Mobile Friendly? Pinching, Zooming Is So Yesterday—and So Frustrating
Long weekends often mean more screen time with my multiple personal devices. I’ve got several in my family—Galaxy S7 and Surface Pro 4 for me, along with a Kindle Fire and iPad for my kid.
Here’s what I don’t understand. All four of these products are very common, and have a huge number of users, along with measurable leading amounts of time viewing marketing materials (emails, apps, websites, etc.). So, why do consumers constantly have to adjust things on these devices to be able to read effectively and transact business?
First, my Surface Pro 4 has actual recommended text sizes and resolutions. It literally says, “recommended,” next to all the options it provides. With the Surface being a very common tablet, why is it that I constantly have to reduce the size of things to be able to see a website effectively? Why can’t the marketer have its website ready to serve on this equipment based on the equipment’s recommended specs?
Second, I recently searched for a new piece of technology, and, of course, was visiting all of the common websites to shop. I was doing this on my Galaxy S7. This should not be shocking. According to a 2015 Marketing Sherpa article, research in the digital world said:
- Mobile opens (50.12 percent) have surpassed desktop opens (32.97 percent).
- While 36.6 percent of people make purchases on a desktop, 49.3 percent of people make purchases on smartphones.
- The Demandware Shopping Index reported 35 percent of all traffic is from phones, a 38 percent increase from 2014. Phones accounted for 76 percent of the growth in number of visits and 48 percent of the increase in orders.
Now, back to my point, at two major retailers’ websites—and I mean major retailer websites—the rendering on my Galaxy device (Android operating system) was different than on my iPad, and both had to be adjusted. And, again, I promise you that my settings are the ones recommended by the people who make the products.
Why does this matter? Because I became frustrated with my mobile experience. The bigger problem? I went to a third site and it rendered perfectly. So where do you think I did my further product research and ultimate purchasing?
Today’s shoppers are investigators. They want to compare products. They want to look at the details. They want to look at more than one tiny photo. All of that takes time. If you make me spend time to even get your site to work in my mobile environment, all that does is delay me meeting my goal—purchasing a product.
As marketers, we must decide how many devices we want to optimize for. That decision should be based on what you know about your customers, and where they are reading your emails and visiting your websites. You can access email service providers' data sets or email analytics tools. If you don’t have data that you trust, you actually need to focus on the common products in the marketplace. The concept of having a “mobile” version is no longer applicable because “mobile” is no longer just “one device” or one primary operating system.
And, this is not just for websites. It impacts your email strategy, too. Litmus reports statistics based on 13 billion email opens annually. While the Android operating system represents 10 percent of those 13 billion, the iPhone still represents the bulk at 33 percent. But when you drill down further, there are differences within each of these products. For example:
- The Android native email client and Windows Phone 8 block images by default, so marketers must use HTML text and ALT text to ensure that their emails are actionable.
- Phone screens are small—even the latest and greatest ones. Marketers must get rid of less useful content, links and images. The goal is to use as much of the screen space as possible and make it relevant to the transaction and/or purpose.
- Subject lines are truncated on most phones. We all know that. So, why do you have a long subject line for the mobile version of your email? Pay attention to the front of your subject line. Putting the action at the end is not going to work.
- Are you using the preview text strategically? It’s one of the best ways to improve open rates on mobile devices. Are you using that as a way to draw someone into the actual email?
Let’s face it—this is all about the consumer. In the Marketing Sherpa article, a quote struck me as very true:
Phones are filling the hallow minutes of today’s consumer—waiting for a train, picking up kids, etc. ... This is leading to a dramatic decrease in time spent on a site. This means the role of the marketer[s] ha[ve] changed—they must not simply drive the shopper[s] to site, but rather inspire them to action and make the journey efficient.
If I told you that iPhone users (the greatest majority today) are the least captive audience and 70 percent of them spend 15 seconds or less reading an email, isn’t it now important to make sure the email (or website, eventually) shows up as easy to read, to the point and drives engagement as quickly as possible?
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.