The email included live tweets from fans who used the #ESPYSBestTeam hashtag. (Click image to view full-size.)
Over 2 million sports fans tuned in to ESPN last week to watch The ESPYS, an annual awards show that recognizes excellence in sports performance. In advance of the show, ESPN launched this engaging agile email marketing campaign to encourage fans to vote for the best team. The email shown here was sent to a segment of subscribers who had previously identified the Miami Heat as their favorite team.
The email included live social media chatter from fans who used the #ESPYSBestTeam hashtag on Twitter, updated in real-time. A pre-populated tweet with the #ESPYSBestTeam hashtag was launched when a recipient clicked within the body of the email. If the email was opened on a mobile device and the Twitter app was detected as installed, the pre-populated tweet loaded directly within the Twitter app itself versus on a default mobile browser. Learn more about deep linking in mobile email here.
Once the awards were announced, the live tweets section of the email changed to reveal a summary of the winning athletes and teams (if you’re curious, the Miami Heat took home the ESPY for the best team).
But why stop there? Let’s take mobile optimization one-step further. The nature of mobile devices themselves allows for real-time optimization and advanced targeting. How can marketers take full advantage of the unique possibilities inherent in mobile email?
Here are 5 ways to optimize your emails based on the real-time context of your mobile consumers:
Contextual Optimization 1. Optimize creative for different mobile devices. Show the most relevant creative based on which mobile device is being used to open the email. RadioShack promoted certain mobile products based on the user’s open device (see example). 2. Promote device-specific app downloads. In our last post, we explained how it’s possible to deep link to your brand’s mobile app using email. But you can also target users in real-time with app download calls-to-action based on the device used to open the email. Check out these examples from Comedy Central and Starbucks. 3. Target by current weather conditions. Show recipients’ creative specific to the weather conditions at their location when they open the email. Seamless, the food delivery service, showed a weather forecast and encouraged readers to order in on rainy days (see example). 4. Optimize for mobile connection strength. Serve lower resolution images if a mobile carrier is detected, since the email recipient is not connected to a WiFi network. Learn more about mobile carrier targeting here. 5. Optimize video-in-email. Use device-targeting to ensure mobile email recipients enjoy the best possible video-in-email experience available to them at time of open, depending on ISP/email client. Learn more about video-in-email here.
Have questions on any of the tips covered in the “Master Mobile Email” series? Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cross-Channel Integration 1. Include a “click-to-call” button when appropriate. Don’t forget that smartphones are also actual phones! When it makes sense to use, a “click to call” button is a simple way to directly connect mobile email recipients to a customer service hotline or other important phone number. 2. Social media sharing. Make it as easy as possible for readers to connect with your brand in social media by incorporating deep linking to social media mobile apps. Learn more about deep linking here. Try out social media deep linking for yourself by clicking the image in this post. If you’re reading this post on a mobile device, clicking the link will automatically detect whether or not you have the Twitter app installed, and if so, will launch the app with the pre-populated tweet ready-to-go. 3. Deep link to your own mobile app. In addition to deep linking to social media apps, it’s also possible to deep link to your brand’s mobile app when it is detected as installed on a user’s mobile device. If the app is not detected, the user can automatically be linked to the appropriate mobile app download store, whether it’s Apple’s AppStore or Google’s Play. Learn more about how Seamless, the food delivery service, did this in this case study. 4. Use barcodes to drive offline sales. Barcodes in emails help mobile consumers take advantage of coupons when in-store. Express does an excellent job of incorporating barcodes in mobile emails to encourage cross-channel conversions (see example). 5. Add a real-time local map to drive in-store sales. Mobile customers are on-the-go, so make use of real-time geo-targeting to show mobile users the store locations closest to them. We love how Matrix used a local map to show subscribers where they could find Matrix products near them in a recent newsletter (see example).
However, the concept of “mobile optimization” represents much more than making your email fit a specific pixel width. In this “Mastering Mobile Email” three-part series, we’ll feature a total of 15 tips to help you fully optimize your mobile email campaigns. Let’s get started with 5 tips for making the most of your email template and design:
Template and Design 1. Edit your content. Simplify your mobile template to include your highest-priority content. When it comes to mobile, less can mean more. 2. Use a single-column layout. A single-column layout that stacks content vertically enables scrolling and avoids forcing your readers to zoom in and navigate around the email. 3. Mobile-friendly fonts. Increase font sizes and place text on high-contrast backgrounds. 4. Put primary calls-to-action “above-the-fold.” Follow a vertical hierarchy, and place your most important call-to-action above-the-fold – i.e., the part of the email template that is immediately viewable when opened on a mobile screen. For a one-stop guide to mobile screen sizes, check out this list from screensiz.es. 5. Think “all thumbs.” Enlarged buttons allow for easier click-through. Apple guidelines suggest using at least 44 x 44 pixels for any tappable elements. Incorporate ample white space between the elements of an email to help each piece stand out and make it easy to click-through on links. Bare Necessities does an excellent job of optimizing mobile call-to-action links (see example).
Ready for more mobile tips? Check out how to fully optimize your emails for the mobile inbox using cross-channel integration.
Ryan, Tim, Rachel, and Jason of the Movable Ink team at the Experian Marketing Services 2013 Client Summit on July 10- 12, 2013.
Last week, Movable Ink joined digital marketers from the world’s leading brands at the Experian Marketing Services 2013 Client Summit in Las Vegas. This year’s Summit focused on the evolving consumer landscape and strategies for effective cross-channel marketing that create meaningful interactions.
Movable Ink’s first session was a roundtable on “Agile Email Marketing & the Future of the Inbox.” Our VP of Product, Jason Valdina, led an interactive discussion on next-generation technologies that are making email marketing campaigns, and the process of producing them, more agile.
Our second session, “Bringing Agility to the Inbox with Live Content,” offered an overview of how Movable Ink’s technology allows marketers to develop more agile and ROI-focused campaigns. Our Co-Founder and CEO, Vivek Sharma, gave attendees a first-look into the next step in the evolution of our agile email marketing platform. We were fortunate to be joined by some of our customers who shared various ways Movable Ink makes their emails stand out in the inbox. Special thank you to Renee Adams, Director of Direct Marketing for RadioShack, Carri Urbanski, Email Marketing Manager for Express, and Grace Low, Digital Marketing Manager for Comedy Central, for joining us! (To see examples of agile email campaigns from RadioShack, Express, Comedy Central, and other leading brands, check out our Pinterest page).
Valdina brings customer-centric approach to the development of Movable Ink’s Agile Email Marketing platform.
Today we announced that product strategy and experience design veteran,Jason Valdina, has joined the company as Vice President of Product. In this new role, he will lead Movable Ink’s product strategy, design and development efforts, as well as further expand integration efforts with strategic partners.
“Movable Ink’s clients are on the leading edge of targeted brand marketing, so when it came to bolstering our executive team on the product front, we wanted someone as obsessed with customer experience as our clients are,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Movable Ink. “With his vast expertise in product user experience and a vision for the future of marketing technology, Jason fits that description to a T.”
Mr. Valdina has more than 15 years of experience as a customer-centric product leader devoted to some of the biggest names in the Fortune 500. Prior to Movable Ink, Valdina served as the Head of Customer Experience for LivePerson, a leading provider of online intelligent engagement solutions, where he was intimately involved with the design and development of the company’s next-generation behavioral marketing and analytics platform.
“Today’s customers are more dynamic than ever; they are constantly on the move and in this media-saturated landscape, it is getting harder and harder to get their attention. Movable Ink’s technology enables marketers to break through the noise by driving unprecedented levels of contextual relevancy to a staple of everyday communication—email,” said Valdina. “I’m inspired by what this company has already achieved and am honored to be a part of the next phase of growth.”
TV Land created this highly-engaging email to promote the season premiere of “Hot in Cleveland,” a sitcom starring Betty White, using Movable Ink’s agile email marketing platform. Here are 5 reasons why we love this email:
Live show using live content. The first episode of the new season of “Hot in Cleveland” was aired live. By creating an email using live content, TV Land successfully added to the real-time nature of the season premiere.
Streaming countdown clock showed the days, hours, minutes, and seconds left until the show started.
Deep link to Twitter app on mobile allowed fans to wish the cast well before the live show with a pre-populated tweet.
Live stream of latest tweets showed the real-time social chatter that included the #HOTLive hashtag.
Embedded video of the “Hot in Cleveland” cast played directly within the inbox, with no need to launch an external media player or web browser.
Do you live in a smartphone state or desktop state? Some U.S. states have adopted smartphones more broadly than others – especially when it comes to the web’s most popular activity: checking email. While Texas leads the way with over 55% of emails opened on a smartphone, nearly 54% of consumers in Maine continue to choose desktop as the preferred device for checking email. On the whole, the majority of the East is trending toward smartphone use, whereas large states in the Central and Western parts of the country still trend towards desktops.
Hover over this interactive infographic to see the breakdown of device use for each state.
About the Map The map is based on real-time email open data collected by Movable Ink’s Advanced Analytics platform between May 1 – 31, 2013. These data reflect aggregate statistics across Movable Ink’s customer base, which includes more than 100 enterprise B2C email marketers from the retail, travel, financial, media, and telecommunications industries.
“Heavy” means that more than 50% of recipients in the state open email on a smartphone or desktop. “Leaning” means that fewer than 50% of recipients in the state open email on a smartphone or desktop, but that those devices are currently the most widely used in the state (e.g., if desktop had the highest percentage of opens when compared to smartphones and tablets, but not the combination of the two, the state is labeled as “Leaning desktop.”)
Because determining email opens requires images to load, the percentages for some device-types might be over or underrepresented.
Aaron Buchanan, Email Marketing Manager for Finish Line, describes how the retailer used our Agile Email Marketing platform to determine which of the Final Four colleges each customer was closest to at the precise time of email open, and show images of apparel products specific to that nearby school.