Chris Crum recently shared what not to do in mobile email marketing on WebProNews. This is important, because mobile is how many of us read our emails and respond to them. If you are going to use email marketing, and I hope you are, it’s a very good idea to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly along with your website.

If you look at the results of surveys asking mobile users what they don’t like about getting emails, three big categories are frequency, relevancy, and usability. Let’s look at these a bit closer…

Frequency

What’s the difference between helpful reminders and nagging? It usually depends on if you are giving or receiving. Much of the time, the reminder is coming from someone who thinks they are being helpful and the person being reminded views it as nagging. Another problem is the way email piles up so fast you forget what came in, right? Sometimes a friendly reminder is welcome if it reminds you of something you want to take advantage of.

One suggestion that seems to work well is sending a second email, slightly tweaked, to those who never opened your previous email. It seems that waiting about a week is a good balance between reminder and nag. But you need to know your customers and pay attention to feedback. I don’t think anyone can predict when the reminder/nag balance will shift, but if you have a good relationship with someone, it is easier to get past minor irritations.

Relevancy

There are some practical suggestions in Chris Crum’s article, including these basics:

  • count-down timers (easy to add if your template allows)
  • live social feeds
  • context personalization
  • real-time A/B testing
  • embedded video
  • live web content
  • personalized deadlines, etc.
  • location factors

A lot of this depends on what level of technology your business is comfortable utilizing and how much data you control. I think if you have been considering upgrading tech-wise, it’s worth it to consult several experts and plan for the future. But keep in mind that there’s a fine line here, too. The balance between personalization and feeling stalked is different for everybody.

Usability

This is where your investment in responsive website design and development gets big returns. Nobody wants to open an email that excites their interest and get hung up in a website that doesn’t work for mobile devices. There are many factors to usability and it all comes down to one thing: the user’s ability to navigate your site on their device.

If your business is going to be competitive in the coming year, mobile email marketing is going to play a big role. It makes no sense to ignore input from those on your email lists and a lot of sense to make sure the frequency, relevancy, and usability are encouraging recipients to open and respond to your email marketing.