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Grab the attention of your phone-obsessed customers

By Lauren McLean

These days, you can pretty much count on the fact that your dealership’s current and potential customers are on their phones all day, every day. With smartphones, most people are basically carrying their lives around with them wherever they go, and that includes their email inbox. More than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices, which makes sense – with today’s smartphone capabilities, it’s easy for everyone to be constantly on the go.

While it’s certainly crucial that emails render correctly on a mobile device, that’s an element of responsive design. To grab the attention of that customer who’s just about to close your email and open their weather app, you must do more than just format your emails correctly for mobile – that’s a given.

Less is more for your email’s content and design. This is always true, but especially on a mobile device. Opened from an inbox on a desktop computer screen, the reader is presented with a lot more visual space. In this case, a busy background or tons of content would be easier to take in – though neither of these things are particularly recommended for best practices in email design. But especially on the smaller screen of a mobile device, there is less space to work with and therefore less opportunity to cram in all of the images and content that you might want to deliver.

However, it’s a much better choice to provide a simple background with only a few large, high-quality images (if not only one) and a clear message and/or call-to-action button in large text. This will help you get your message across, and it will increase the likelihood that your message will be received. Not only do your email recipients have a smaller amount of visual capability on a mobile device, but they also likely have less willingness and time to invest in your email. Clear and straight to the point is better.

Consider the other ways your email recipient is using their phone, likely at the same time that they are reading your email, and think about how you could leverage that for your benefit. For example, many of your recipients are likely checking and updating their social media accounts. Including share-worthy pictures or videos in your emails could be a great way to get those people to not only read your email but engage with it on social media as well.

Personalize the content of your emails. We’d suggest this anyway, but on a mobile device in particular, your email recipient is much more likely to respond to a relevant message that is personal to them, rather than a one-size-fits-all blasted message that everyone on your email list receives. Email analytics data can help you track which audience members (and segments of your audience) respond the most to certain types of emails – for example, promotional vs. educational. Send specific audience members the content that they consistently open and interact with, to keep your open and click rates high. Buying behavior in combination with email engagement analytics can take you far in high email scoring on your send-outs.

While email via mobile used to be an afterthought, it’s actually wise to consider an email’s appearance and performance on a mobile device before that on a desktop computer. Design-wise, an easy rule of thumb is that an email that looks good on a mobile device will also look good on a desktop computer – but the opposite is not true. In terms of email performance and success rate, the very nature of our phone-obsessed culture requires that communications be short and sweet, to the point, and targeted toward recipients with purpose. Adapting to a mobile-first world may not come naturally to all of us, but staying ahead of the curve and up to date with customer trends will only help us achieve better marketing success.

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