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Igor Faletski & James Sherrett

14 Essential Tactics for Mobile: Email, Search and Social Media Marketing

Copyright © 2012 by Mobify Research and Development All rights reserved. Authors: Igor Faletski and James Sherrett Designer: Nick Foster Editor: Philip Webb ISBN: 978-0-9880246-0-1


Table of Contents
1 4 10 18 25 27 28
How to take advantage of the Fastest-Adopted Technology Ever

Mobile Email
6 tips for building campaigns that work

Mobile Search
4 critical ways it’s different

Mobile Social Media
4 essential tactics to create fans and sharing

Looking ahead to a mobile world

About the authors
James Sherrett and Igor Faletski

About Mobify
An Open Mobile Platform

How to take advantage of the Fastest-Adopted Technology Ever
Mobile web adoption today is happening 8 times faster today than web adoption in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Imagine if you could drive 520 miles per hour on the freeway, 8 times the current speed limit of 65mph. Imagine if a flight from New York to London took 1 hour, 1/8th the current travel time of 8 hours. Life would be drastically different in both cases — at 8 times its current speed. Speed matters and influences our decisions, our lives and our ideas about what’s possible in the world. So while brain games like those above are fun to consider what life would be like at 8 times its current speed, a more real, radical and tangible change is underway today with mobile web adoption. Both the pace and the scale of the mobile web revolution are taking the world by storm with unforeseen consequences. As humans, we’re not very good at projecting the consequences of current patterns and how changes in speed affect them. For example, our machines are currently on pace to outnumber us with 3 times as many smartphones activated every minute as there are human births. In 2011 there were 6.6 billion mobile connections


and 3.6 billion mobile subscribers globally. Mobile in many parts of the world is the only way to get online, with 59% of all Indians accessing the Internet exclusively from their phones. As consumer adoption of the mobile has raged across countries, consumers’ expectations have risen to the point they now expect a web experience built for their mobile browsing. 61% of mobile browsers say they are unlikely to return to website if they had trouble viewing it on a phone.

Mobile web use is set to surpass mobile desktop use by 2014.

So how does the mobile revolution affect your business and how can you take advantage of it in your marketing today? That’s the question we set out to answer in this e-book. Mobify powers over 20,000 mobile websites around the globe,


reaching 20% of all smartphone subscribers in 2011. From our unique position and with our unique access to data, we can often see what works and what doesn’t work on mobile. In this e-book, we have assembled 14 top tactics to help your business take advantage of mobile marketing opportunities. The tactics are broken into 3 chapters along the lines that many of our customers approach them: • Mobile Email: 6 tips for building campaigns that work • Mobile Search: 4 critical ways it’s different • Mobile Social Media: 4 essential tactics to create fans and sharing As mobile knowledge, practices and data continue to emerge, we will continue to update our knowledge base. These knowledge base updates get shared with our customers, sent to our email subscribers and posted to the Blog and Resources sections of our website To stay up to date, please visit and subscribe to our blog, our resources, our email newsletter or, best yet, get in contact to learn about becoming a customer.


Mobile Email: 6 tips for building campaigns that work
Mobile email is big, and getting bigger. By 2015, more U.S. internet users will access the web through mobile devices than through PCs. 
Mobile email numbers are even more indicative of a seismic shift in web behavior. comScore found that while web-based email declined significantly throughout 2010, mobile email surged 36% from the prior year and grew across all age groups. People love to check their email on the go. As consumers are increasingly browsing, shopping, and interacting with brands wherever the chance strikes them, mobile commerce presents the most powerful and intimate opportunity for companies to connect with their customers. And if that’s not enough to convince you, think of the profile of the mobile consumer. Mobile consumers typically represent a desirable demographic for retailers and brands. They have the latest technology, a pricey data plan, and are more likely to spend a lot of money.

BestBuy found that mobile shoppers increased their lifetime value by 15% directly on mobile and 25% for in-store purchases.


However, any new opportunity brings its own set of challenges. Mobile users have specific needs and biases that you have to consider in your email marketing. Tiny text, graphics that won’t load, convoluted layouts that require mobile users to scroll left, down, up, and right — any of these problems can quickly derail your attempt to reach mobile users. After helping a diverse group of brands boost their mobile presence, we’ve seen firsthand what works and doesn’t work when it comes to the mobile web. Here are 6 ways you can improve the success of your email campaigns in an increasingly mobile world.

Too often marketing teams labor over each word in the body of the email, only to leave the subject and sender fields as afterthoughts. Each element of the email is a small conversion opportunity! Desktop and web-based email may treat the three elements of an email message (body, sender, subject) with equal weight, but not so in the mobile world. iPhones show the sender name most prominently, while most Android devices focus on the subject. In both cases, there is little to no preview pane to see the message body. Consequently, you’ve got to use a consistent and recognizable name or brand in the From field. And use your subject line as effectively as possible. Keeping it under 30 characters (including spaces) is best and phrase your subject as a promise of what can be found when the recipient opens the email.



As marketers, we want to make things pretty. And in email marketing, that usually means HTML email. But this practice will fall flat in many situations on mobile devices.

Private sale leader ideeli use the preview pane text to direct email subscribers to their mobile web experience.

With limits and caps on mobile data plans, many users choose not to download images as a default setting or as a selection in each email. Graphics often can fail to load, leaving the recipient with an incomplete message or a hole in their email message. Furthermore, graphics at the top of an email push the message out of sight, making it tough for people to get the point of your message, providing they can see your graphic in the first place.


Standards are evolving in mobile email software but not settled yet in any comfortable, normalized way.
So consider sending simply styled emails consisting mostly of text to ensure you get your message across. Remember that something always beats nothing. In particular, consider simply styled emails for system messages, such as account activations, password-retrieval emails, alerts, or anything else that you need to be sure gets into people’s hands.

Short wins. On mobile devices, displays are small. Each line is precious real estate. Get your message to your customers as quickly in the email as possible even if it means forgoing fancy header graphics. The same goes for sentences and paragraphs. Keep them short, crisp and active. The job of nearly every sentence in your email is to get the recipient to read the following sentence. Get out of their way with all your words. Move your customers from sentence to sentence and you’ll have a conversion faster.
4. EArly BIrdS CATCH worMS

Email is often checked first thing in the morning and usually from a mobile device.


Many of us are even guilty of responding to emails while still in bed. Sending your emails overnight or early in the morning can help you reach your audience before the day has started and they’re hit with countless distractions and competing interests.

Emails are also often accessed on mobile while recipients are commuting, though hopefully not while driving.
So take into account actions of the distracted commuter with a few minutes to kill: make it easy for people to follow up, forward emails on to themselves or others and save them for later.
5. CrEATE A SEnSE oF UrgEnCy

Email often brings exclusive and time-sensitive promotions. We’ve found that mobile shoppers are typically focused on purchasing or researching a specific item or category of item. If that item is on sale and available in limited quantities, mobile consumers will want to take advantage immediately. So let them. They will also want to share the opportunity with others, especially for purchases or decisions with multiple parties involved in the process like travel, gifts and cars. So also let your users share in fast ways that align with their existing behaviors. Number one? Email.



At the heart of most email campaigns is a desire to drive some kind of user action: buy, register, request more information, etc. When your email succeeds and the recipient clicks through on their mobile device, what do they find on your website? How easy is it for your customers to take those critical next steps while still in the flow on their mobile device?

As a marketer, you know you worked hard to get that first click.
Now there’s no reason to lose the conversion on the second click by requiring the recipient to revisit your email at a later time from their computer because your website is not mobile optimized. As data shows the rapid increase in mobile browsing and email, customers expect to read their emails and act — all on mobile devices. Taking the right steps to make your website mobile friendly will ensure success in achieving your goals with mobile email.

Starbucks makes sure its mobile users get a great experience by adapting their desktop website to a mobile context.


Mobile Search: 4 critical ways it’s different
How well do you understand the needs of mobile searchers and are your campaigns capitalizing on the growth of mobile?
Have you ever left home without your wallet? Do you turn around to get it? If you’re like most people, you carry on with your day, cross your fingers that you don’t need your driver’s license for identification, and hope someone at the office will lend you a few dollars for coffee and lunch. What if you leave your mobile phone at home? There’s no question you’re turning around to retrieve it. An entire day with your phone has become unimaginable.

A recent survey revealed one-third of people would give up sex before they give up their mobile phone.
As we’ve seen, by 2015, more U.S. internet users will access the web through mobile devices than PCs. YouTube is predicting mobile devices will be the dominant form of accessing videos in the UK


even early, by midway through 2013. As people are becoming increasingly attached to their mobile phones, changes are cascading throughout the web, affecting all aspects of online behavior and marketing. And nowhere is mobile’s impact stronger than when it comes to search, which (along with email) consistently ranks at the top of the list of most popular online activities among U.S. adults. Desktop search may still dominate the overall search market, but mobile search represents a new frontier. The widely accepted number across search engines, locations and industry categories is that today 15% to 20% of searches are from mobile, and that figure is growing every day. And mobile searchers are ready to act. Google reports, “…after a search, nine out of 10 smartphone users take action and half of those users wind up making a purchase.” But search on a mobile device is fundamentally different than search on the desktop. Whether you’re running a multi-million dollar PPC campaign on AdWords or optimizing for organic search traffic and inbound leads, it’s critical to understand these differences and what drives the mobile searcher.
1. MoBIlE IS HIgHly loCAl

Mobile searchers have a higher tendency to be doing searches with a local intent. Exactly how much higher is up for debate. Google’s Marissa Mayer


was quoted saying that 40% of all mobile searches are local. Microsoft has said that 53% of mobile searches on Bing have a local intent. An earlier estimate of 33% local was frequently repeated throughout 2010. Whatever figure we choose to cite, we know that people on mobile devices are seeking things around them. After all, mobile gives people a unique context where they are simultaneously online and out in the physical world. We use our devices to navigate throughout the physical world: Where’s the closest parking garage? What’s the best breakfast place around here? Where can I post this package for my nephew? If you’ve got local content or content that can be localized, optimize it for mobile.

It may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but the average mobile search on Android and iPhone has roughly double the keywords than the average desktop search. The interface is smaller on mobile but mobile searchers are more task-focused and highly specific in what they’re seeking. Consider the following data from Microsoft:

70% of PC search tasks are completed in one week, while 70% of mobile search tasks are done in one hour.


While someone shopping on their desktop computer takes on average a week to take action, someone on their mobile takes on average an hour. Talk about acceleration! This difference in time to purchase has very real implications in any marketing seeking conversions. Mobile users are looking for information or assistance to help them make decisions literally right at the point of sale. Consumer marketers need to understand that their prospective customers searching on a mobile device will make a purchase within 24 hours, while desktop searchers will buy over a longer period of time. Their velocity has increased. As a result, marketers need to employ specific and granular search tactics for each platform. For example, on mobile search landing pages, offer very specific information about products and create clear calls to action to click on the web and call on the phone. Implementing click-to-call functionality is an especially great option as a call to action on the mobile web because mobile searchers are ready to act and they’re holding a device through which they can act. Harness their intent with a focused number of clear actions and you’ll boost your conversions.

Over the course of a day, hourly search volume trends vary based on device types.


Google Mobile Ads analyzed searches from tablets, PCs and mobile devices and found that searches from computers broadly reflected time spent at work. Activity increases at 9 am and drops off at 5 pm. In contrast, tablet searches happen after work with a sharp spike in the evening hours between 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. And smartphones? Searches on smartphones grow steadily throughout the day, rival desktop search in the early evening and peak around 9:00 p.m. While both tablets and smartphones can be ‘lean back’ devices, used in combination with other media while sitting on the couch in the evening, smartphones alone are used on the go throughout the day combining searches with both professional and personal intentions.

It’s unsurprising that mobile searchers are more prone to misspellings when compared to desktop searches. Fingers tapping touchscreen keyboards are not nearly as precise, with with small targets to hit and an uncertain and changing context for doing the search — walking, riding transit, standing. Try typing while walking or on a bumpy ride and you’ll see. So make sure to include common misspellings in your campaigns and optimization efforts to tap into a new source of traffic. What misspelled words should you include?


Turn off the auto-correcting spell checker on your mobile device and tap in each of your top 10-keyword phrases 10 times each. You’ll end up with 100 keyword phrases. Which ones are misspellings? Collect the results and start your list. Along these lines, many marketers running paid search campaigns are finding it more effective to manage separate sets of keywords for mobile and desktop platforms.

Is this right for you? Only you can decide and you can only decide once you’ve got some experience. So get started.


Computers, tablets, and smartphones all fill a different need that consumers have for finding information at various points throughout the day. While marketers should look to all three devices for reaching potential customers, lumping the devices together without understanding differences in intent and behavior can lead to costly mistakes and missed opportunities.

oPTIMIzE now For MoBIlE

Remember all those highly motivated, ready-to-act users searching to solve their problems as soon as possible? If you do a good job with mobile search optimization, they’re coming to your website. Make sure your website is ready.

The biggest mistake in mobile search marketing is forgetting about the landing pages and website behind the search results.
If you’re going to engage in mobile search marketing campaigns, make sure you’re driving traffic to a mobile optimized landing page (at least) and a mobile optimized website (at best). Otherwise you’re just investing in a campaign that ultimately pushes customers to a lackluster or downright frustrating experience. And Google knows that mobile searchers want mobile-optimized web experiences. They punish the Quality Score for advertisers sending mobile traffic to pages that aren’t optimized for mobile.


So get ahead of the search algorithms and reflect what your customers are telling you they want — a full mobile-optimized experience.

Threadless capitalizes on mobile searchers with a mobile-optimized web experience that matches their desktop experience.


Mobile Social Media: 4 essential tactics to create fans and sharing
Social networking via mobile devices is growing each day. How well does your social strategy incorporate mobile?
Do you access Facebook or Twitter from your mobile phone? If not, you’re now in the minority of social networking users. New studies show the number of people using their mobile phones to connect on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is growing rapidly and becoming the dominant means to access social networks. A report from comScore found that 72m Americans accessed social media from their mobile devices in August, a 37% increase compared from the prior year. Even more telling is the fact that 50% of these users are using social networks on a daily basis via their mobile device. As expected, the comScore report found Facebook leading the mobile charge with 57m monthly mobile users in the US (a 50% year-over-year increase). Twitter’s mobile user base follows, currently at 13.4m, a staggering 75% increase from last year.


Social and mobile are natural partners. Mobile devices are already the focal point of how people communicate with their circle of friends directly and social networks are a simple extension. With the saturation of smart phones, social networks are now accessible to us at any time, anywhere. As a marketer, it’s time to make sure your social media strategy is built for the mobile world. Here are tactics to understand so your brand participates in mobile social media. 1. UndErSTAnd THE InTErACTIon: MoBIlE APPS or MoBIlE wEB? Both Facebook and Twitter have apps for all the major mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry), yet the majority of mobile traffic still comes from the mobile web. Dan Zarella of HubSpot studied a snapshot of public posts on Facebook and found that 33% of all posts were made from mobile devices. Breaking this 33% down further, we see that the mobile website ( leads mobile usage with 57%, and access via apps contributed to the remaining 43% of content added through mobile.

With numbers like this, it’s easy to understand their move toward a full HTML5 version of Facebook in order to optimize their mobile web experience for the majority of users accessing the site directly instead of through mobile apps.


THE kEy TAkE-wAy For MArkETErS? While device-specific apps are undeniably a big part of any mobile strategy, the mobile web is absolutely essential. It’s how people discover content through search and shared links and it’s the natural means to access your brand.
2: woMEn rUlE SoCIAl MEdIA

With the exception of LinkedIn, women are the dominant users of the top 10 social media networks, spending more time, contributing more, using mobile more and buying more than their male counterparts. • A Pew report found that women make up 56% of all social media users, and they lead in email, blogging, instant messaging, and photo sharing as well.  • Women comprise 64% of all Twitter users and most new Twitter users are female. • On Facebook, 16% of women comment on posts several times a day compared to only 8% of male users. • Between 2008 and 2011 women increased their dominance of social media, rising from 53% of users to 56%. This doesn’t mean a marketer should wrap their social and mobile


campaigns in pink bows and diet tips. But it does mean that your social strategy needs to give women credible things to care about and share with their broader social network.

To succeed, your marketing needs to be able to answer the question why?
Why share this? Why care about this? Why does this matter? Savvy marketers offer campaigns and messages connected to issues and topics that resonate with their audience.


Demand that your marketing answer the why? questions before your audience asks them.

As marketers, we all want to be loved. We all want to be shared and have people advocate on behalf of our brands. Nothing beats an authentic recommendation. Perhaps you’ve produced great content for your web and social sites, or had a story written about your company in the press. Maybe you have a campaign that requires multiple people involved to make a decision, like the purchases of travel, automobiles or entertainment. Ask yourself how are you helping people share content across mobile, tablet and desktop platforms? How about across iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and other devices?

The foundation of successful social media marketing is the link.
Your marketing requires a clean and consistent URL structure that people can use and share. Links are the currency you need to invest in for social media success on mobile. Make the links do the hard work, handling all visitors consistently, and avoiding using the dead-end “” domain names which results in mobile sites becoming disconnected and a dead end. When people share your site, whether from mobile or desktop, you


want to ensure a smooth experience that just works.
4. MoBIFy EvEryTHIng

If you plan on marketing through social media make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Any social object, be it a photo, an infographic, video, article share, or social coupon, will ultimately drive traffic to your website. We know people are finding social objects through social media on mobile devices and if you’re successful, next they’ll be coming to your website on their mobile devices. will your website be ready? Here’s a specific example of what can happen. In September 2011, a company with a Mobify-powered mobile site offered a fantastic deal via Groupon. On that day, mobile traffic to their website spiked 150% and mobile revenue exploded, up 6000% because people wanted to act and they were on their mobile device. What would happen to your website with that level of interest from mobile users?

Consumers are connecting to your company throughout the day and with all types of mobile devices.
They expect to have a great web experience no matter how they connect or what device they use.


A good experience will accelerate the virtuous circle of discovery, sharing, traffic and additional sharing. A poor mobile experience will result in a lost opportunity for revenue, brand engagement and customer loyalty. With mobile traffic playing such a prominent role in social media, creating a long-term strategy to engage in this field is critical building a successful business.


looking ahead to a mobile world
The mobile web can be incredibly powerful when done properly. But it also carries some risk. Luckily, the majority of that risk is for those who do nothing.

As Google reports that 61% of mobile users are unlikely to return to a mobile site if they’ve had trouble viewing it on a phone.
More and more all the time, people expect a website to be optimized for mobile. This trend will only accelerate until it is close to 100% of mobile users who will not return to a mobile site if they don’t have a good experience. The mobile revolution is real and it’s here today. Following the 14 tactics outlined in this e-book for mobile email, search, and social media sharing work will help you harness the power of the mobile revolution for your business. But don’t stop there. Change happens very fast, especially in a world of adoption at 8-times the speed of web adoption. So we’re working to make it easy to keep up to date and information on mobile.


Visit and join over 40,000 others who get first access to all Mobify strategy, news and results. We send our email newsletter out every 2 weeks to the emerging leaders in mobile. Check in on the Mobify blog and Mobify mobile commerce resources. They’re the place to find the latest thinking in a simple and searchable format. Lastly, are you ready to go mobile? Mobify works with customers like Starbucks, ideeli, Shell, Bonobos, Bosch, Condé Nast and more to empower their marketers and developers to make amazing moble and tablet experiences. Get started now. Talk to Mobify and take control of your mobile opportunity.



About the Authors
Igor Faletski
Igor Faletski is the CEO and co-founder of Mobify, an open mobile platform. Mobify is a leader in the mobile commerce space, powering mobile stores for Starbucks, Threadless, lululemon, Coastal Contacts, Siemens and other top merchants around the world. Igor is a frequent contributor to Mashable, GigaOM, CNET and a graduate of Simon Fraser University.

james Sherrett
James Sherrett is VP Marketing of Mobify. Some of James’ enthusiasms include playing hockey, fishing, hunting, cooking and food, storytelling and reading. His novel Up in Ontario was published in 2003.


About Mobify
Mobify is a technology company focused on building an open mobile platform. We believe in a vision of “One Web” and we build products to deliver on that vision. The Mobify Platform enables marketers and developers to build amazing mobile web experiences. Visit to learn more.