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Less Than Half of Marketers Have a Mobile Strategy: StrongMail

5/22/12

By Ken Magill

Though smartphone usage is skyrocketing, fewer than half of marketers have a mobile strategy in place, according to a recent survey conducted by StrongMail.

What’s more, of the marketers who have employed a mobile strategy, 57 percent have been doing so for a year or less, according to the email service provider.

As for why 55 percent of those surveyed haven’t implemented a mobile strategy, 37 percent cited a lack of strategy and 22 percent cited a lack of resources.

However, with smartphones accounting for nearly half of all devices in use by mobile users, it is imperative for digital marketers to adopt and integrate mobile marketing tactics, said Kara Trivunovic, vice president of agency services, StrongMail.

Indeed, according to Return Path, mobile will be the predominant platform for email marketing readership by year’s end.

However, most marketers are unsure on what to do, Trivunovic said.

“Everybody’s been talking about mobile marketing for years,” she said. “There’s been a lot of attention paid to it, but no one knows what they want to do with it.”

According to Trivunovic, the easiest place to start with a mobile strategy is in design.

“A lot of the mobile considerations right now that are most effective are really around rendering and engagement,” she said. “From accounting for the triage of email to accounting for size and clickability, it’s more of a usability rather than an SMS or mobile messaging opportunity.”

She added it’s important to focus on usability beyond the email message, as well.

“What does the mobile landing page look like? Is it easy to convert whatever it is you’re asking the user to do?” she said.

“We’ve gone from back in the day when AOL was the inbox of record and best-practice size was around 400 to 450 pixels and then as monitors got bigger and resolutions changed it went up to 650, 700 and now we’re back down to a narrow one-column design to account for [mobile usage],” she said. “One column is quickly becoming a best practice. One column rendering is much easier to accommodate on a handheld device.”

Trivunovic added that sending emails based on device is a fairly straightforward undertaking.

She also warned against using “fixed-width table definitions.”

“Instead of using a fixed width where you say: ‘I want it to be 450 pixels wide,’ you let it sit at a percent of the screen so it’s sizeable,” Trivunovic said.

She also advocates “not throwing everything including the kitchen sink into the message. More and more people are triaging their email on handheld devices so not only do you have to keep the message concise, you need to optimize for the way it’s rendering above the fold.”

Trivunovic added: “People look at the from line and the subject line and decide: ‘Do I want to click into the message,’ and when they do click, it’s those first few lines.”

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