1. Email + Mobile + Tablets:
Mastering the Device Revolution
2. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Welcome to the device revolution: the explosion of the platform
market spurred by the demand for anytime, anywhere access
to any and all content.
Consider these latest usage statistics:
• 96% of the U.S. market is on a mobile phone*
• 44% of the U.S. market is on a smartphone*
• In 2011, there were 90.1 million smartphone
users; by 2015, that number is expected to
increase to 148.6 million, representing 58%
of mobile phone users**
• 29% U.S. tablet penetration*
• In 2011, there were 33.7 million tablet users;
by 2014, that number is estimated to reach
• In 2011, 33.3 million U.S. adults used eReaders
at least once per month, and that number
is expected to rise to 53.9 million by 2014**
What’s driving the device revolution is change:
Consumers are changing how they engage with media. Technology is changing by enabling new forms
of engagement, and there are natural changes as a result of this revolution. The email marketing industry
is changing in how it serves the market as a whole through its reaction to consumer and technical changes.
And marketers are changing the ways in which they adapt to successfully connect with customers.
What it All Means for Email Marketing
The mobile market represents a tremendous opportunity to extend the reach of email campaigns, target
customers and prospects more effectively, and increase return on investment. Developing a multi-platform
strategy is no longer an option – it’s a necessity.
Here are a few insights that make the case for extending email campaigns across platforms:
• 56% of smartphone users say email marketing is now more relevant †
• 45% of Web mobile use is spent checking email††
• 23% of all email is read on a mobile device‡
3. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
None of this is lost on marketing leaders, as this chart from
MarketingSherpa illustrates: Mobile smartphone and tablet
adoption ranks second in trends they believe are impacting
the email market. Also note that location-based marketing
comes in as the fourth-ranked trend. We’ll talk more about
The implications of all this research are clear:
First, people are flocking to new technologies, and the more
they become comfortable with them, the more they want to
use every available platform and expect the experience
to be consistent.
Marketers who will get the most out of this new reality are
those who understand the context of these platforms for
delivering the best possible experience.
Marketing ‘In the Moment’
The key is to remember that the mobile medium is “in the moment.” Unlike other communications vehicles that are stationary
and heavily presentation-oriented, the mobile medium is actionable, time sensitive, on the go, and always on. It delivers
short-burst information that is scanable, consumable and digestible for an audience whose attention span declines in direct
proportion to the size of the screen on which they view it.
That’s the power and influence of marketing in the moment.
Design Strategies for the Small Screen
With all these mobile usage insights in mind, design for the small screen! Let’s review some high-level mobile design tenets,
then review some key design tactics.
Mobile Design Tenets
Single columns: HTML is fairly inflexible when it comes to re-ordering columns and content blocks. Make it easy on yourself
and on your subscribers by sticking to a single column that will display appropriately on a mobile screen.
Big buttons: Fingers are much less precise than mouse pointers. Make it easier for your mobile subscribers to open and click by
making buttons large enough to be finger-friendly.
Space between clickable elements: Another problem that arises when you’re using a finger instead of a mouse is clickable
elements placed too close together. This results in the inevitable “miss-click”. By adding additional white space between
clickable elements, you can reduce having users wait for the wrong page to load.
Sources: * Pew - Jan. 2012, ** eMarketer - Nov. 2011, † e-Dialog - 2011, †† Nielsen - 2011, ‡ eMarketer - 2012
4. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Important information visible without scrolling or enlarging: When you have dozens of emails to catch up on, it’s important
that you are able to grasp the main idea quickly. Test your email messages on a mobile device to ensure that font sizes are
readable and that the user doesn’t have to scroll either vertically or horizontally to see your main message and call-to-action.
Hide unnecessary content: It’s great to include social sharing buttons, links to your social media pages, and other secondary
content in your email messages. But on a mobile device, all that extra content makes it more difficult for your subscribers to
get the main message. Make mobile emails easier to scan and read by hiding images, text and other content that isn’t strictly
Mobile Email Myths
1. Only teenagers read emails on mobile
devices: 23% of all email read today is
read on a mobile device. Chances are
your audience is checking email via a
2. I don’t need to design emails for
mobile users: Unfortunately, emails
designed for a laptop or PC screen just
don’t translate well to the small screen.
3. If I don’t have a mobile website,
I don’t need mobile email: In a
perfect world, your email, website and
social media are linked, mobile and
measurable. Crafting mobile emails is
a great place to start even if you don’t
have a mobile site yet.
2011, so you should design and test for
all mobile as well as tablet formats.
4. Mobile is only for big companies: Big
companies may already be there – they
have more resources, but mobile email
is no longer a choice. Every company
today needs properly designed
6. I can’t track results for mobile users:
Most mobile email opens are trackable.
Many smartphones use a mobile email
client, like MailDroid, Apple Mail or
Gmail, that track open rates and
5. I only need to worry about iPhone
users: You should worry first about
iPhone users, since iPhone and iPad add
up to 85% of mobile opens. However,
Android made up nearly 47% of the U.S.
smartphone market share by the end of
7. Mobile email preparedness is too
costly: Updating your email templates
so they’re mobile-friendly is a one-time,
low cost investment. Losing customers,
being unable to communicate with
users and tarnishing your brand — those
are long-term costly mistakes.
Mobile Design Tactics
Keep mobile email subject lines concise: As little as 15 characters of your subject line may be visible on a mobile device, so be
Adjust to space limitations: Assume that many mobile phones can only read text and ensure that text is formatted for the
Use MIME HTML: When sending HTML to devices that can accommodate it, be sure to send emails in multi-part MIME format.
This will ensure that your email message will be deciphered in the most complex format, rendering the email to its best
Provide a text-based version: This is a requirement for many mobile readers.
5. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Optimize pre-headers for mobile: When designing for mobile, optimize the valuable top text space with appropriate preheaders, the text lines on the top of your message that show up first. The first header should always be a mobile-friendly link
that says something like, “Having trouble reading this email? View our mobile- friendly version.”
Design for image-free mobile versions of your emails: While images can enhance the visual appeal of an email on a computer
monitor, they can lead to longer load times on mobile devices. Place your emphasis on quickly getting your core message to
your mobile subscriber.
Keep mobile copy short: Email recipients spend an average of only 15 - 20 seconds looking at your email, if they open it at
all. So it’s imperative to keep your messages short and employ the pyramid style of writing by including the most important
Perform platform tests: The most successful email marketers know that testing how emails render on different email platforms
is an important part of email marketing success – and mobile platforms are no exception. Ensure that you have access to the
mobile device formats most likely to be used by your subscribers and then test each email on each platform.
As a minimum, view your email on a standard cell phone, an iPhone, an iPad, a Blackberry and an Android-powered device.
Landing Pages that Convert Mobile Users
There’s a notion that people are reading emails on mobile
devices and going back to the desktop for a second look.
Data clearly shows that that’s not happening.
Marketers need to consider the fact that the full purchase
process is now often taking place on a mobile device.
Mobile-friendly Web pages allow you to tailor your
content for the mobile user – and are vital for successful
This requires more than just shrinking down your standard
landing page for a mobile screen. Mobile email marketing has
caught up with audience requirements and demand – now
it’s imperative to take the post-click experience to the
Start by checking out what your site experience is like on
mobile by accessing your site on your own phone. Or, you
can use an application like Litmus to provide cross-browser
page testing in addition to email previews.
Many of the rules for creating mobile versions of emails also apply to creating mobile-friendly Web pages:
• Test your call-to-action across a variety of mobile devices and make sure it’s user-friendly from the email through the
• Test all of your mobile pages for potential issues with accuracy, rendering and navigation on mobile devices.
6. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Responsive Design Technology for Creating Mobile-friendly Web Pages
There are some exciting new technologies
that take into account that the Internet is
now regularly viewed on laptops, phones and
tablets. Digital content design should take
the multi-platform world into account and be
optimized for the many different resolutions
This new technology is called “responsive
design,” and it’s becoming more and more
common. Responsive design utilizes simple
but elegant animation to respond to users’
behavior and environment based on screen
size, platform and orientation.
The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids
and layouts that use what’s called Cascading
Style Sheet, or CSS and media queries. The use
of media queries allows the desktop screen to
morph into a laptop screen, then a tablet and
finally a smartphone as the browser window
If you make it taller than it is wide, the tablet
or smartphone graphic rotates from landscape
to portrait view. Responsive design means the
website responds to you, rather than making
you deal with it by scrolling or magnifying in
order to view it comfortably.
Elements to Test to Drive Mobile Results
When it comes to learning from your mobile audience, here are a few elements you’ll want to test:
• Subject lines. Test shorter subject lines for mobile, with the important information up front.
• Send times and frequency. Try evenings, mornings and weekends to learn what timing generates the highest conversions.
• Preference centers. Ask subscribers to update their preferences and determine their format of choice – desktop, mobile,
smartphone, tablet or all-of-the-above. Target mobile-only users with tailored offers.
• Offer tests. Test simple offers, like free shipping or 10% off. Or try a clicks-to-bricks strategy with offers that drive
customers to your nearest retail location.
• Format tests.Test two versions of a mobile email – one in multi-part MIME format with simple images and one text-only
version to see which generates better results.
• Mobile-only content. Reach mobile users with “on-the-go” offers, like a “Happy Hour” offer sent at 4:00pm.
7. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Implementing a Cross-channel Approach Across Email, Mobile and Social
Here are some tactics for leveraging your brand across multiple channels:
Embed social media links into your emails – the simplest and easiest
place to start. Make it quick and easy for subscribers to share a
promotional opportunity across social networks.
Include email opt-in links on your social pages. This makes it easy for
people to opt in for email right from their Facebook page, for example.
Offer mobile coupons on social sites that can be presented in stores
via phones, with no need to print the coupons before heading to
“The most successful marketing
messages will combine relevance
and location with the right timing.”
- Google’s Matt Cutts
Consider location-based marketing. One of the primary differentiators of the mobile medium is location awareness. This
enables brands to interact with customers instantly, with location-based relevance, through their intensely personal mobile
device that is always within arm’s reach.
Benefits of Cross-channel Integration
Increased relevancy and immediacy by
communicating on subscribers’ terms:
Drive engagement at multiple touch points,
during times and on devices that are most
relevant to recipients and in keeping with
Deeper brand awareness: The more places
and times you can share your brand in a way
that resonates, the more you can rise to topof-mind with targets.
Extended reach: Develop mobile opt-in lists
to reach new targets and expand your overall
subscriber base. A bigger pool of qualified,
engaged subscribers equals more
When and How to Leverage SMS
SMS stands for Short Message Service but it’s more commonly known as text messaging. SMS is a mobile messaging force to be
reckoned with, for three compelling reasons:
• More than eight trillion SMS messages were sent worldwide in 2011*.
• SMS delivers the highest open rate among all messaging platforms.
• SMS functionality exists on 100% of mobile phones.
SMS programs range from novice to advanced in terms of mobile marketing expertise. Basic programs are more “push” in
nature, pushing out information about events and product updates or enabling opt-ins to receive specific information or alerts.
As SMS programs become more interactive, they become more sophisticated: surveys, quizzes and polls offer mobile users a
high level of interaction and engagement with brands.
8. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
• Build your house file. Remember subscribers pay to
receive text messages, so get their permission and deliver
valuable, time-sensitive information.
• Support branding. Use strong copywriting to keep your
messages short and on target.
• Assess the growth and health of your text file list
in terms of size and churn rate. Track responses and
conversions or sales.
Trends and Tactics for Tapping into
To that end, mobile SMS can be used in campaigns for several
• To increase traffic: send SMS reminders about upcoming
events and promotions
• To boost brand engagement: send SMS alerts about
special offers and activities
Tablet computers are one of the fastest growing new
technologies ever introduced. In fact, between mid-December
2011 and the beginning of January 2012, the number of tablet
owners in the U.S. almost doubled from 10% to 19%. Combine
that with eReaders and 29% of Americans report owning some
type of tablet device.
Usage statistics are also compelling:
• To enhance events: send SMS notices of mobile-only
benefits and special offers
• 77% of tablet owners report using their tablet every day,
spending an average of one hour and 35 minutes on
• For mobile couponing: send text messages to customers
that they can then use by coming into your place of
business and showing the phone message when paying
• 54% of tablet users report using their devices for email,
slightly surpassing getting the news and far out-distancing
other activities like social networking and gaming*
Text messaging is short, to the point and immediate, and is
best suited to messages that have a deadline or those where
information is needed by your company.
• Update email addresses. Put processes in place to trigger
an SMS message when an email has bounced three times,
for example, as part of a continuous data
Here are some other trends:
User demographics: 2011 tablet sales were concentrated in
households making more than $75,000 a year, 36% of whom
now own a tablet. Sales were also strong among people with
college degrees or higher, 31% of whom are now tablet owners.
Work vs. personal usage: The assumption that people use
tablets for work is incorrect; 91% of time spent on tablets is
for personal rather than work related activities – most often
checking email, playing games or social networking.
*Source: Portico, 2012
9. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Concurrent activities: When people check their email on a
tablet, they’re likely to also be either watching TV,
eating or drinking.
Location usage: Tablets were made to be an easily portable
device, but most people actually leave their tablets at
home, with the exception of business trips and vacations.
Most people use their tablets on the couch, in bed or in the
kitchen. They love to check email in bed, and search just
• Avoid putting text links below one another because users
don’t have the accuracy of a mouse to work with.
• Also, buttons positioned in the horizontal middle of an
HTML email are more difficult to touch when holding a
tablet with two hands. It forces the user to change their
grip on the device, which may lead to fewer clicks and
conversions. Try positioning call-to-action buttons on the
right side of your email within reach of a user’s thumb.
Additional research indicates that more tablets in the hands
of consumers are good news for marketers, and especially for
business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers:
• Lack of flash compatibility in tablets means you definitely
shouldn’t use flash in your emails.
• Tablet users spend 54% more per purchase than
smartphone users, with an average order total of $123**
• Also make sure not to use flash on your landing pages since
tablet users won’t be able to open them.
• 56% of consumers rate tablets as useful for shopping,
compared to 38% for smartphones †
• Customers tend to spend 20 - 30% more when purchasing
on tablets versus other devices††
To tap into the tablet user market, marketers must come to
terms with this new tablet reality. Tablet usage is on the rise
and is facilitating changes in user behavior – from what sort
of content users consume to how those users interact with
Here are some tips for designing email targeted to tablet
Interactions on touch-based interfaces are performed with
fingers or thumbs. It’s important to keep in mind that a finger
sweep scroll is quite different than a mouse wheel scroll, so
optimize your email content for scanability.
The size of a touchable target, whether it is a clickable image
or call-to-action button, needs to be large enough to see and
touch, and be positioned for accessibility:
• Make sure links and call-to-action buttons are large
enough – at least 30 pixels large with 10 - 15 pixels of
padding so they can be accurately tapped.
Larger, portrait-mode viewing:
• Portrait view pushes the fold of your email down so the
above-the-fold area is more present.
• Make sure you have something interesting below the
standard fold line.
• Most tablets use wifi connections that are able to handle
load times for images, so make sure to include compelling
images in an attractive design that gets users to read and
click on your content.
• And make sure images can be “pinched and zoomed.”
Subject lines and pre-headers:
• Particularly in business-to-business, or B2B, email marketing,
where capturing a busy audience’s attention is especially
tricky, subject lines must be as short and sweet as possible –
ideally, five words or less.
• For pre-headers, take into account horizontal vs. vertical
viewing options: when held horizontally, tablets display
email previews; when held vertically, they don’t.
10. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
Number of columns:
• Given that tablets are controlled by users’ left or right hand – heightening the risk that a column or call-to-action may be
covered up simply by operating the device – opt for one-column design instead.
The timing of your email delivery is another thing to consider with tablets. Many B2B marketers are ingrained to send email
first thing in the morning so that they reach people when they get to their desks. But tablet users are likely going to be checking
their email at all times of the day and night, so feel free to adjust send times accordingly.
New Content Curation Platform: Pinterest
Pinterest is an online pinboard for sharing
interesting images you find online. Pinterest
has seen spectacular growth in the last six
months. In fact, Pinterest reached 10 million
unique visitors faster than any other stand
alone site in history. And Time magazine
called Pinterest one of the top five social
Pinning is pretty easy. You can link to a
website or upload an image. Or you can
install the Pin It button from Pinterest. You
can also pin images with your smartphone.
Its significance to marketers is that it taps
into a shift in consumer behavior from
search to discovery, which could lead to a
revolution in how consumers purchase items.
Right now we are trained to go to Amazon or
Google to find what we want. Pinterest starts
before that search, before we even think we
want to buy a particular product.
For example, if you were in the market for a
sound system for your laptop, you could go
to Pinterest, browse a category devoted to
sound systems and then land on a product.
Within that discovery phase, you may never
end up at Amazon since Pinterest drives
traffic back to a retailer’s site.
The Smartphone App Revolution
Statistics confirm the explosive growth and usage of mobile applications over the past few years:
• 62% of smartphone owners have downloaded apps on their devices in the past 30 days*
• The number of downloaded apps is expected to increase to 77 billion worldwide in 2014, at which point mobile app
revenues will surpass $35 billion**
• In terms of downloads, Apple is the leader in the app store arena. The App Store boasts over 500,000 apps, and those apps
are downloaded more than 100 million times each month. By comparison, the Android Market claims roughly 400,000
apps, and Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile offers approximately 1,000 apps. †
Here’s the important takeaway for marketers: If mobile applications are where people are spending their time and the business
rule holds true that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, you need to consider creating app experiences to
engage your most valuable customers:
Sources: * Pew - Jan. 2012, ** Adobe Digital Marketing Insights Report - Jan. 2012, † Sapient/Nitro - Jan. 2012, †† American Express - Jan. 2012
11. Email + Mobile + Tablets: Mastering the Device Revolution
• Mobile apps give you the perfect opportunity to have
deeper interactions and gain more knowledge on users’
behaviors, and provides the ability to push products and
offers in a more seamless and meaningful way.
The ability to push notifications to your users, and
specifically to the top 20%, is the other great attraction
for mobile applications. While more traditional
opportunities exist to prompt users while on our websites
or send follow-up emails to re-engage subscribers, those
opportunities are not as seamless as the mobile app space.
Mobile Email Campaign Management: Lyris HQ Mobile
At Lyris, our customers made us aware that
marketers are increasingly working remotely
or on-the-go. They require constant access
to online marketing tools to stay connected
to their email campaigns, regardless of
geographical location or time zone. So we
created Lyris HQ Mobile.
Lyris HQ Mobile for iPhone, iPad and iPod has
all the critical features and functionality that
you use from your desktop, including list,
campaign and report management; campaign
deployment and real-time stats; and results
Given the explosion of available devices, platforms and channels for making connections and building businesses, digital
marketers can no longer rely solely on email to achieve the levels of engagement that extend reach, brand awareness and ROI.
Developing strategies that include mobile and social along with email is no longer an option – it’s a necessity.
With new mobile technologies come new challenges and opportunities, but one thing is clear: Mobile users – whether tied to a
cell phone, smartphone or tablet, or utilizing SMS, Pinterest or app downloads – are rapidly becoming comfortable with accessing and interacting with brands whenever and however they want to, and expect to have a seamless experience doing it.
Learning how to design for mobile devices is the first step to success, but ensuring that mobile users have a positive experience
once they’ve followed the email call-to-action onto your mobile landing page is equally important.
The device revolution is upon us. To the marketers who embrace and leverage mobile technologies go the spoils!
Sources: * Nielsen - Oct. 2011, ** International Data Corporation - 2010 - 2014 Forecasts