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Why Email Campaigns Fail on Mobile

by Soft2share.com

A few short years ago, marketing to mobile customers was considered an extremely niche endeavor. Why should businesses invest in something that only a tiny fraction of their customers were using? Wouldn’t it just be better to wait until mobile was “substantial” enough?

Well, welcome to the future. Today, businesses are scrambling to get mobile customers to pay attention to them, and with good reason. Mobile technology has such an incredible adoption rate that there are now more than 1.2 billion people (yep, with a “b”) surfing the web using mobile devices. The explosive growth of mobile isn’t slowing down anytime soon, either, with smartphone adoption growing from 35% of the population in 2011 to 56% of people in 2013.


Unfortunately, though every business wants in on the action, far too few actually know how to reach mobile customers effectively. Take email campaigns. While there are some businesses that get it, most have a mobile strategy that is, at best, haphazard, and at worst may end up pushing customers away. Here are just a few of the biggest mistakes that companies make with email campaigns.

Trying one size fits all. Emails designed to look gorgeous on desktops and laptops, complete with amazing pictures or artwork, tend to look horrible on smaller devices like tablets and smartphones. You have to adjust your pixel width if you don’t want to end up with something that’s unreadable, and it’s important to do this for multiple platforms – tablets are different from smartphones, and what works on an iPhone may not look so hot on Android. Put in the extra work and you won’t lose business for a silly reason.

Being blasé about when you send. If you’ve run email campaigns in the past, you should know this already, but you can’t just send emails whenever you want and expect a good response. All kinds of studies have been done about when people are most likely to be opening and reading emails, and if you miss out on this window, you might be out of luck.

Broadcasting instead of narrowcasting. Even most of the biggest companies today aren’t putting out a single advertising message to a single demographic – they’re tailoring their messages to fit a specific audience and trying to reach those people on devices and in places they’re known to frequent. In terms of mobile devices, they tend to be used more by younger, more tech-savvy people, so that’s who you’re talking to.

Creating a difficult or confusing experience. When a mobile user opens an email, they want to know what it’s about (and what you want from them) as fast as possible. That means putting your call-to-action in a place they’ll see right away. And you’d better make the interface work well on mobile, because if there’s a lot of typing or clicking involved, they’re going to go somewhere else. Make it easy on them!

Half-assing it. You can create the most mobile-friendly emails in the world, but if you only do this for some of your email communication or (just as bad) send people to a site that hasn’t been optimized for mobile, people are going to tune out and click away.

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