Ignore mobile email at your peril!

Casinos, online gaming companies and their affiliate marketers are missing a trick by ignoring mobile email and thereby risk losing market share to their opposition. Recent research from ReturnPath suggests that mobile email open rates have increased by a massive 300% over the past two years, with more emails now opened on mobile devices than on traditional desktop computers.
Despite this, most companies continue to ignore mobile email altogether, choosing instead to employ a one-size-fits-all approach to their email marketing campaigns. By failing to take into account the many nuances of the mobile medium, as well as the significant shift in consumer behaviour that it has brought about, marketers run the risk of alienating their audiences and having their communications falling on deaf ears.
For niche sectors like gaming and gambling, which already enjoy fairly low open rates as a result of domain blacklisting and SPAM filtering, adapting swiftly to the requirements of the mobile environment is particularly critical, and could mean the difference between success and failure. So what do today’s marketers need to bear in mind in order to ensure on-going success in the mobile email space?

Know your audience
A 2012 eConsultancy Email Marketing Industry Census shows that a massive 48% of marketers don’t actually know what percentage of their emails are read on mobile devices. With smartphone and tablet usage differing vastly across industries, it’s near impossible to construct an effective email mobile strategy without this type of user information. Ultimately, your email campaign should aim to resonate most strongly with the largest percentage of your audience, and this can only be achieved by understanding who they are. Not only do you need to know what devices they are using to access your content, but you also need to recognise how they interact and engage with these tools. By tracking and analysing your email campaigns, and carefully assessing the percentage of mobile and desktop users engaging with your emails, you’ll be far better placed to develop an effective campaign that resonates and drives conversions.

Optimise appearance and usability
According to BlueHornet’s 2012 industry report, a staggering 70% of today’s consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render correctly on a mobile device. This is a frightening figure given the fact that the majority of companies continue to pay little attention to mobile when constructing their email campaigns.
For gaming companies, whose primary revenue is being increasingly derived from mobile users, this is especially concerning. Poorly designed emails, which make no provisions for touch screen systems and various font and pixel limitations, are not only less likely to be opened, but also significantly less likely to result in click-throughs, sign-ups, deposits or other conversion metrics.
Consequently, it’s vital that marketers start to incorporate responsive design into their email coding so as to enable them to be automatically scaled for whichever device they are opened on. Simpler designs tend to work best as they can be better applied across a range of handsets, regardless of the screen size and pixels available.

Build a user journey
However, making the move to mobile email involves far more than simply optimising the appearance of email content for smartphone display. Successful mobile email campaigns need to be appropriately tailored to the evolving needs of today’s consumers, taking into account all elements of the user journey so as to ensure effective conversion rates.
A well-designed mobile email can only be effective if its calls to action can be instantly and seamlessly answered, from the smartphone or tablet itself. Before constructing a mobile email campaign, marketers need to consider not only the appearance and functionality of the email itself, but also take into account the next steps in the user’s journey.
Will calls to action still make sense in a mobile context? Will click-through links take users to mobile-friendly landing pages? Can your consumer purchase your product or sign-up for your service directly from their phone? It’s vital that marketers consider the user’s journey, to ensure continuity in terms of goal completion across each platform. The growing trend towards mobile is largely driven by convenience, and mobile email campaigns need to be developed with this in mind, removing conversion barriers where possible.
By developing an intuitive mobile email campaign, which effectively anticipates consumer behaviour patterns, you’ll be able to connect with an ever-growing mobile audience like never before, and turn your customer communications into successful conversion tools.

About Total Send
Total Send (www.totalsend.com) launched in May 2011 to provide marketers around the world with the email marketing service they need to maximise their campaigns today and to allow them to quickly adapt as email marketing evolves in the future.
Email remains the most important digital channel a company has for engaging with its stakeholders. As a standalone activity or as part of a multi-channel communication strategy, email has the reach and level of engagement to achieve the best possible ROI for marketers.
Total Send’s high-performance service offers easy-to-use, low cost email marketing – either self-service or managed. Total Send offers all the features marketers actually use, in a slick, easy to navigate online interface, accessible by even the most technology fearing users. The service has no distractions – just the features marketers need, today, to get the best results from their email campaigns. Total Send’s customers include BBC Top Gear Festival, ESET Antivirus, SACamera, Bet.co.za and Sporting Post.