It is estimated there will be more 192 million smartphone users in the U.S. by 2016. So it only follows that being able to read messages on a mobile device should be an easy task for customers and brands whose main goal is engagement.
According to an infographic authored by Matt Caldwell, VP Creative & Agency Services, for YesMail, email open rates for mobile devices stand at 36% and are rising. But, 76% of brands only offer a basic mobile strategy, or none at all.
As a result, consumers are hindered from engaging with brand content or making transactions because nearly half of them (44%) say mobile emails are difficult to read because of excessive content (27%) and because of wrong layouts (29%) for their mobile screen.
Caldwell told Loyalty 360 that the two effective strategies that help emails address these problems are scalable and responsive email design. Scalable refers to an email layout that is 100% readable and 100% fingertip clickable when reduced to half its size on a mobile device. Responsive email design is an email layout that adapts to the proportions of the device it is rendered on by using a secondary code.
Emails that are opened on mobile devices without either of these two approaches provide a “terrible” customer experience, Caldwell said.
But not all mobile devices support responsive design. So Caldwell recommends that brands should use a hybrid layout to ensure consumers can interact with their content. The key benefits to the hybrid layout are:
• Larger logo and link back to the website
• Larger navigation and therefore click-through rates
• Increased focus on featured content
• Larger text and calls to action
Caldwell believes many brands don’t have effective mobile strategies because most are still working on first generation mobile sites.
“There are a lot of companies flailing,” Caldwell said. “But now we’re entering the second generation of mobile site design.” Caldwell cited eBay as having an excellent mobile site.
“Like anything, you have to do it once and you learn,” Caldwell said. “Now publishing tools, website management, content management, and general techniques are well distributed. Web designers know all about these grid systems, which are the backbone to responsive email design.”
As more companies efficiently design their mobile sites, how will that impact customer engagement?
“It will make a really large impact,” Caldwell said. “When customers land on an unoptimized site, they can tell in four seconds. This will have a huge impact on the customer.”