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Are Mobile Users Getting Your Message?

Frank Bridges

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Overview: Email Continues to Deliver

As part of a larger customer relationship or content marketing strategy, email has long been an efficient workhorse within the pharmaceutical marketing mix. Whether communicating with consumers, HCPs, payers or other audiences, email has the proven power to engage, connect, influence and convert.

As we near the end of 2013, many pharma companies are reviewing their programs for optimization opportunities. Results from 2013 programs — measured against KPIs set earlier this year — help drive decisions for the year to come. Yet the speed of technology moves faster than pharma, and delivery of emails may be suffering as a result.

If the results from an email campaign are less than expected, don’t assume content is the culprit. Today, there is a good chance pharma emails don’t even reach their target audience unless they are optimized for viewing on a mobile device. And sadly, most pharma emails aren’t.

The Growth of Mobile Devices

As demonstrated in a recent study by Asymco (see graphic), in comparison to PCs, mobile devices are being sold at an incredible rate. The somewhat obvious reason for this major increase in mobile purchases is due to the benefits mobile devices offer the user. They don’t merely fit into the lifestyle of the user; they also enhance it by allowing users to connect with anyone, anytime, anyplace.

 

Whether it be an email announcing a new product indication to healthcare professionals or providing disease education for patients, mobile-optimized email is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. Recent studies show that nearly half (47%) of all email opens occur on mobile devices, practically a double-digit increase (9%) from last year (Aug. 2012–Sept. 2013). It is predicted that in the next year more than half of email opens will occur on a mobile device. Mobile device usage and mobile email opens are increasing, thus presenting a valuable client connection opportunityto those in the pharma industry. With a similar study showing that 63% of Americans either close or delete a non-mobile-optimized email viewed on their mobile device, failure to do so will result in an opportunity gone in a click.

It is predicted that in the next year more than half of email opens will occur on a mobile device.

 

Does mobile optimization work?

Marketers who optimize their emails for mobile viewing can expect an uptick in key performance indicators, such as opt-ins and click-throughs. A study of Career Builder’s CRM program indicated that, by optimizing for mobile using a responsive design approach that adapts the format based upon the viewer’s device, increased response rates were observed across all user types. Over a three-week period, opens and clicks increased 15-22% across the following user categories: new, active, recent, passive and unengaged.

 

Getting Ready for Mobile

Marketers often already have strong email lists and established messaging, so the next step is to provide the email in a mobile-friendly format. Including mobile-optimized email in CRM streams is one of the easiest parts of the equation when done correctly. When transforming a message to mobile, marketers should take care to follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure to optimize the information seen in the mobile inbox. The sender’s name and the subject line are often the only things people see, so make sure they stand out.
  • If you’ve taken the time to make sure your format is mobile-ready, be certain the creative is as well. Ensure the call to action is clear and create content that doesn’t require a large amount of scrolling.
  • Direct the user to a landing page that is optimized for mobile as well. If you optimize the email but fail to optimize the site, it was all for nothing.
  • Test, test and test. Email is one of the easiest channels to test and optimize. Look for ways to measure the effectiveness of different subject lines, creative and even key messages in your email campaigns.

 

Summary

Making mobile optimization a part of an email campaign is a critical step and one that doesn’t have to be difficult. With mobile devices dominating the technology industry, use of these devices to obtain healthcare information will only continue to rise.

With 2014 nearly here, it’s time for brand managers to make mobile development a part of their annual brand planning budget. Email is arguably the most flexible, progressive and direct tool marketers have to get their message across. Mobile-optimized email will not only keep pharma marketers ahead of the technology curve, but most importantly, it will help them connect with their customers.

References:

 

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