3 Mobile Marketing Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season
This year, smartphone users are predicted to top 2.08 billion worldwide. Not only is ownership increasing, but smartphone users are becoming more dependent upon their devices as well. Eighty-nine percent of adults check their smartphones several times per day or more, and over a third of consumers are never able to fully disconnect from their devices.
Within this swell of growth, marketing across mobile devices is no longer optional for brands. While many marketers are already aware of this fact, 2016 can still be a year of improvement for companies looking to more effectively engage captive audiences on smartphone devices. In last year's fourth quarter, mobile accounted for 30 percent of all U.S. e-commerce transactions — a sizeable number that's likely to increase this year.
Today, brands recognize the importance of a proper mobile marketing strategy, but many still miss the mark to maximize revenue opportunities via mobile. According to the Yes Lifecycle Marketing Q4 2015 Email Marketing Compass, here are three mistakes brands must avoid in order to generate more sales from mobile marketing as they approach the holidays:
1. Underutilizing email: In 2015, active subscribers (i.e., those who have opened or clicked within 90 days) received 10 percent more emails than in 2014. While there’s a myth that high email frequency leads to lower consumer engagement, a consistent flow of content can help marketers create a rapport with shoppers and make opening their emails a habit. Over the last two years, despite a higher number of emails, clicks per clicker rose 15 percent while opens per opener increased 17 percent within the same time frame.
Marketers may be hesitant to send more emails to subscribers, but this is exactly what they should be doing in order to engage users. In addition to building volume, brands must incorporate email personalization in order to make their messages relevant.
There's an abundance of subscriber data available to marketers, and with next-generation registration pages and preference centers, companies can learn directly from subscribers what their preferences are on email frequency, channels and content. The first step is determining what emails subscribers are most likely to open and interact with; the second step is sending them more of those types of emails.
2. Not prioritizing responsive design: Smartphone owners instinctively open emails on their devices. This is an easy foot in the door for brands, but interactions can come to a halt if subscribers have trouble viewing and engaging with content, especially if the content isn't scalable.
Over half of all email clicks happen on mobile, and consumers expect campaigns to be optimized specifically for their devices. This means marketers need to leverage responsive design, as the technique has a positive impact on both mobile click and mobile click-to-open (CTO) rates. Brands that fully embrace responsive emails see 24 percent more clicks from mobile than those that don’t always use it. Similarly, the average mobile CTO generated by brands with responsive design in all email campaigns is 55 percent higher than the mobile CTO of those with no responsive campaigns.
It’s important to adopt responsive design sooner rather than later. Not only does it lead to more clicks (and therefore greater opportunities for mobile conversions), but it also contributes to a top-notch email experience on mobile, which improves a brand’s reputation. Even if a company starts using responsive design down the line, subscribers may allow poor previous mobile interactions to cloud their judgment and remain disengaged. Just 17 percent of marketers currently use responsive design in all of their emails. This number needs to increase quickly.
3. Complicating the path to purchase: With mobile average order values growing by 15 percent year-over-year — and over a quarter of all email-driven revenue in last year's fourth quarter coming from mobile alone — brands must make it simple to complete purchases on mobile devices.
For example, rather than having to go through many steps, one-click checkout should be the standard companies are working toward on mobile. Brands would also be smart to develop separate paths to purchase for new and returning customers. Although payment methods are standard, having payment information and delivery preferences saved for returning customers makes a mobile purchase effortless.
Payments is an area where brands can experiment. Rather than relying on what’s worked in the past, companies looking to earn a larger share of mobile e-commerce revenue should be trying new approaches — e.g., money exchange services like PayPal and Venmo. The path to purchase is another way for marketers to leverage registration pages and preference centers to learn exactly what consumers want.
Many marketers are already successfully navigating their mobile marketing efforts, but this quarter it’s important for all brands to learn how to engage subscribers on their mobile devices — and quick. Smartphone adoption will only grow faster and more widespread in the months to come, and marketers not yet improving their mobile user experience will quickly fall behind brands that are.
Ivy Shtereva is director of marketing at Yes Lifecycle Marketing, a marketing services provider that offers an integrated and optimized approach for delivering relevant messages from a single vendor.