Ok, put down your phone for a moment and let’s talk about marketing to mobile users. Well, if you’re reading this on your phone, don’t put it down—keep on reading!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of going through the motions and not actually assessing why you’re doing something. Take marketing to mobile users—the thought is by making your website and emails responsive (arranging the content to fit the screen of the user), you’ve done what you need to do. Fin! End scene. But why are we doing that, and what more can we do to enhance the experience? Take a look at the context of your brand and how the user will interact. Then, make all your design and content decisions based on that.
First, some statistics:
The mobile usage trend has been ramping up for years, and now, mobile devices have passed desktop as the go-to way to browse the web.
70% of all emails are first opened on mobile
50% of emails are only opened on mobile
Our smartphones are touched 130+ times per day
And what are we doing while on our phone?
- Using only 1 hand
- Walking / running / skipping
- Distracted by anything and everything around us (look, squirrel!)
- Ordering lunch and/or eating it
- Using it outside
- Watching TV
- Talking to others
- In a meeting (tsk, tsk)
- In the bathroom (you know you’ve done it)
This is exactly why we need to be responsive to the context of the mobile user. Should the content be responsive? By George, yes! Make it as easy as possible for the person doing some (or all) of the above while reading your email or browsing your website. Taking it one step further, think about the actions you want the person to take while on their phone, doing some or all of the above tasks while reading your content. Let’s do some tests.
First, try the Ticking Clock Test: Open an email on your phone and spend only 10 seconds viewing it. Now close it. What did you learn? What next action do they want you to take?
There is, on average, a maximum time of 15 seconds that someone will spend reading your email on their phone. Now add in the background noise of traffic because they are outside. And it just started to sprinkle. What do you want them to take away? Where do you want them to go next? Rather than putting your entire message in the email, give a quick tease and then a very clear call to action (CTA). If you want them to call, make the phone number large, at the top and clickable. If your goal is for them to click through and read more, make that the largest graphic and place it up near the top. Anything extraneous that you feel must be in the email, put in below the really pertinent content, just in case they have time and order another iced tea at lunch.
Next, try the Magic Trick Test: Go to your favorite responsive website (can be your own) on your phone. Take a look at what is being shown. Is there anything there that you, as a mobile user, wouldn’t mind if it disappeared?
Your website is responsive (great job!), but is it only showing the relative content to the user? This is where we bring up the context again—you should aim for the minimal amount of content as the screen size decreases. Instead of just reorganizing the content that is there, take a deeper look at what needs to be there. Does the mobile user need the full navigation that’s on your site? Probably not. Keep the top 3-5 links that are important for them, hiding the rest. Do you need the full image slider? If so, make sure the photos can be swiped rather than trying to use teeny tiny arrows to go from photo to photo (see next test). Does your website take forever to load on your phone? Follow some best practices on sizing your images so your user won’t get bored and move on to something else. And sure, context matters even more if your website happens to be a location-based service such as food or travel: maximize time for those on-the-go users and provide quick links to the phone number and location via map link or current location feature.
Finally, try the Fat Finger Test: Go to your favorite (hopefully responsive) website on your phone. Using only your thumb to simulate a large finger, attempt to navigate the site. Successful?
Is there a form you would like your user to fill out? Make it have fewer fields and be easy to navigate—you don’t want your user trying to use their human-sized fingers to click on mouse-sized radio buttons. Are your CTA buttons too small? Is your navigation easy to locate as well as, well, navigate? Does it take more than 2 clicks to get the user to where you ideally want them to go? 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Make sure you’re not turning away business just because they can’t operate and/or navigate your site from their mobile phone. Their success = your success.
Here’s the main takeaway: It’s a fast-paced, heads-down world where attention spans are getting shorter and mobile usage is growing. Ignoring the mobile user is not an option for brands that want to flourish. User experience is key!
Want to take your mobile marketing strategy to the next level? Dana can help. Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.