Smartphones generated half of all email-driven orders (51 percent) for the first time earlier this year, according to data from Yes Marketing’s latest benchmark report. While we all saw this day coming, it’s finally here. We’ve reached a mobile tipping point — a world where mobile orders outnumber those from desktop.
However, while smartphones and desktops generate the same number of orders, smartphone usage drove only a third of all email-driven revenue (35 percent). The gap between smartphone and desktop revenue indicates that while consumers are comfortable making purchases on mobile devices, they still prefer to spend more on desktop.
What does this mean for email marketers? It means they need to do more to create convenient and engaging mobile experiences. Consumers use their smartphones to order when it’s easy, but still rely on desktops to make larger orders due to clunky navigation and less-than-optimal ordering experiences in mobile emails. Here’s what you might be doing with your mobile emails that’s preventing mobile average order value (AOV) growth:
4 Mistakes Preventing Mobile AOV Growth
1. Clunky Email-to-Website Paths
You could send the perfect email that features a personalized recommendation for a product your subscriber wants to buy now. Excitement has piqued, you did it! However, when she clicks on the email, it's too difficult for her to navigate to the product on your mobile site and ultimately convert. All that creative hard work goes down the drain, and you lose the sale.
It seems like a no-brainer, yet marketers continually make this mistake and drive subscribers to irrelevant pages. It needs to be as seamless as possible for mobile shoppers to find the products they want directly from marketing emails. If you’re promoting a pair of shoes in your email, for example, allow subscribers to click and land on a page with that product heavily featured rather than a long scrolling category page. Even better, up your technical game and provide several purchase actions directly within the email itself, like an "Add to Cart" button or allow a selection of size or color before hitting the website. These tactics save time and create richer experiences on mobile.
2. Skimping on the Details
Consumers might hesitate to purchase products (especially pricier, big-ticket items) on mobile if they can’t easily access scannable product information. Consumers want to feel confident that they’re spending money on products that are right for them, and they need enough information to make the choice.
Make sure your emails are informative, with key product differentiators or positive customer reviews that are short and to the point. Include images from multiple angles, short bullets with descriptive information, videos that feature customer ratings and reviews, and specifications such as size, dimension and material.
3. Mistaking Scalable Design for Responsive Design
Screen size plays a major role in consumers’ hesitation to purchase on mobile devices. Customers are less inclined to engage or complete purchases if they can’t easily read emails or navigate through content. Responsive design is the obvious fix for this issue, of course. Emails should automatically adapt to screen sizes and provide a unique mobile view to create the best experiences, regardless of what device a subscriber uses.
While many marketers know this, they either don’t realize scalable design isn’t responsive or they opt for the fastest execution path to simply shrink images to fit a mobile screen. In fact, Yes Marketing data shows that only 27.3 percent of marketers always send responsive emails, while 14 percent never do. Marketers should design email with responsive behavior top of mind, instead of allowing desktop lead the process. By skimping on responsive design, marketers create lackluster experiences for subscribers, and leave money on the table.
4. Neglecting Device Affinity
Your subscribers aren’t all using the same mobile devices, so you can’t treat them all the same. Take advantage of the unique features and functionality of different mobile devices to add even more value to your email content.
For example, add Apple Pay functionality within your emails for shoppers that use iPhones, and support Google Pay for Android devices. Moreover, don’t neglect the details. For example, even emojis render differently across devices, so make sure to tailor email content to each specific device so that your content looks the best on the screen your customer is using.
Email marketing is a critical revenue driver for all businesses, and mobile emails generate more orders than ever before. With consumers engaging and shopping more on mobile devices, there’s a large opportunity for marketers who invest in the experience to drastically increase their bottom lines. Work to ensure subscribers can easily engage with your email content on mobile devices, and you won’t be the brand leaving large bags of cash on the table.
Kyle Henderick is the senior director of client services for Yes Marketing, a multichannel marketing solutions and services provider.
Related story: How to Move to Personalized Emails for New Subscribers
Kyle Henderick is the senior director of client services at Yes Marketing, where he is responsible for helping major clients implement new programs, processes, and data-driven strategies to create campaigns that truly drive revenue. With a passion for technology implementation and a background in database, email, web, and social media marketing, Kyle turns his real-world experience into executable tactics to help clients see an incremental lift in revenue, subscriber engagement and customer retention.