How mobile changes your holiday email marketing

How highly does mobile optimization feature in your list of holiday marketing priorities? Mobile and m-commerce is no longer just a trend on the ascendance. It’s now the norm.

It’s beginning to look a lot like m-commerce

The strongest evidence that the retail market is at a tipping point in terms of mobile usage comes from the fact that in July 2014, 56% of time spent with U.S. online retail occurred on a mobile device. (Source, comScore).

comScore’s annual research into retail sales revenues and attribution over the holiday period predicts that mobile devices will account for 30 percent of global retail e-commerce spending by 2018, up from 15 percent in 2013.

Here’s how eMarketer sees the trend:



Data from IBM shows that mobile traffic increased 40% in Q4 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Overall mobile accounted for 35% of online traffic in Q4. That continuing trend will mean mobile accounting for 63% of traffic over this year’s holiday sales period.

And remember, Google is already getting serious about mobile, introducing increasing penalties on websites that aren’t mobile friendly.

It’s time to respond

As an email marketer, mobile throws you some challenges.

Mobile devices pose physical constraints by the nature of their screen sizes and by the context and environment in which they’re used.

Emails opened on mobiles are more likely to be read on the move, or in environments full of distractions. So using that small screen space to grab attention and deliver the key message and call to action at-a-glance is crucial.

In our Hitting the Mark benchmark report, retailers’ emails are scored in the Mobile Email Marketing category against 6 key criteria:

  • Layout scales to work effectively on a smartphone screen
  • Renders in a single column layout on smart phone
  • Call to action is visible without scrolling
  • Call to action graphic is thumb size
  • Includes a ‘download the app’ link
  • Landing page is optimized for mobile

Fortunately for marketers, responsive template design can cover off the first 4 of these 6 criteria, by automatically serving up the most appropriate layout for the device the email is being read on.

Mobile responsive email design

A mobile responsive email design will scale and adapt to fit the smaller screen areas of a smart phone or tablet.

Depending on the device it’s viewed on, responsive design will change the email layout from multi-column to single column, hide certain images that take up too much real estate, scale ‘call to action’ buttons so they are thumb-friendly, and present a mobile-user optimized email experience.



UK sandwich restaurant Pret a Manger uses a 4-column layout in their email promoting holiday season menu choices.



By hiding the hero image and stacking the content in 2 columns, the mobile layout makes the whole thing easy to digest on a smart phone.



This Jack Daniel’s holiday email has a single column layout on the smart phone.



Stacking the content like this ensures the main message is readable above the fold.



dotmailer client, lights4fun, uses responsive design to optimize this holiday season email for mobile users.



The layout becomes single column, with content ‘stacked’ and the key call to action above the fold on all devices.



See our case studies to read more.

To discuss your seasonal requirements with a member of our team, get in touch.

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