Perhaps all those reminders about manners at the dinner table are paying off. Turns out that most of the time, people check email on their phones because they actually want to check email. According to an email usability study, Email Marketing and Mobile Devices, from marketing services provider Axciom, nothing else is happening while people are on their phones. Mostly, people check email on their smartphones when they are bored (72%) or at their desk (67%) – or maybe in the bathroom (29%).
Good news is that we’ve got their attention – there are no distractions. The challenge is now that email marketers must engage and appeal to consumer interests. The days are over when discounts and promotions could break through the clutter. To engage on the small screen, more and more marketers are investing in personalization and cross channel messaging – including custom email deployment – in order to engage consumers on what has become an increasingly portable lifestyle. If you want to see where your practices rank in comparison, take our Digital Assessment.
Portability of email is here to stay. In the same study, the researchers found that 91% of consumers use their smartphones regularly for checking personal email, and that more people own a laptop (83.9%) or smartphone (80.2%) than a desktop computer (59.6%). Tablet ownership (47.9%) is nearly as widespread as desktops.
The Axciom study suggests marketers adjust the value proposition and deliver on a personalized experience. “Stress the benefits recipients get from email over just signing up for messages,” the study recommends, by following these practices:
- Make the entire process from opt-in to opt-out as trustworthy as possible
- Be sure messages show the sender line recipients would expect to see (the company, newsletter or brand name, not “do-not-reply” or an unfamiliar personal name) and a compelling and accurate subject line
- Test adding sample creative and address what the consumer can expect from future emails
- Use a strong, compelling call to action supported by enough essential information to encourage readers to act immediately rather than saving it for later. Although boredom inspires many to check email, they aren’t necessarily in the mood to act.
As one of the highest revenue-driving channels, getting email marketing right pays off. The study found that email has more influence on purchase decisions than direct mail, SMS messaging or social media, with emails containing discounts or information about relevant products or services ranking highest for influence on purchase decisions among our recipients.
Relevance in email has never been more important. It can go hand in hand with discounts for influencing purchases, but it’s also tied to personalization, automated triggers and frequency. Using data collected from consumers as well as propensity models for future behavior will help you keep your email marketing, and your revenue, in the #TopRight quadrant. It will also help boost readability – wherever your subscribers may be.