As every person in this country, a small business also need a New Year's resolution, in this time is more reasonable to say something you actually can't handle and not say any excuse about doing "something" in the rest of this year if you can start immediately .
Close to 145 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (a 60.8 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in August, up 3 percent since May, according to the August 2013 comScore report.
What does this mean? : Well, nearly two out of every three Americans own a Smartphone. Now consider that email is the top activity on smartphones -- ahead of browsing and even Facebook -- and you have a huge opportunity to reach people with your email marketing messages via the devices they are using most often.
However, email marketing hasn't totally caught up with the mobile revolution. The majority of emails are still not optimized for mobile viewing and interaction. Buttons are small. Subscribers are forced to enlarge the screen and move things around to see the email. It's just clunky.
But there is hope. The future is now for mobile-friendly email marketing. Here are seven tips to ensure your next email campaign is optimized for a mobile device.
1. Earn your subscribers' trust
When it comes to mobile, who the email is from becomes that much more important. What's the first thing you see when scanning your inbox? Yup, the "From (Name)" If subscribers don't recognize who the email is from or don't trust the sender, they are less likely to open the message. If they don't open your email, the rest of these tips don't even matter. Earning that trust starts well before the first email. It also is not limited to email. Trust can be earned or lost on social media, offline and through other more traditional channels.
2. Really think about the subject line
Along with the From Name, the subject line is critical. While your audience may not know who you are, a compelling and creative -- or a direct and descriptive -- subject line can be the difference between an open and a delete or ignore.
3. Don't forget about the pre-header
Sometimes called the snippet text, the pre-header is the text that's above the header image. On smartphones especially, it's the first bit of text that's viewable. Instead of something boring like, "To view this email in your browser …" try writing some unique text there. Test clickable calls to action. Maybe even try using some humor.
4. Ensure your call to action is big and obvious
This is an important step, and not just for mobile-optimized emails. Make sure your call to action is big, bold and obvious. When it comes to smartphones, real estate is at a premium. Subscribers will not search for your call to action. And sometimes smaller links are more difficult to click on, especially depending on the size of a person's fingers. Your call to action has to be in their faces. Make it clear, big and simple to click.
5. Consider responsive email design (RED)
Ensuring the user experience is optimized regardless of platform and device is not a new concept on the web. But creating responsive-designed emails is something that is just starting to pick up steam. This is becoming more important as more people own smartphones and use email as their main "app." Creating a responsive-designed email template is not technically easy to do, but it's something your email service provider or marketing automation vendor should be able to assist you with.
6. Include images
The majority of email clients on a smart phone -- including the iPhone's native Mail app -- have images enabled by default. Sure, a person can go into the settings and turn them off, but most people don't take this extra step.
So with images on by default, it's important that you think about what imagery you're using in your email marketing messages. Whether your audience is B2B or B2C is irrelevant. Images matter.
So instead of just dropping a random image into your email, consider using something that's linked to the content. Put in a fun image, a different image and an eye-catching image.
7. Be aware of unsubscribe placement
We strongly believe marketers should learn the love the unsubscribe button. But with mobile devices, it's important to consider where your unsubscribe link is in relation to other links in your email. Too often I've seen the unsubscribe link placed dangerously close to the main call to action. One wrong move and a loyal subscriber has opted out. Above all, the best advice when it comes to ensuring your emails get opened on a smartphone is to test -- test all of the tips mentioned above. After all, your audience is not my audience. Best practices are those that are best for your subscribers.
Email marketing is an excellent way to engage customers and increase both site traffic and sales. However, not all email messages are equally effective.
While there are many things that e-commerce merchants might do to improve the effectiveness of their email marketing, here are seven ideas to consider.
1. Have a Singular Focus
E-commerce marketers often send relatively frequent emails to the same customer list or segment. This is especially true during the holiday shopping season (from early October through the end of December). Given the frequency of emails and how busy recipients are, it can be effective to focus on a single call-to-action or a single category or item in each email.
As an example, a singularly focused email might mention a special sale on a particular category of products, but not necessarily show the recipients three different sale offers.
2. Aim to Specific Customers
Whenever possible, online retail marketers should target messages to customers. If you sell men’s and ladies’ clothing, as an example, you may want to send separate emails, targeting each category based on known customer preferences.
Target segmentation also reduced: bounce rates, abuse report rates, and the number of recipients who chose to unsubscribe.
3. Write a Compelling Subject
Recently, Google added tabs to its popular Gmail email client. One of the default tabs has the title “Promotions,” and most email marketers have seen roughly a 1 percent drop in open rates from Gmail users seemingly as a result.
In response, marketers are doing a lot to convince customers to move promotional emails from the Gmail Promotions tab into the Primary tab. But in truth, these messages are promotions. So maybe a better strategy would be to focus on standing out, regardless of how a recipient’s email client has categorized the email message.
Writing great subjects can be something of an art, but consider using testing and measurement to determine which subject lines work best for your business.
4. Use Attractive Images and Graphics
Regardless of all the media resources available, pictures are still important. They can also do a good job of conveying brand or product information.
Notice that leading online retailers — from Amazon and Walmart to the Gap and Zappos — all use large and attractive graphics in their email marketing campaigns. These are companies that spend a significant amount of time and money optimizing, and they all use great graphics.
5. Don’t Depend on Attractive Images and Graphics
Unfortunately, not every email recipient will see your attractive images and great graphics, since many users will block images at least initially.
One easy way to do this is to simply include good alt tag data with your email images.
6. Optimize for Mobile
Four in ten American adults read emails on a mobile device, according to Constant Contact, the email platform. This implies that if an ecommerce marketer is not optimizing email messages for mobile devices, 40 percent of potential customers — folks who may have been interested in an offer — might not read or interact with the message simply because it doesn’t work well on their device of choice.
To make emails more mobile friendly avoid using table layouts and inline styles that impact appearance. Also, consider segmenting email lists based on the type of device a user is likely to use.
7. Optimize Landing Pages
Remember that promotional email marketing doesn’t end with the email. It must send the interested recipient to a landing page to complete some action. Be certain that your landing page delivers the recipients what was promised.
Offer a clear path to conversion. If you were promoting a 30 percent off discount on hats, be certain your landing page shows hats that are 30 percent off and include clearly marked “Add to Cart” buttons or similar.
Optimize for the device, too. If you took the time to segment your list by device and create a special mobile-optimized email, make certain that the email links to a mobile optimized landing page.
Costumers are using smartphones and tablets to make purchases and research products and prices before making a purchase, or choosing a product; meaning that mobile may be an important channel for sales and engaging potential shoppers.
Holidays are just around the corner! They are not only the most profitable season in the year (for most businesses), but also the busiest. e-Merchants, in particular, should be ready preparing special discounts, rebates, deals and other incentives to take full advantage of this season. Holidays officially start on black Friday and Cyber Monday, so, how should you prepare your business? - Here are a few tips: