50% of all local searches are now carried out on a mobile - is your email marketing optimised for this challenge?
Is mobile marketing right for your customer? Is it right for your business? Do you even know?
Mobile is changing the world, how we talk, read, consume, share. How we act, how we interact, how we browse and how we buy. The gap between the real and digital world is reducing and mobile technology is leading the way.
By 2014 mobile internet will overtake desktop internet usage for shopping and in four years about 80% of all internet users will access the web from a mobile. Currently 50% of all local searches are carried out online and Google will respond; this year they placed 'Places page' results above the organic search results, this means that if you don't respond to local advertising (Google Places is just one example) your online presence could quickly deteriorate below those who have responded, no matter how snazzy your website may be.
So the question is...
As a business owner or marketing manager, who knows you need to embrace digital technology, how are you going to respond to ensure whatever platform, you're still on-top of the search results?
The rise in mobile use has been dramatic, encompassing so many pieces of technology (SMS, search, social sharing, location marketing, apps), it is time you got on board.
Central to all of this is email marketing: the glue that sticks them all together. Clear from the continued increase in its use and the fact that despite the prolific rise in mobile (which some might think drives people to SMS instead), is that email is still top for communication preference for commercial messages (preferred by 77% according to a recent study by Exact Target).
A recent report from Merkle stated that 55% of people with an internet enabled phone use it to check their personal email account, 43% of these check it more than four times a day, further to this, sending and receiving email is still the top activity on mobile devices (shortly followed by search). This could lead to great opportunities of time fused, last minute offers - equally as effective as SMS. So don't leave your email marketing plans as a reactive device but plan for how you will capture new contacts and keep the message flow open with them.
Analyse your own customer profile, no matter what industry. Then your campaign performance and email client viewing to see what platforms are most commonly used within your recipient base, where they like to hang out, consume share and find information; it may well be that mobile just isn't right for your market.
For example Financial Services are still very much desktop based with a high penetration of Lotus, where creative industries would clearly be more Apple focused. Age demographics also plays a part in client usage (the very young preferring sms for example), as does time/ day of viewing (weekends are typically higher mobile usage, where mid week is desktop).
Essentially you need to be where your customers are. If they're mobile, great, jump on board. If they're not, then why invest now when the technology will only change in a few months time?
In the B2B world we're just as connected, with work related emails being opened as early as 7am (the highest time for opens on a mobile device) we're clearly edging towards being 'always on' and always on also means responding to our work emails to. Not only that but we also know behaviour with mobile email often results in 'downtime' viewing where recipients 'triage' their inbox whilst waiting for busses, on the train or bored; valuable time to share your wealth of knowledge and best practice information. In fact, some recent research even suggested that work related emails sent at the tail end of the day may perform better than those in the (traditional) morning slot (whilst we're all beavering away at work).
The point with both B2B or B2C is that our behaviour is changing, to give all recipients what they want (convenience, relevance, time saving and money making) then you need to offer the very best of user experience across multiple touch points. This means creating beautifully created mobile optimised emails as well as improving your local search results. What's the point of being found in search but then dropping the opportunity to communicate with a potential customer in the future? Even if you think it doesn't have a bearing on your business, it will not eventually but right now.