21 May 2012

South Africa: The Mobile Email Revolution - Are You Ready for It?


Alison Treadaway, managing director at Striata, a global leader in paperless communication, identifies seven ways to ensure your emails get read on mobile devices.

"It is evident that the mobile email revolution is upon us, as the percentage of people reading email on mobile devices is on the increase," says Treadaway. A recent survey by Return Path confirms that a significant portion of email users are managing their email on a mobile device (see graph below).

Treadaway goes on to say that in South Africa, the mobile email revolution is set to advance rapidly, as there are almost six times as many mobile phone users than internet users. By 2014, it's expected that SA will have 80% penetration of Smartphones compared to less than 50% in the USA.

"Marketers should start tracking which device or channel their customers are using to open emails - mobile, desktop, webmail," Treadaway advises. "Then using campaign history, establish whether these are active users (how many are opening your emails, how many click on links and complete the call to action such as purchase your product, provide their contact information, etc.)."

Mobile: Driving the age of simple, to the point email

Best practice in email communication in the age of the PC and laptop encouraged marketers to design emails in a certain way that optimised readership and conversions. With the increasing popularity of the mobile device for email management, the new motto is - keep it simple.

"Remember that mobile interactions happen in the 'now' and on the move, unlike other communication media that are fixed and allow for extensive content and complex creative elements. Mobile delivers short bursts of information for an audience that is distracted and busy. People don't spend long periods reading email on mobile devices; instead they skim, so ensure the key message is immediately obvious," explains Treadaway.

"Mobile readers will delete/ignore emails that aren't optimised for their device - it's just too much trouble to read them. If you're lucky, they may come back to your email once they have access to their laptop/desktop, but this is not guaranteed."

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