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Knowing opportunity costs is biggest challenge for mobile email: Knotice exec

SAN FRANCISCO ? A Knotice executive at the 2013 Mobile Marketing Association Forum San Francisco said that as consumers take to their mobile devices as the first place to open and read email, the biggest challenge for marketers is to understand the opportunity costs around optimizing emails for mobile devices.

During the Mobile Email Committee meeting, attendees brainstormed ways to help standardize the mobile email industry. Additionally, executives discussed some best practice tips around email.

?I think understanding the opportunity costs [is the biggest challenge],? said Dave Lawson, director of mobile and digital unification at Knotice, Akron, OH.

?We have customers that go down the responsive or adoptive design road, where they?ll sniff out the device to apply a specific style sheet to that device ? some of them that optimize it makes a huge difference, others the investment that they made in that test does not make a difference,? he said.

Mobile opportunity
With some studies finding that up to 50 percent of emails are opened on a mobile devices, email opens up a big opportunity to marketers.

However, challenges with tracking and attribution are big problems for marketers.

Take email creative, for example. Brands and retailers want to target mobile users with specific content and creative. However, without insight into tracking, marketers do not know where a user is coming from and what their intent is.

Additionally, optimizing registration forms for mobile devices is critical in helping brands build up their email databases.

Not all platforms are the same
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is not understanding where their traffic comes from.

For example, tablets are increasingly playing a big role in how consumers not only read emails but also take a direct action from them.

Therefore, context and personalization both play a big role in how marketers tailor their campaigns.

There are two types of thinking around this ? how to design for emails that consumers will interact with and also remembering the difference in mindset between different devices, per Mr. Lawson.

Marketers are increasingly thinking mobile-first. However, it is also important to keep the PC experience in mind.

As far as best practices go, calls-to-action in mobile emails must be clear. Additionally, designing content with big buttons to accommodate for big fingers is important.

Mobile is all about creating a one-on-one relationship with consumers. Therefore, location and timing also need to be taken into consideration when designing for mobile.

?First it is understanding how an audience is reacting with emails,? said Tim Carr, president/chief creative officer at Creative Lift, San Francisco.

?I would say that it?s really getting insight into how audiences are interacting with the emails that we are sending out,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York