We're already half way through February which means the New Year dust has just about settled; reports, analysis and changes from 2012 have been implemented and I finally have time to focus on what’s important… 2013. Which let’s be fair, is set to be a pretty exciting year.
As ever, in the fast paced industry that is ‘Online’, changes come up quicker than a spot the night before your yearbook photo, and in a very similar fashion - If you don’t catch them quick and aren't on the ball, it could potentially ruin your year to come.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d take a moment to look at 2013 and make some points on what I think is key to success in Email Marketing for 2013, focusing on one major aspect of it, mobile.
Toward the back end of last year, I was already seeing an average of 45% of total traffic to our platform and 38% of email traffic coming from mobile, what with predictions of this growing by up to 80% this year, there’s definitely no time like the present to start looking at your email campaigns and asking yourself “do these render well on mobile?” And it’s no good just looking at them on your latest iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3. These higher end devices have a much higher screen resolution than a lot of the lower end market which believe it or not are much more popular.
OK, the stats: Turning to my Google Analytics figures, I've seen that over 50% of total mobile traffic actually comes from devices with a screen resolution of LESS THAN 380px (width) and 75% comes from those with less than 480px. Meaning that only 25% of my mobile audience are using higher end devices making it more important to ensure your emails render for these lesser capable handsets.
Initially, due to highest proportion of our audience being in the ‘less than 480px’ category, I decided to adopt our templates to a responsive design for devices less than this screen width. Although I'm yet to see much of an increase in the overall click through rate, I've already achieved an increase of 4.6% in traffic from mobile in just a couple of weeks. Now obviously, it’s still very early days, and I expect this increase to die down somewhat and hopefully, as I start to optimise these more based on learning’s, I expect to see the overall click through increase.
The Problem With Mobile?
Responsive Design Or Scalable?
A Scalable design is readable and click-able regardless of the size of the device and only requires one version of the HTML, all using the same styles and are often created using the following techniques:
• Grid system for alignment and proportion
• Single column layout
• Larger fonts (Min 14px)
• Touch friendly buttons
• Key information and CTA in the upper left of the email (above the fold)
These are great for people who don’t have the time or much experience with HTML to focus on more complex designs. They ensure that the email is still fully functional and eligible regardless of what device it is viewed on and / or screen resolution.
By using responsive designs you’re able to get the important stuff in the face of the user where and when it matters, remove blocks of content that might be useful to have there when being viewed on a desktop whilst in the comfort of the home, but whilst out on the go and viewing on a mobile device, just isn't necessary or needed and most importantly - takes away from the purpose of the email.
Knowing What’s Right For You!
So what are you waiting for? Embrace 2013 as your ‘Year Of Mobile’.