Mobile email marketing and m-commerce this festive season

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By now you must be sick of all the blogs and articles that emphasise the importance of mobile SEO or adapting web design and marketing to suit mobile platforms. Bear with me, as here comes another one. It’s the holiday season, just about, which means that people are in a gift buying frenzy and a lot of them are doing their buying (at the very least their searching) online. There are two ways in which this affects websites and web marketers:

1)     Email marketing campaigns need to be mobile phone friendly.

2)     E-commerce sites need to double as M-commerce sites.

Bill Siwicki refers to a study on email marketing by Knotice. Apparently 20% of people open marketing emails on their phones and 11% go on to click links. The study reflects numbers for the first half of 2011, so it’s fairly safe to assume that they’ve increased, especially with Christmas round the corner.

The problem is that standard email campaigns are designed for PCs and laptops, and not mobile phones. This means that emails can be distorted or difficult to read on the smaller screens, which is the same old problem really.

Knotice says: “Marketers need to be thoughtful about how the … user can take action in the most convenient ways possible. Whether that means clicking through to a mobile-optimised site, tapping on a phone number to call a customer service agent, or even users providing their e-mail address to have a shopping cart, wish list, product information or follow-up reminder sent to them so they can complete the action when more convenient. Focus needs to be on optimising the email as well as the post-click experience in tandem for an overall satisfying user experience.”

M-commerce

Sherwood Stanieri makes the excellent point that this is the month when a lot of m-commerce sites will be seriously tested. He expects mobile phones to generate more than 10% of all online sales. His particular piece of advice relates to product descriptions, which are tricky to manage at the best of times.

One of the worst things to do, according to Stanieri, is to simply use the descriptions provided by the manufacturer or generic specs. They’re not generally all that helpful and they won’t help to sell the product. Instead you should put in a little time and effort and create unique descriptions which you can optimise for mobile use.

This festive season is going to be an interesting one for online retailers, especially with regards to mobile performance. In addition to revealing short-comings and pitfalls it will also show how the mobile shopping trend is developing and give us an idea of exactly how important mobile considerations are going to be in the future.

(Image by Creative Tools, CC by 2.0, via Flickr)

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