email marketing
Chatbot concept. Man holding smartphone and using chatting.

By Miranda Paquet

Don’t assume a head hung low is necessarily a bad thing. These days, it usually means your customers are buried deep in their mobile devices. You can expect a lot more of this as the amount of emails opened on smartphones continues to climb. The Radicati Group estimates that by 2018, 80 percent of email users will access their accounts via a mobile device. Today, 55 percent of customers open their email on a mobile device, according to Litmus. This puts small business owners at a crossroads between opportunity and obscurity when it comes to engaging customers through email marketing.

On the plus side, email is an opt-in marketing channel so you know your customers expect to hear from you. Yet when it comes to email on mobile devices, we all know customers are more likely to consume content than take action on it. Given this, here are seven tips designed to inspire customers to go from viewing to doing when your email pops up on their mobile device.

  1. Optimize your website for mobile. Your email isn’t the only marketing tool that should be optimized for mobile devices. Your website should be, too. In a recent study by Litmus, 45 percent of U.S. internet users said they unsubscribed from a brand’s promotional email because the emails/website didn’t display or work well on a smartphone. Another 35 percent unsubscribed because the mobile app didn’t work well.
  1. Insert deep links. This simply means that you insert a link in your call to action that brings customers directly to a mobile optimized landing page, as opposed to your home page or a landing page that doesn’t accommodate mobile devices. Along with making it easier for your customers to immediately respond right from their smartphones, it also allows you to more accurately track which transactions are done via mobile devices.
  1. Use mobile responsive templates. Putting your messages into a mobile responsive template ensures they always display properly, no matter which device your customers use to view it.
  1. Support one-click payments. Seize your customers’ enthusiasm and make it easy for them to immediately take advantage of your offer with a secure, one-click payment option.
  1. Enable auto registrations. Similar to the strategy behind one-click payments, make it easy for customers to automatically sign up for an event with a quick tap of their finger on their mobile device.
  1. Be single minded. Your messages should be brief with a single message, single visual and a single call to action that doesn’t require extensive scrolling.
  1. Send the message when the user is online. Email marketers are always trying to figure out the best time of day and best day of the week to send messages. Instead of trying to reach a majority of customers at a dedicated email launch time, consider setting up automated messages that are delivered when the customer is online.

Shifting your email marketing to accommodate mobile customers isn’t a nice to have — customers today simply expect it. Given the rise in the mobile consumption of emails, now is the time for small businesses to more fully embrace the mobile channel.

Miranda Paquet  (Twitter: @ConstantContact) is a Content Manager at Constant Contact, where she inspires small businesses and nonprofits to overcome their digital marketing fears and use email and social media marketing to drive awareness, sales, and repeat business. For more small business marketing advice, subscribe to the Constant Contact blog.