As I’m writing this it’s 10th June 2016. At exactly 2:30pm to be precise. And once again I’m astounded at how many emails I receive Read more
What does Peek mean for live content and opens?
Apple are no strangers to changing the way people consume and access content. The revolutionary iPhone’s have totally changed the way we interact with information. Their latest release of the iPhone 6s has proven to be no different, once again redefining the way we navigate our way to information. iPhones can now sense how much pressure you apply to your touchscreen and respond accordingly, bringing a new dimension to your iPhone experience with the addition of ‘Peek and Pop’.
How does it work?
The new 3D touch functionality allows iPhone users to preview content and take action without having to fully open a message, email or app. Here’s what Apple had to say:
“Peek and Pop let you preview all kinds of content and even act on it — without having to actually open it. For example, with a light press, you can Peek at each email in your inbox. Then when you want to open one, press a little deeper to Pop into it.”
Although it’s early days having only been released on 25th September, we’ve been thinking carefully about how this new ‘peek’ ability will affect email.
By simply pressing on the screen iPhone users are able to peek at an email – this means they are able to preview the email in the inbox without having to fully open it. Users can then take action by either swiping left to mark message as read, swiping right to delete it, fully open the email by sliding up or releasing the press to return to the inbox, leaving the email marked as unread.
Mobile usage and email
We see with our customers that more opens are made on a mobile device than any other. With this in mind we wanted to understand the potential peek and pop has to alter the email landscape.
65% of email opens tracked with kick dynamic are from a mobile device.
Live Images in Peek
We now know that Kickdynamic’s live images do display in the peek preview. Images are still live in peak and are contextual. Each time an iphone user peeks at your email, the preview content will update to show the latest content. Animated gifs, such as countdown timers also show in the preview.
One thing to note here is that the peek preview window only displays the top portion of an email therefore only content displayed at the top of your email is visible. If you wish to show live content in the peek window it needs to be towards the top of your email. To maintain clickthrough email previews need be compelling and look good. Your subject lines also need to make recipients want to open the email to view it in it’s entirety.
Tip: We recommend that email marketers test how their email renders in the peek preview.
Opens and Peeks
We also know that ‘peeking’ at an email in the native iPhone email client is counted as an open. Currently it is not possible for us to distinguish between peeks and opens so our technical team have been tasked with looking into ways to distinguish between the two – watch this space for an update!
Increased open rates, reduced clickthroughs
As this quick and efficient inbox management functionality becomes more widely adopted by iPhone users, email marketers are likely to see changes within their email analytics.
We already know that peeking counts as an open so it’s possible to reason that over time you may see an upward shift in open rates. However if recipients are peeking but not fully opening your email you may see a reduction in email clickthrough rates. Marketers need to be smart about content positioning within their emails. Displaying visually strong, compelling content in the top portion of an email so that it is visible in the peek preview will drive customers to open the email.
Here at Kickdynamic, we recently analysed a sample of 100 million email opens across multiple customers, business sectors and geographies. The results for reading environment were as follows:
- 57% – Mobile
- 27% – Webmail
- 16% – Desktop
Below I discuss 7 steps to optimise your email for mobile devices.
BUT, before I take you through the 7 things you can do to improve mobile device rendering there are some other things to consider:
Think about the following 3 things:
1. What percentage of your customer base are actually reading email on a mobile device? If you don’t know then find out first using Email Analytics.
2. If your customers are reading the email on a mobile device, do you have a mobile version of your website? If not, then it will be a bad experience for a user to click-through on a mobile version and then go to a non-mobile optimized site.
3. The native iPhone email client downloads images by default. This is important to note when reporting engagement by device.
These are three very important factors to consider when defining a strategy for email mobile optimization
So what can you do to optimize for email?
1. View mobile version link
This is the simplest way to go about optimising your email for mobile. It is adding a ‘view on a mobile device’ link at the top of your email template. Recipients can then click on this link to see a mobile optimised version of your email message.
A good start.
2. More Copy, Bigger/Better call to action
Another approach is to update your email marketing template so it is optimized when viewed on a mobile device.
Make sure there is some copy near the top left. This will show your subscribers what the email is about before they need to scroll down or download images.
Make the call to action buttons larger and near the left. Large call to action buttons will make it easier for the reader to click-through on the email. Again keep it to the left so no right-swiping is needed.
3. Adaptive email
Adaptive design or intelligent CSS is using media strings to control what the email looks like on a mobile device without it affecting what it looks like on larger screens. The @media query can reduce the size of the email and also move images that are on the right in a column to underneath in a row.
Note that it doesn’t work with email creative that contains large images. However it is an interesting approach to take.
4. Mobile only version
You could think about taking it to the next level and send a mobile only version to all your subscribers. The email will still look great on other email clients and will be optimized for mobile. This is especially a good idea if you have a high percentage of people reading your email on mobile devices. Use Kickdynamic to find out what device your email is being read..
6. Send segmented email to mobile device readers
Think about targeting readers by what device they are reading your email on. Kickdynamic provides member-level reporting so you can report and download who reads your email on iPhone, iPad, Android and more.
You can then upload the email addresses to your ESP and target all your mobile readers specifically.
Also, it allows you to send iPhone only based promotions or promote your new Android app.
7. Ask what version you subscribers want to receive
No every subscriber is made equal. Some recipients will read email on mobile devices only, or just read email in gmail. So why not ask what version of email they want? You could ask whether they want a mobile version of the email or a full image based version during signup and in the profile centre.
Yes, it will mean you have to create two versions. But if you are only doing No1, then you are doing that anyway!
Tip – thinking about those that open on more than one device? Kickdynamic can show you that also…check it out.
What other things have you done to optimize your email for mobile?