Smartphones have become so popular, that email marketers can no longer afford to ignore mobile devices when designing their email campaigns. It seems like just about everyone has one of these gadgets to call their own, and just about all of them have email reading capabilities at the very least. These factors make having a strategy for this fast growing segment of users more important than ever. Testing should be a major part of that strategy and this article will explain why.
Mobile Means Opportunities
The statistics on mobile device usage are staggering, and underline the importance of testing your message a variety of platforms. According to Microsoft, 1.08 billion of the world’s mobile devices are smartphones. Even more interesting, data from comScore shows that 70 million people in the United States accessed email on a mobile device in the month of November 2010 alone. Experts believe that more users will be accessing the internet via web-enabled smartphones than desktops by 2014. What does all this mean? That mobile has arrived and is here to stay. More importantly, it means that failing to test your message on different platforms could cause you to miss out on golden marketing opportunities.
HTML Equals Trouble in the Mobile Arena
Although it still causes issues from time to time, HTML email has become common in the traditional inbox. Many prefer it over plaintext, which is not hard to understand when considering that it just more pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, this technology widely known as the language of the web still experiences a lot of problems in the mobile arena. This is mainly because such a large number of devices can’t render HTML, or render it poorly. While this isn’t so much a problem on new models, it is a huge issue on older devices running older operating systems. Testing is crucial for getting your HTML email to work and function well on the multitude of mobile devices you will likely be targeting.
Mobile Platforms are Multiplying
The main reason testing your campaigns on different mobile platforms is so important is simply because no two platforms are the same. Blame this dilemma on the rapid production of new device brands and models. To piggyback on the point above, an email that looks good on an iPhone may not display properly on an older BlackBerry or even a newer device running Google’s Android operating system. It is pretty similar to how a message that looks good in Outlook may render poorly in AOL or Gmail. The only surefire way to know how your message will look on a given device is to test it on that platform first.
Testing is one of the most important aspects of email marketing. Mobile may be a different arena, but that fact does not make this process any less significant. The more of this story – there is no way you can reap the full benefits of mobile marketing without making testing a core part of your strategy.