'The New Inbox': Mobile's Impact on Email Marketing and Social Media

  |  May 16, 2013   |  Comments

A review of email marketing expert Simms Jenkins' new book on how brands should be leveraging social and mobile in their email marketing campaigns.

I had an opportunity to share the stage with Simms Jenkins at SES New York in March, where we shared best practices on email and mobile. Simms gave me a copy of his new book - "The New Inbox" - and I want to highlight a few things.

With more than 40 percent of consumers checking their email messages on the mobile smartphone, Simms offers a few tips to ensure success. He calls them new tricks, technology, and savvy testing.

With the messaging device being mobile and ever-present with the consumer, businesses have the opportunity to conduct "right time messaging - right message on the right device." And if you do this well, your opportunity to connect and engage goes up - you can measure this by a read, a click, or a purchase.

Here are three of the seven ideas from this section.

First, smartphone users are more likely to read emails than to make calls.

Second, it takes the reliance on mobile even further by highlighting that people read more email on a mobile browser than any other browser. I know I use my mobile device to filter out my content and then perhaps use another "laptop-based" browser to respond to other messages.

Third, Simms shares some statistics of consumers deleting email or unsubscribing from email based on the mobile messaging experience - proving that how you render on mobile really matters.

As you build your mobile strategy, Simms offers five key considerations.

  1. Subject lines are really important, as they set the tone for the rest of the message.
  2. Your primary call-to-action should be a button and not a link.
  3. Your message should deliver value. Think about this one; you have taken consumers' precious time to look at your message on a mobile device - make the message worth their time.
  4. Talk to your audience as if you know something about them (aka, be relevant).
  5. Test, learn, retest, and keep learning.

Simms highlights a chapter in his book on ideal ways to leverage email and social media to drive consumer engagement - he calls them the new best practices.

In another chapter, Simms talks about "surefire ways to get your emails read" by focusing on a few things - from field, subject lines, personalization, and length of campaigns. I took the liberty of summarizing the entire chapter - which is full of many practical tips and a lot more detail.

The book offers advice to digital marketers serving both B2C and B2B industries. The ideas are pragmatic and very relevant to enterprises of different sizes. Simms actually dedicated a chapter to small-and-medium-sized businesses.

From my personal experiences I would really like brands to leverage mobile to both send digital receipts and engage via social media. This real-time interaction will add value to your email marketing program and help build up on user-generated content.

Mobile payments, mobile preferences, and mobile messaging will play an ever-more impactful role in consumer communications. Get Simms' book for yourself - it offers real examples and advice on how to grow your list, create better emails, what to test, and how to drive more sales.


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Sundeep Kapur

Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.

He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.

Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.

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