By Elliot Ross, creative strategist at e-Dialog International
The digital revolution means that mobile and social are the new front lines for marketers. However email remains the least intrusive, and most accessible, means of getting key messages to the consumer. Combining best practice email marketing techniques with mobile and social tools can lead to results that both improve brand engagement and drive sales.
The channels for digital marketing have changed dramatically over the past decade, with mobile and social media both demonstrating considerable potential for improving interaction with the consumer. However, it is the marketing stalwart, email, which provides the most effective means of utilising mobile and social for marketing purposes. Below are my top tips for integrating social and mobile into email marketing campaigns:
1. Rendering is key
With the amount of time that is invested in developing dynamic and creative email templates, forgetting that the desktop is not necessarily where your customers view their email is an oversight which could damage the success of a campaign. The data insight tools which are available mean that we can assess the types of devices that people are accessing their emails on, so there is the opportunity to tailor content for the mobile screen. This does pose challenges, not least because it means designing for smaller screens; however this extra effort can reap significant dividends by providing customers with a call to action better suited for the device they are using.
Advances in HTML coding mean that we are able to make a responsive email dynamic that updates the design of the email depending on the platform used to open it, so an email opened on the desktop renders normally, but the same email on a phone is dynamically formatted to fit the smaller display.
2. Make your call to action fit the medium
The larger challenge that we face when launching mobile and social marketing campaigns is that the messaging needs to be appropriate for the channel. Take, for example, a travel retailer. On a desktop, the emails received need to drive the customer to make a booking. On mobile, the consumer is unlikely to be in a position to make an immediate purchase so the take-out from the email needs to be different. Similarly if the consumer is being driven to social media via a “share with a friend” button within the email, then the call to action also needs to drive customers to share positive experiences or attract their friends to the brand as a means of driving acquisition.
3. Tracing the success of campaigns
Attributing a sale to an email received on mobile is no mean feat; at the moment it is not possible to trace whether an email opened on a mobile then leads the customer to go to the website on their desktop to make a purchase off the back of it. This can make it difficult to justify creating a campaign which is targeted for mobile users, however with the possibilities for email which the latest smartphones and mobile tablets are bringing to the market – such as including dynamic video content in email (a technique we have already trialled for a couple of clients) – it is possible to make the email experience into something that calls out for interaction. While we formulate the best ways to measure the power of email to drive sales, thinking about the likely activity the consumer is undertaking while checking email on their mobile, can help us better understand their behaviour so that we can tailor the CTA of the email to drive the most appropriate action, which in turn will lead to better responsiveness overall.
4. Don’t silo activity
My top tips so far have been skewed towards mobile rather than social media; however the key to making email work with both channels is to ensure that they are both integrated with the core marketing strategy. There is little point in implementing a social, brand engagement, strategy if customer service is not made aware of the activity. This is especially true seeing that many consumers use the likes of Facebook and Twitter as a means of airing their frustrations. Similarly, launching a great new mobile app for your brand is not going to generate the desired result if no customers are driven to download it through a targeted to mobile device email campaign. The first step in creating a brilliant integrated campaign is often facilitating internal inter-departmental discussions.
One of the greatest challenges we face as a digital agency is the lack of cohesion between customer databases; we often have to support our clients as they gather transactional, behavioural, preference and loyalty data from customers in one place. Adding mobile and social into the mix as well might seem like a daunting task but for the Aspirational Marketer, the possibilities on the horizon afforded by mobile and social are something to start working with now so that emerging technologies, like augmented reality and NFC, fit almost seamlessly into the digital marketing toolkit.
Check out 12ahead, our brand new platform
covering the latest in cutting-edge digital marketing and creative technology from around the globe.
12ahead identifies emerging trends and helps
you to understand how they can apply to modern-day companies.
We believe 12ahead can put you and your
business 12 months ahead of the competition. Sign up for a free trial today.