If you attended Constant Contact’s “Making the Case for Mobile” webinar yesterday, you know that the world has gone mobile and it’s time to think about how to include it in your marketing plan.
Small businesses and nonprofits have a lot of questions about how they can make mobile marketing work for them, so we decided to take the top 10 questions from the webinar and share our best practices and solutions.
1. What is the difference between mobile responsive and mobile friendly?
When people talk about “mobile,” they may ask you if your website and emails are “mobile friendly” or “mobile responsive.” This is basically a technology question that addresses how different platforms and devices display content. You can also achieve a mobile-friendly email without worrying about the technology behind it. Mobile friendly can be as simple as choosing a single-column template, writing concise subject lines, or creating short, to-the-point content.
2. How do I create simple and effective messages for mobile devices?
If you want your audience to open and engage with your emails, you need to create messages that are short and easy to read. Don’t use too much text because mobile users don’t want to scroll through a long page of content. Try using a photo or a video to tell the story instead of a long article. Also, avoid small fonts. The optimal size is 22 point for headlines and 16 point body text.
3. How do I design emails that can be read on a mobile phone or a desktop?
Try using mobile-friendly templates that are optimized for mobile viewing. You can also take a regular template and apply the tips listed above for simple and effective messages. If your emails are short and easy to read, they’ll work for mobile and desktop reading. The best way to know if your email looks good is to test it. Send a test email to yourself and others in your organization before you send it to your lists. Open the email on different mobile devices and different Internet browsers on your desktop.
4. How is mobile changing viewing habits?
Viewing habits are changing, especially when it comes to enewsletters, because our reading habits are changing. We receive a large volume of information every day — not only in our inbox but through our social media and blog activity. Due to information overload, people are opting to read their messages on the go from a mobile device. Not only is your email competing directly with all the other messages people receive, but it’s competing with the diminishing window of time people have to read messages. That’s why it’s so important to keep your messages short.
5. Are images important for mobile content?
Absolutely! People respond even more to visual content than they would to just text alone. In fact, articles containing images have 94 percent more total views than just text articles. Use your smartphone to capture photos of your products, customers, and behind-the-scenes at your business or an event. Make them look great by using filters and other features with photo apps like Instagram.
6. How do I know if my audience is reading my emails on their mobile device?
44 percent of all email is opened on a mobile device. Chances are, some if not all of your customers are a part of that percentage. And if they’re not now, they will because the mobile audience is going to get bigger. Smartphone subscriptions are expected to grow by 28 percent this year.
Want to know for sure? Ask them. Send a survey to your email list and link to it from your organization’s social media accounts.
7. How does mobile and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work together?
Search is a huge part of mobile marketing. Apps and search engines like Google make it easy for us to find the information we need when we’re on the go. You want your business or organization to be found in a local search, so check out apps and services like Yelp, foursquare, YellowPages online, and SinglePlatform. If your business isn’t listed, add it. Check your website and social profiles to make sure they are updated with the most recent information and show up on a Google search.
8. How can nonprofits use mobile for community outreach?
Keep the best practices listed above for mobile design and content in mind. Make your messages easy to read and interact with. Provide your audience with valuable information about your mission and updates on what you’re doing. Tell them how they can help with their time or money. If you have a fundraising campaign, make it easy for your readers to donate with a direct link to online giving. Tell them how their donations will impact the people you serve.
9. What are your top cost-effective mobile marketing recommendations?
You don’t have to spend money on text-message marketing or building an app. If you’re already using email marketing, you’re already investing in mobile marketing. As noted above, the key is to send mobile-friendly communications to your readers. Next, invest time in the mobile search. Claim your listing on search apps and websites. Finally, enlist your readers to do mobile marketing for you. Encourage them to use their phones at your business or events to take photos, write reviews, and share with their networks.
10. How do I convince my manager to go mobile?
We talked about this in the webinar, but it’s worth mentioning again. Mobile has become a seamless part of the lives of your customers, volunteers, supporters, and clients. In the U.S., 91 percent of adults own a cell phone, and 56 percent of those phones are smartphones. We’re also never far from our mobile devices as 79 percent of adults age 18-44 have their smartphones with them 22 hours a day.
Your business is already mobile because your audience is reading your emails, viewing your website, and searching for you with their phones. So the question isn’t whether or not to go mobile, the question is “How do we think about all of our communications with mobile as one core consideration in how we deliver information or value to our audiences?”