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The 2012 Inbox and How to Get There

  |  July 19, 2010   |  Comments

It's time to change your ways in mobile e-mail. Here are five steps other marketers are taking.

This is one of six "The 2012 Inbox" columns this month, as the e-mail columnists of ClickZ examine the near future of e-mail marketing.

OK ClickZ reading fans, it's time to make you do some work. (Don't worry, it won't be too hard).

Ready? Here we go!

Look down (not that far down - lol). What kind of electronic device are you reading this column on? Is it your PC, Mac, Netbook, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or some other device?

Second, comment on this column with the device you read it on so we can all see the reality of mobility when it comes to e-mails.

You see, we're living amidst a massive time of change. A time where we are transitioning our lifestyles from technically supplemented to mobilely driven. This means that e-mail as we know it is also going through a massive change.

Last week, Mobile Marketer ran a great article about the buying habits of the U.S. mobile users (who are mainly men, by the way). And in it, one thing it said was they love coupons. Yes, men love coupons. A chart was included showing how mobile men like to receive their coupons, showing that 45 percent prefer to receive them via text, 28 percent prefer finding them on their own using an application, and 27 percent like to text in to get the coupon when they are in the store.

Interesting that e-mail is assumed to be one of the "applications" that 28 percent prefer to use to find coupons.

Seeing this statistic was interesting to me, as it made me realize that if, as e-mailers, we don't get with the mobile game, we could lose a lot of ground. With 400 million people using mobile Internet to browse, doesn't it make sense that we begin developing e-mail strategies for a mobile reader?

Here are a few examples of ways smart e-mail marketers are taking some proactive steps:

  1. Adding a link into your e-mail that ties directly to your iPhone or iPad app (rather than sending them to a website - that could include flash - making them click twice).

  2. Changing the "view this as a webpage" to "view this on a mobile device" and segmenting lists monthly for those who click this link, so they have a specifically mobile message.

  3. Adding a link to your e-mail to open up your app if someone getting the e-mail is on their iPhone or iPad device as they read (thus eliminating extra steps).

  4. Adding mobile preference to your reader's preference center.

  5. Integrating SMS as a part of the e-mail contact strategy. In a mobile world, there are some messages you want to have texted to you, and others that you want to get via e-mail.

No matter what size your company is or what product you offer, chances are very high that within the next 24 months, more than half of your e-mail database will be reading the e-mails you send to them while they are "on-the-go."

Start now to capitalize on this bigger change and you will end up on the right side of the revenue stream.


Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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