The 12 Days for Christmas: The Mobile Questions and Answers That Will Impact Your Email Program All Year Long

Some questions asked during the holiday season may be best left unanswered: is Santa Claus real? How old is the fruit cake? Is this a regift? What’s in the egg nog? Why are batteries never included? Who invited the in-laws to stay for two weeks? Why is it OK to play any song by the Chipmunks and pretend it’s music?

However, if you’re an email marketer charged with driving revenue from the email channel and are expecting Q4 to heavily impact your bottom line, there are some questions that you can’t afford not to ask. In particular, questions about mobile email and how many of your subscribers are using their mobile devices to interact with your messages, browse your website and shop.

According to a recent PayPal and Ipsos survey, 46% of smartphone and tablet users plan to make a holiday purchase with a mobile device this year. If that doesn’t motivate you to create a mobile email strategy, perhaps this will. According to a Google AdMob survey, 45% of tablet owners and 34% of smartphone owners planned to start their shopping before Thanksgiving.

Where to start? As we often say at Return Path, you can’t plan for, adjust or fix what you can’t measure. The first step is determining what percentage of your subscriber base is using a mobile device to interact with your messaging. There are a variety of solutions that can help you with this, including Return Path’s Campaign Insight tool, which can break down viewing environments by email client, mobile environment and mobile device.

Having that information will allow you start answering the following questions, which could be key drivers for optimizing your email program:
• How many of your subscribers are using iPhones, Blackberries or Android phones to interact with your email?
• How does your creative render in different mobile environments and on different devices? What about your landing pages?
• What adjustments can be made to increase email response and conversions from a mobile device?
• Should you create an iPhone app (if you have a high percentage of iPhone or iPad users)?
• Should you launch a mobile e-commerce site?

Smartphone usage will only continue to increase. Whether your subscribers are clicking and converting on your emails, browsing your website or looking for store information using a mobile device, don’t be left without answers to questions that are vitally important for the success of your email program this holiday season.

Previous posts in our 12 Days of Christmas series:
1. Learning from last year
2. Scrooge Isn’t The Only Complainer At Christmas Time!
3. Don’t Stuff the Inbox with Fruitcake
4. Leverage Your Good Reputation with Certification
5. Holiday Fashion Tips for Your Email
6. The Art of Giving
7. Don’t Forget the Holiday Wrapping
8. Silent Night (and Day!) – When Your Subscribers Stop Engaging

We’ve also created a quick tip sheet of the 12 steps you need to take to be more successful this holiday season.

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