Mobile Trends Impact Email Opens; Is Your Small Business Part of the Trend? Do You Need To Be?

Today Marketing Land published the article, “Report: 66 Percent of Email Opens on Mobile, Mostly iOS Devices.” The tagline to the title is “Only a third of email opens now happening on the PC.”

We’ve known mobile would overtake PC for a while. Now studies—such as the one released by Movable Ink—are reporting on those happening trends. Movable Ink’s report, called Q3 Consumer Device Preferences Report, looked at emails opened by devices used, times of day, and vertical breakdown.

The results from the Movable Ink study shows the following: 66% of emails opened on mobile device, 49% using a smartphone and 17% using a tablet.

 

Email Device Opens

 

Time of day is interesting. According to the report, smartphone email opens were consistent throughout the day, while PCs were used primarily in the morning and tablets were used during evening hours. That certainly reflects how most Americans use their technology.

What is most interesting is that emails related to financial and automotive were opened using a PC, while other categories such as retail, media and entertainment emails were primarily opened using a mobile device.

What’s the nature of your business? What device does your target audience primarily use to open your emails? Do you know? How effective are the landing pages associated with your emails? Have you updated your website to be responsive/mobile friendly?

Marketing trends are one thing; knowing your audience is another. I have one client whose customers primarily (88% of them) access his website from PCs—and if he used email marketing—would most likely open them on PCs too. However, no business should overlook the value of having a mobile friendly website and email campaigns.

Pay attention to the devices your customers and prospects use to open your email campaigns and access your website. At some point—if trends play out as expected—more mobile email opens are in the future. Perhaps, even for your business.

Have questions about mobile websites or email campaigns? Contact me today at elise@misakimarketing.com.

How Good Is Your Customer and Prospect Email List? Why Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law Makes Sense

E mailThanks to the Internet, connecting with customers and prospects has gotten somewhat easier. For my clients, all of whom are located in the United States, email marketing is a viable vehicle for reaching those customers and prospects. Since the US Federal government enacted the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act of 2003, most businesses comply with an opt-out option when sending emails.

Our neighbor to the north has taken a new and more strict approach. Yep. Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), which took effect in July, requires implied (information published in plain sight, given to the business, through an existing business or non-business relationship) and express consent (contact clearly agreed) for any business to send electronic information to their contacts.  Basically, you need contacts to opt-in to receive emails.

Third Party Email Lists Can Be Too Good to Be True

While the opt-out option is routine today, what Canada has put in place makes some sense. Especially if a business wants to email to credible email addresses.

Buying email lists can send a small business down a slippery slope if you’re not careful. First of all, people who don’t know you or your product/service are harder to sell to and may not want to get an email from your business.

In addition, most email list providers promise good contact information, but purchased lists can be full of out-of-date data.  How well do you know the list seller? Be very selective when purchasing lists and do a test emailing to determine the value of the list.

Bad data usually leads to low deliverability.  This doesn’t just get you bounced emails, it can potentially hurt your email sending reputation. What? Yes. Reputable email service providers monitor email activity and watch for things like properly formatted emails, change in email volume being sent, email bounce rates.  The last thing any business wants is their ISP flagging their account and blocking all email activity.

Build Your Own Email List

Getting emails from people who want to stay connected to your business will give you better email lists, which will give you better deliverability and a better reputation with your service provider…a better scenario all around.

How do you build an email list?  Here are some suggestions.

  1. Add a “Sign-Up for Email” to your website.
  2. Invite new customers to sign up as part of the e-commerce purchasing process.
  3. Ask at trade shows.
  4. Offer email sign up on everything including marketing collateral, invoices, rebate cards, advertisements, direct mail, etc.
  5. Ask when meeting with customers and prospects.
  6. Require an email as part of website visitor downloads and requests.
  7. When a customer or prospect calls you with questions or requests, ask them to join your email list.

Be responsible and respectful and before you know it, that email list will be growing and valuable.

Is Your Website Secure? Does It Need to Be?

SECURE ICONIn August, Google announced its intention to use HTTPS as a ranking signal—a very lightweight signal, but a signal nonetheless—specific to URLs. Why?

Google is encouraging website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS for some pretty good reasons. HTTPS is a website hosted on a secure server. Most e-commerce sites use HTTPS.

According to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, all sites should be sure for date integrity and authentication reasons. A secure site would ensure that content on your website is not altered in transit and that it is truly your site.  To learn more, check out Google’s video Google I/O 2014 HTTPS Everywhere, in which Ilya Grigorik and Pierre Far break down the reasons very plainly.

What is Security?

Authentication – am I talking to who they claim to be?

Data Integrity – has anyone tampered with the data?

Encryption – can anyone see my conversation?

So…to become HTTPS, you’ll have to add a security certificate to your website and migrate your website from an HTTP server to an HTTPS server.

Planning ahead is key.  John Heard at SearchEngineNews.com estimates that website owners have about two (2) years before an insecure website will become a critical problem for SEO. He warns against waiting two years to make the switch.

If you are building a new website, changing domain names or making a major change to the URL structure of your website, you will want to consider moving to HTTPS now.

Google will generate a warning to visitors for websites that are not HTTPS  (see below)

Warning visitors would see if your website is not secure on HTTPS

Warning visitors would see if your website is not secure on HTTPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving your website to HTTPS may give you a small bump in SEO. More importantly, as more people become leery of the Internet’s security, you’ll want make the move before August 2016.

Please let me know if you have questions or want to price migrating your website to HTTPS.

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