One of my big learnings from last year was actually something I didn’t learn at all.
Yes, I know, it sounds odd, but hear me out. Sometimes you learn something that, with hindsight, is completely obvious. It was right in front of your nose. For me it was about mobile and the importance of mobile in the future of marketing.
Where is the first place consumers read email? Answer: 50% of the time it is on a mobile device. A great stat, yet marketers just don’t seem to have understood this. Still.
The other day I took a screenshot of my inbox on my mobile. On the screen were 5 messages. All of those messages had completely forgotten that 50% of their audience will have a different experience as they’ll receive it on their mobile.
My 5 emails all started with the phrase “If you can’t read this email” or “you have been sent this email“. The first few words of the email have been eaten by the Compliance Department, who don’t seem to use mobile devices or care for a consumer’s experience.
If you couple this with the epidemic of shortening attention spans, you end up with RDS, or Rapid Delete Syndrome. This syndrome is where a user looks at their inbox and just deletes emails based on:
- Who sent them
- The first 30 characters of the header.
Yup, that’s right. All that work by the Design and Usability teams is for nothing, because your mobile device stripped it all out and the user deleted the email before even reading any of it.
Now this has been pointed out to you, you will begin to see yourself do it, and research we have done backs it up. The problem here is not whether you are mobile, it’s whether they are mobile. And they are. Very much so.
So it’s time to rethink your world for mobile, make sure you are on the seed list and look at your email not as you intended it to be but as it was filtered by your mobile device. Then, and only then, will you stop wasting the time of both your company and consumers.
Ian Hughes is the CEO of Consumer Intelligence, a market research company that is dedicated to helping its customers make intelligent decisions using the best possible insight.