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Mobile Email: The Time is Now


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The number of people accessing their emails via mobile devices in 2012 continues to grow. But mobile email is not really about repurposing desktop email and squeezing it to a smaller screen. The real …

The number of people accessing their emails via mobile devices in 2012 continues to grow. But mobile email is not really about repurposing desktop email and squeezing it to a smaller screen. The real value of mobile email is the ability to deliver instant gratification wherever the consumer is, in a way that cannot be duplicated at the desktop. Join this session to discuss how mobile has evolved over the past year, and how to utilize the consumer mobile data that's available to you. See real examples of marketers using mobile as a unique opportunity to offer up content that cannot be duplicated by the desktop.

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  • Good morning, everyone.My name is Manny Ju and I’m the Director of Product Management at BlueHornet.My Twitter handle is @mannyju, and I invite you to tweet your thoughts and comments, and use the hashtag #goglobal12Since we are here at the combined event of Digital River’s Globalocity and BlueHornet’s Lifecycle Messaging Conference, I’d like to get an understanding of who’s here in the audience.Show of hands: how many of you are responsible for the email marketing programs at your respective companies?How many of you email marketers are using the BlueHornet email marketing platform?Thanks; this information is most helpful.
  • We all have our OMG! moments. These are the moments in time when all of a sudden, clear out of the blue we’re hit with the realization of something big.Let me share with you one of my OMG! moments.It was back in the fall of 2006. I was sitting on the commuter train going to work in the morning, half asleep, half flipping through the pages of the Wall Street Journal.Then my eyes fell upon this tiny 2-paragraph article buried in the back pages of the Technology section. It was Apple’s announcement that within the coming year, they would be coming to market with a smartphone.This is Apple who in 2006, like the phoenix, had risen from the ashes of near oblivion and were changing the world with their portable media player, the iPod.This is Apple who are the masters of the consumer experience – and they are coming out with a smartphone.That morning, I sat back in my seat, closed the newspaper, and said to myself, “O-M-G! My world – as a consumer and as an interactive marketer – is about to be turned upside down.”
  • Last year at BlueHornet’s Lifecycle Messaging Conference, I made this brazen prediction concerning consumer adoption of what I call “the Mobile Experience.”“If brands do not have a mobile experience to give their customers, then there is the possibility that many of those customers will defect to other brands that do.” – yes I said that.
  • Now fast forward one year later. Hard evidence is now coming in that backs up my prediction.Look at that! 75% of consumers are willing to switch brands right there on the spot just because one brand offers a mobile – an instant gratification – promotion. And look at the 25-34 year olds – 82% wiling to switch.
  • And the same correlation between mobile experience and brand loyalty extends to email marketing as well.Here are the direct responses from over a 1,000 consumers across the United States.Let’s have a show of hands:Are you one of the 7 out of every 10 people that delete a mobile email that doesn’t look good?
  • Are you a member of the 75 Percenters who think negatively of a brand if its emails are poorly designed?Ladies and gentlemen,I’m here to tell you today – the time for mobile email …
  • … is NOW.
  • Consumers are already reading and responding to emails on their mobile devices. Email marketers would do well to provide their customers with experiences that seamlessly flow with trends that are becoming well established.
  • Email marketers should EXTEND their programs with a mobile email experience so they stay in touch with their Brand Fanatics wherever they are, whenever they are.
  • This is BlueHornet’s view of the Customer Engagement Lifecycle.The goal of your email marketing program is to drive revenue.… You do it by cultivating the relationship you have with the people who’ve recently joined your email marketing program. The intent is that your loyalists and ultimately your influencers are your most valuable customers. The messaging to these people should be the most focused, the most on topic, the most relevant.Emailmarketers should extend their programs with a mobile email experience at all stages of the customer engagement lifecycle, starting with …
  • … growing a subscriber database.
  • A Text-to-Join Email Program is a powerful way for marketers to acquire new email subscribers anywhere their customers are enjoying their brand experience at any location outside of the home.With 9 out of every 10 adults in the United States owning a cellphone, a Text-to-Join Email Program is a must-have for any brand having an in-venue experience for their customers.Who offers an in-venue experience? Retail Outlets, Restaurants, and Hotels are the first places that come to mind.But brands offering in-venue experiences also includes - museums, - theme parks, - concerts, - outdoor stadiums, - automobile oil change service stations, - and yes - tradeshows.The best time to get people to respond to a call to action is when they are in the moment. Therefore if your brand is offering any type of in-venue experience, that is the time to sign up people for your email marketing program. Don’t have your customers drop their business cards into a fish bowl, or wait until they’ve gone back home or to their hotel rooms to turn on their computers and sign up for your email programs.Get people to sign up right then and there while they are on the show floor, at the conference, in the store, at the restaurant, in the hotel, or at any other in-venue experience, using their mobile phones.Texting in the email address is the best use of the mobile channel because not all mobile devices are smartphones with Internet access; but all mobile phones have the ability to send a text message.Once people have texted in their email address, IMMEDIATELY send the welcome email. And if your email system has the capability, send a special welcome email just for those people who opted in via the Text-to-Join program. Give them a thank you reward that they can redeem immediately on the spot.
  • Chuck E. Cheese’s is one such brand that is effectively using the mobile channel to grow their email marketing database.They have signs posted throughout their locations inviting people to join their email club simply by texting in their email address to the short code 35505.Subscribers that sign up for the email club via the Text-to-Join program account for about 3% of their total subscriber database.Hwever, these people have between 10%-20% higher open rates and 8%’10% higher click-through rates in the emails they receive.This means that subscribers who joined via the Text-to-Join Email Program are much more engaged with Chuck E. Cheese’s overall email program.
  • Pontiflex is a company that is doing something really exciting with mobile apps.Their Mobile Sign Up Ads lets marketers place their branded sign up screen directly within thousands of mobile apps in both Android and iOS mobile devices.… Here’s an example of a mobile sign-up ad that they have within the Pandora streaming radio app.Pontiflex reports that since they launched Mobile Sign Up Ads in mid-2011, they are now generating about 75,000 signups per day for their clients.
  • There is a direct line connecting mobile email and mobile commerce.If you want to maximize revenue from your email marketing program, then a mobile-friendly email experience now becomes a must-have.At the very least, make sure that your emails can be gracefully read on a desktop and on a mobile device.
  • In the past several months, there’s been a re-discovery of a little known feature that was introduced in HTML4 thirteen years ago and in CSS2 which was introduced three years ago.Using the so-called “media query” syntax in cascading style sheets, designers have the ability to apply different image sizes, font sizes, table layouts, and even whether an image or content is displayed or hidden depending upon the screen size of the device being used to view the email.One caveat, however, is that using media query style sheets for mobile-friendly emails requires more work on the part of the content designer and it doesn’t work for all mobile device – only iOS, Android, and Palm OS smartphones.This means that you don’t have to make all your emails to be mobile-friendly emails using the media query style sheet. Choose the ones that make the most sense.
  • For example, mobile-friendly design is most appropriate for welcome emails triggered from your Text-to-Join Email Program.Remember: someone signing up for your email program via the Text-to-Join Email Program isn’t sitting at home or anywhere in front of a computer. He’s sitting in a coffee shop or a restaurant or somewhere at a vacation resort; or maybe she’s shopping in a retail store.Either way, the welcome email that you send to this person absolutely should use the media query style sheet for a mobile-friendly email experience.And while you’re at it, include a reward that the person can – if he wants to – redeem immediately on the spot as a thank you for joining your email program.
  • Another opportunity to use mobile-friendly email design is with specific email campaigns in the Travel and Hospitality industry.For example, most vacation resortshave an email messaging program that sends pre-arrival emails to their registered guests.A typical program is a 2-touch program that sends the first email out 5 days prior to arrival and sends the second email 2 days prior to arrival …… This email program can easily be extended to send one more email: a single post-arrival email.The post arrival email is a fantastic expression of customer service. It’s an opportunity to welcome the guest to the property, give an overview of what’s available on-site, and invite the guest to provide any feedback.
  • And, this post-arrival email is the perfect opportunity to use the media query stylesheet for a mobile-friendly email experience. When people travel, they don’t always bring their computers with them. However, it’s a pretty sure bet that many – if not most – of the primary guests on site are carrying their smartphones with them – at all times.Incorporating the media query stylesheet such that the email renders nicely in either a desktop or a mobile email client is an added nice touch.
  • The mobile email experience is an on-the-go experience.MovableInk has a service that brings the mobile experience of geo-location right into the email experience.Using MovableInk’s offering call Local Maps, marketers can send emails that include a map displaying - in real-time - all locations that are local to wherever their customers are at the very moment they are reading their emails.Local maps are great for retail brands to show their customers the location of their local retail outlets. CPG brands can benefit from Local Maps to help their customers know all the local places where their products can be found.Local Maps are also helpful for any national brand in any of the service industries that have local points of service. This means an email with Local Maps can display in real-time all the nearby oil change service stations, all the local financial service offices, all the local eye care centers that honor a particular insurance provider. The list goes on.
  • Is there an objective to give the most loyal followers first crack at a new mobile app? In the case of this brand, the answer to that question was “Yes.” They specifically chose a segment of their database to receive this email promoting their app.(One thing I want to point about this email is that the link correctly takes you directly to the App Store where you can download the app. You’d be surprised that I’m still seeing emails promoting mobile apps that don’t have the direct link to the App Store.)Let’s say you’re the email marketer for this brand. Suppose you want to avoid the risk of sending a non-relevant email to anyone who may not have a smartphone? …… Here’s where Mobile Responder Targeting would easily let you refine your segmentation and focus your mobile app promotions to the right audience. In other words, narrow the target segment down to those who have recently opened your emails within a mobile device.
  • And speaking of mobile apps.There is more to customer engagement email than just promotions, coupons, and offers. Email is also a powerful communication tool to educate and inform.With app de-installation as easy as holding a thumb down on the screen, app publishers struggle with keeping their customers engaged. App publishers would do well to leverage successful email marketing strategies in order to establish relevance, keeping their users engaged with their app which in turn drives opportunities for mobile commerce and additional app downloads.
  • Using existing email marketing strategies, marketers can create app engagement programs to send personalized emails that are triggered at specific milestones during app interaction.The example that I’m showing you here is for Skechers. Back in October 2010, Skechers introduced their mobile app, Shape Up N Go. It is designed to help exercisers measure and track their workouts. With this free mobile app, they can record their activities such as running, walking, or hiking and measure their distance traveled with GPS technology. Here’s a great opportunity – a mobile opportunity - to integrate their mobile app with their email program. They could send app engagement emails at various workout milestones that recognize accomplishments and provide educational information based on preferred workouts and various fitness levels.App engagement email program are perfect for lifestyle apps and for gaming apps.
  • The final item in my toolkit of Mobile Email Opportunities is Mobile Loyalty Marketing.In2Loyalty is a company that takes the traditional paper loyalty card …… and replaces it with an online version of the card.This is targeted to any merchant that uses loyalty cards to drive repeat business to a physical location which includes restaurants, coffee shops, dry cleaners, museums, theaters – you name it.I like In2Loyalty’s offering over other providers such as Key Ring and CardStar because these latter two follow the Groupon business model where they function as merchant aggregators, and THEY own the relationship with the customer, and the merchant doesn’t.In contrast, In2Loyalty lets the merchant own the relationship with the customer. Their own brand is virtually transparent to the merchant and its customers.
  • At this point, you’re probably saying, “Hey, Manny; I hear what you’re saying and it’s interesting and all that – but is it right for me and my customers?”I hear you, loud and clear.My recommendation is that you listen to what your customers are already telling you. And you can easily do that by looking at the data of your existing email campaigns. Analyze your email response data to determine the percentage of mobile responders you have for any of your emails.Bear in mind: these are people who are already reading your emails on their mobile devices without you doing anything to encourage them to do so.Now, if you’re BlueHornet is your email service provider, then you have this information built into the platform. However, if you are using another email service provider and that provider doesn’t have it built into their platform, you can always use a third party service like Pivotal Veracity or Litmus.
  • I’d like to show you now, how to look at your email response data to see what mobile-friendly email opportunities might be available for your customers.… When we talk about mobile response data analysis, there are three types of responses… #1) those where the person opened an email purely within his mobile device… #2) those where the person opened an email in a combination of mobile, desktop, and other devices. This category includes those people that use their mobile devices to triage their emails and then respond to the important ones later on their desktops… and #3) which includes those where the person reads the email only on a desktop computer and never interacts with an email on a mobile device.So when I say “mobile responder,” for the purposes of our discussion today,… I’m referring to this combined group that you see here.
  • Suppose you’re in the Travel and Hospitality industry, or perhaps you’re an event planner for corporate events.Here’s an example of a particular email that a registered guest receives two days prior to his arrival …… Let’s take a look at some key response rate metrics.Over a recent seven-day period, this email was delivered to 478 recipients. This type of email is an event reminder email – it’s something that the recipient is looking forward to. So the extremely high open rate of 62% absolutely makes sense. [The industry average is 24% - per MarketingSherpa Benchmark 2011]And take a look at this: more than one-third of all the people who opened this email did so on their mobile devices.The Click-to-Open Rate, or “CTO Rate,” is a metric that we email marketers use to measure reader engagement. These are the people who read the email and responded to some call to action by clicking a link in the email and going to some landing page. [Industry average CTO Rate is 12%-14%].A 33% overall CTO rate tells us that people are REALLY looking forward to their upcoming stay.And look here at the mobile CTO rate. Almost one out of every 5 people who opened the email on their mobile devices clicked through to some landing page.This high mobile response rate tells me two things: #1 - Of all the different email campaigns that this brand sends out, this type of event reminder email definitely is one that they should invest the extra effort to include a media query stylesheet to make it mobile friendly, and #2 – they better get a mobile-optimized landing page up and running – pronto!!(NOTE: Weather, Directions, and Book a Spa Treatment were consistently the most frequently clicked links over all)
  • Perhaps you’re a retailer that sends out Deal of the Day emails.So what do you guys think? Is this type of an email one that lends itself well to mobile responders?Well here are the numbers …… A 24.4% unique open rate is slightly higher than industry averages and a 12.6% CTO rate is right in line with industry averages.My advice is that if your emails’ mobile open rates are at 10%, that’s when you should start seriously thinking about mobile-friendly email. And here you see with this Deal of the Day email, the mobile open rate is right at that threshold.Let’s take a look at the mobile Click-to-Open rate. One out of every ten subscribers who read their emails on their mobile devices clicked through – on their mobile devices – to the landing page.Now before you say – “Meh” – that’s actually pretty good given that the overall Click-to-Open rate is about 13%.But let’s dig a little deeper into the response data. When I look at all people who actually clicked from the email to the landing page – which is the whole purpose of this email …
  • … 1 out of every 4 clickers were mobile clickers.And here’s the rub: their landing page – the one that they Deal of the Day email takes you to – isn’t optimized for mobile viewing. How much MORE revenue could their Deal of the Day emails generate if it was?Deal of the Day emails are instant response emails. Mobile devices are all about instant gratification. Deal of the Day emails absolutely should be mobile-friendly emails.If you are a brand that sends out Deal of the Day emails, then #1 – make sure your emails are mobile-friendly emails. Use media query style sheets so that your emails are easily readable on both desktop and mobile devices. #2 – you MUST have a mobile-optimized landing page for those people who click through from their mobile devices.Make absolutely sure that you address the unique needs and the unique opportunity that the mobile context provides.
  • Another thing to do is take a good look at your target market. Is there a strong overlap between your key customers and the type of people that are highly engaged with their mobile devices?Here’s an example of a brand whose target market is male fashionistos with A LOT of disposable income. Should this brand have a mobile email experience? Absolutely.You cannot ask for a SWEETER overlap between a target market and the technographic persona that is THE MOST mobile-engaged.Now this is an interesting brand because they don’t use emails to promote their products. Instead, they use their emails to promote their image – which is actually John Varvatos, the man.Here’s an example of one of their most recent emails …… Notice that the call to action is all about tuning in to NBC to catch John VarvatosThis recent email was delivered to over 56 thousand email subscribers …… and 43 percent of all people who opened the email did so on their mobile devices.For the email marketer of this brand, this metric helps confirm that their target market is a mobile-engaged market.
  • I have just now shown you that you can easily extend your existing email marketing programs with mobile-friendly email opportunities at every stage of your customer engagement lifecycle.… Text-to-Join Email Programs and Mobile Sign-up Ads are a great way to grow your email marketing database through the mobile channel.… Use media query style sheets to give your subscribers a nice mobile-friendly email experience.… Use LocalMaps, mobile responder targeting, App Engagement Programs, and mobile-optimized landing pages to provide instant-gratification opportunities that the mobile context provides.… Replace your paper cards with a Mobile Loyalty Program to drive in-venue traffic.… Providing your customers with a superior mobile experience will cultivate a group of Brand Fanatics that will become your Influencers.
  • I’d like to leave you with these three key takeaways.… Number One: Extend your existing email marketing programs with capabilities that add an easy-to-use mobile-friendly email experience.… Number Two: A mobile-friendly email experience is a new way to accomplish right place, right time messaging. It helps enhance customer engagement, helping you put your brand everywhere your customerss are.… and Number Three: the mobile-friendly email experience opens the door for new mobile-opportunity strategies that help create influential customers who love your brand.Whatever you do, don’t wait …
  • … the time for mobile email is NOW.
  • Thank you very much for attending this session.Mobile is my passion; if you have anything cool with mobile going on at your end, PLEASE – get in touch with me through any of these ways – I’d love to hear from you.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Manny JuMobile Email: The Time Is Now @mannyju #goglobal12 Director of Product Management, BlueHornet
    • 2. OMG!
    • 3. “With more and more people subscribing tomobile services, customers will begindemanding a Mobile Experience.If brands do not have a mobile experience togive their customers, then there is thepossibility that many of those customers willdefect to other brands that do.”
    • 4. Question: if you get a mobile email that doesn’t look good, what do you do?Source: “Consumer Views of Email Marketing”, BlueHornet, 2012
    • 5. Question: how does a poorly designed email affect your perception of the brand?Source: “Consumer Views of Email Marketing”, BlueHornet, 2012
    • 6. Mobile EmailNOW!
    • 7. Customer Engagement Lifecycle
    • 8. Mobile-Friendly Email Opportunities
    • 9. Mobile AcquisitionText-to-Join Email Sign-Up
    • 10. Text-to-Join = 3% totalsubscribers10%-20% Higher Open Rate8%-10% Higher Click-ThroughRate
    • 11. Mobile AcquisitionMobile Sign-up Ads
    • 12. Question: How likely are you to buy an item or service from an email you read on your mobile device?Source: “Consumer Views of Email Marketing”, BlueHornet, 2012
    • 13. “Media Query” : (Re)Discovering HTML for Mobile Email HTML4 (1999) <STYLE type=“text/css” media=“handheld”> CSS2 (2009) @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .page { padding: 0px 10px 5px 10px !important; } .table {width: 300px; !important; } .bodycell {width: 202px; !important; } body { padding: 10px !important; } .header { font-size: 16px !important; } .headline { font-size: 20px !important; } #screenshot { width: 275px; height: 190px; } }
    • 14. Mobile-Friendly Email Design
    • 15. Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • 16. Desktop Display Mobile DisplaySun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • 17. Mobile Local Maps
    • 18. Mobile Responder Targeting
    • 19. Mobile App Engagement Campaigns
    • 20. Mobile App Engagement Campaigns
    • 21. Mobile Loyalty Marketing
    • 22. Email Responders: Who’s Mobile? Who’s Not? 100% 90% 80%Email Responders 70% Desktop and Other 60% Only 50% Mobile, Desktop, Oth 40% er 30% Mobile Only 20% 10% Mobile responder 0% Device
    • 23. Pre-Arrival Event Reminders Over 7-day period: Overall Mobile Unique Open 61.9% 22.6% Rate CTO Rate 33.1% 19.4% Delivered: 478
    • 24. Deal of the Day Overall Mobile Unique Open 24.4% 10% Rate CTO Rate 12.6% 10.2% Delivered: 4,994
    • 25. Deal of the Day Overall Mobile Unique Open 24.4% 10% RateM CTO Rate 12.6% 10.2% Delivered: 4,994
    • 26. Strong Demographic Overlap 43% Mobile Openers Delivered: 56,695
    • 27. Mobile-Friendly Email Opportunities
    • 28. Easy Mobile-Friendly ExperienceEnhances Customer Engagement Mobile-Opportunity Strategies
    • 29. Mobile EmailNOW!
    • 30. Thank You! Manny Ju @mannyju