There is no agreed definition of a smartphone and, as they are a developing product, even if there was it would be out of date. They have an effect on email marketing software, and one you should take into consideration as recent research suggests nearly half the adult population owns or uses one.
For the sake of this article we will assume that in addition to the ‘standard’ functions of a mobile phone, a smartphone allows access to the internet, document editing and, most importantly for us, can receive emails. They are tremendously ‘clever’ devices and would have been regarded as fantasy a mere twenty years ago. However, just to make things difficult for us in email marketing, the way they are used varies tremendously.
A number of studies have shown that a considerable percentage of owners, both experienced users and those new to the devices, do not use all the facilities on offer, let alone download new apps. There are no dependable figures for the percentage of owners who access their email accounts via mobile devices so in order to trust email marketing software returns we have to work out our own figures.
Ten years ago the argument as to whether html was better than text emails was settled. The visuals available with the former give a much better response rate. Despite the frailties of multipurpose internet mail extensions when converting graphic emails to text, html was the preferred option.
Nowadays we have the situation where a significant percentage of subscribers can view their emails on a smartphone which normally means images are excluded and text is all they see. If no images are downloaded then the statistics can be skewed. Depending on your particular product or clientele, it might be the case that the majority of your subscribers read emails in text.
Whilst the very low cost of email marketing is why most of us started in the craft, the real advantage is statistics. Intelligent use of the returns from your email marketing software means that you can, and indeed must, hone your campaigns to give the best return on investment you possibly can. If you do not then someone else will.
What you need to discover is which of your subscribers use smartphones. The simplest way is to ask them. It is a reasonable question. ‘We will tailor the email to suit your lifestyle and needs. Please let us know whether you will view these marketing emails on a computer or mobile device such as a smartphone’.
It has to be accepted that by no means everyone will answer, or even give the correct reply. Further, there is the problem of a subscriber upgrading their phone.
Once you have a significant number of replies you can, by using email marketing software, work out what is common amongst them. This will give you an idea of which of those remaining read marketing emails in text rather than html.
If those subscribers who fall into this ‘possible smartphone user’ group suddenly stop responding you can prepare a special email that is effective in text only as well as html.
We will follow up this article with ways of preparing the perfect text email.