters of the subject line. In addition, use pre-header text so that the first-line preview of message content that’s displayed in the inbox displays pertinent content, not global header information.
- Pare down load times. The majority of mobile email readers spend three seconds or less scanning email content, so merchants must ensure that critical content and images load within that timeframe. Lightweight images and video can help slash load times, as can structuring code so that the central content loads before items such as footer images.
- Buttons and calls-to-action sized for clumsy fingers. Giving shoppers adequate white space around calls-to-action that are at least 44px tall and wide is imperative to prevent launching the wrong content and frustrating shoppers.
- Activate click-to-call for any and all phone numbers. Ensure that shoppers who actually want to use their mobile devices to make a call to a local store outlet or customer service center can do so seamlessly. Providing click-to-chat links, including for Facebook Messenger for Business, provides another easy way for email recipients to reach one-on-one help easily.
Entice mobile engagement with the right content.
- Design image-rich campaigns. Even as merchants must keep email load times down, they should endeavor to put mobile-appropriate images front and center, as the color and content of eye-catching photos can do much to engage mobile email skimmers. Merchants should also experiment with in-email video as up to 45 percent of video views occur on mobile devices. Kibo merchant Intermix provides a mix of on-model and product shots in mobile email campaigns, with a magazine-style format that features plenty of white space to make the curated selection stand out.
- Feature social media in content, not just in buttons. Social media is now “mobile-first,” with the majority of social users logging into their networks of choice via mobile devices — often several times per day. Merchants should tap this activity by not only encouraging shoppers to connect with their branded social outposts, but by using social content to populate email campaigns.
- Put the emphasis on distinct product features and information. Since mobile shoppers conduct research on the go, merchants should be sure to provide them with the fodder they seek. Email campaigns should feature links to in-depth product information, comparison tools, and, for the holidays, expert gift guidance, and should call out unique product attributes within the email content, as this message from Kibo merchant G.H. Bass does. The image calls attention to craftsmanship, while the accompanying text highlights the benefits of choosing hand-sewn products.
- Integrate physical store promotions and information. The impact of mobile research on store shopping is indisputable: some 50 percent of those who search for local shopping information go on to visit a store within a day, and nearly 1 in 5 of those make a purchase. Merchants should do more than link to a store locator in email promotions, and rather fully integrate in-store offers and events with online links to convince shoppers that they’ll receive consistent access to products, services, and discounts wherever they choose to shop.
How are you optimizing email campaigns for mobile users?