What’s Your Open Rate? How to Write Compelling Intros for Mobile Email Marketing

How many of your current marketing tactics are over five years old? Marketing is a fast-paced profession; even if you’re still using the same channels, odds are your strategy has changed. How about ten years old? Twenty? Thirty?

It’s surprising, then, that a marketing channel nearly forty years old is still one of the most relevant for digital marketing. Email marketing has been a steadily effective channel for decades, and advances in technology only make it easier to track, personalize, and optimize your campaigns.

Ever-increasing mobile device use has helped keep email marketing relevant, too. One study suggests 20-75% of your email opens will be on mobile. The younger your target audience, the more likely they are to use their phone as a primary email-reading device. Combine a self-selected audience with new ways to deliver the content they opted into, and it’s easy to see why email remains popular. How popular? A recent study from Salesforce found that email marketing has grown 83% in the last two years, across B2B and B2C.

However, the more valuable a marketing channel is, the more crowded it will become. More brands sending emails means more competition for your audience’s limited attention span.

Your email has to do more than provide value—it has to compel a click within a very limited character count. Here’s how to write subject lines and preview text that make your email more likely to get read.

Subject Lines – Every Character Counts

Counting up characters for email subject lines wouldn’t have made sense in a desktop-only world. There’s a virtual acre of screen real estate for your beautiful subject line to sprawl across. On mobile, though, there’s precious little space to make your case.

The exact character count varies by device, and whether it’s held in portrait or landscape mode. You could have as little as 33 characters – or about a quarter of a tweet.

You don’t have to completely limit your subject line to that short, of course. Just put your most persuasive language at the beginning. Which of the following truncated subject lines is more enticing?

  • Happy 4th of July! Enjoy the weath…
  • We miss you! Are you ready to get…
  • Free shipping today only + disco…

Personally, I’m only clicking on the last one. Even if only to find out if it’s “discounts” or an actual disco.

Basically, skip the pleasantries, the cutesiness, and the bizarre assertion that your brand “misses” someone. You can include all that in your preview text (more on that later). Instead, get down to:

  1. The Offer: “50% off sock puppets this Friday!”
  2. The Mystery: “Why do CEOs hate sock puppets?”
  3. The Thought Provoker: “How do you feel about sock puppets?”
  4. The Joke: “Every sock can be a sock puppet.”

Keep it all about the reader, and you’re far more likely to get an open.

Preview Text – Undervalued Real Estate

A great deal of marketing emails start with “housekeeping” stuff – a standard header that doesn’t have much to do with the subject at hand. That means the preview text displayed on a mobile device won’t give the reader more reasons to read it.

For example:

“How do you feel about sock puppets? Download this message as a pdf. Check out our sock puppet YouTube Channel.

Versus:

How do you feel about sock puppets? Senator Kelly wants to outlaw sock puppets.”

If your email starts with “click here to view on the website,” “view plain text version,” or a set of hyperlinks to navigate your site, you’re missing an opportunity for engagement.

Generally, you have about 90 characters for your preview text. So make your first couple of sentence irresistible. If you’re personalizing your emails (and you should be), make sure the preview text will demonstrate that personalization.

A Personal Email Marketing Success Story

I have an email subscription that sends daily emails. It’s pretty much the only one left that I still allow that frequency of access. And I open every single one and click through.

The email comes from online store meh.com. They have a different deal every day, and the email is just to let me know what’s on sale. But they don’t just say “Hi Josh, we have sock puppets today. Click to buy one.”

Here’s a screenshot of the email in my Gmail app:

I didn’t censor the subject line—meh are masters at introducing mystery in their subject line. They don’t tell me what’s for sale. They invite me to guess. The email body includes a few similarly redacted comments, inviting me to play along before clicking the link to see if I guessed right.

Mysterious subject line, compelling preview text, and an interactive element, delivered to my inbox daily. For me, that earns a 100% open rate (and several purchases).

Keep Them in the Know on the Go

It’s possible (though unlikely) that you have been sending marketing emails for forty years now. But you likely have a few years of experience. While email is more relevant than ever, it’s time for us to refresh our approach to grab the attention of mobile users. Keep your subject lines short and hyper-relevant, make your case in the preview text, and you can earn a tap on your message.

Just make sure that email leads to a mobile-optimized website, too.


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Digital Marketing News: Sustainable Social, Mobile Search Makeover and The Hiring Climate

How to Build a Sustainable Social Marketing Strategy [Infographic] Maximize your marketing efforts by understanding core best practices including, emphasize visual content, use infographics if you’re a B2B brand and avoid clickbait titles. This infographic also shows stats that will help you understand audience behaviors and interests on social media. (Social Media Today) Google is Testing a New Design for Mobile Search Results Google is testing a new design for both paid and organic search results. Some changes include the URL is now at the top of search cards, there are fewer ads and more color has been added to organic search cards. (Search Engine Journal) The Marketing and Advertising Hiring Climate Recent research shows that most marketing and advertising executives expect to keep the size of their creative staff steady in the second half of 2017. Get insight into hiring plans for full-time creative employees, hiring priorities for specific positions and the most challenging areas for companies to fill for the second half of the year. (Marketing Profs) Fun fact: TopRank Marketing happens to be in the 9% of marketing companies expanding their team in the second half of 2017! Visit our careers page to learn more.  Facebook is Testing the Addition of Pages’ Descriptions to Their Cover Images Facebook has confirmed that it is testing Pages’ descriptions to their cover images. Right now, the feature is desktop-only, and descriptions can be up to 100 characters. Text can be edited via the Edit Information option on the cover image. (AdWeek) Snapchat Lets You Add Links, Voice Filters and Backdrops to Snap With Paperclip, you can attach a website to a Snap and your friends can swipe up to open the link in Snapchat’s internal browser. The Backdrops feature lets you cut out an object from your Snap and put a colorful pattern behind it to make it stick out, and Voice Filters let you change the sound of voices in your Snaps. (Tech Crunch) Google Posts are Removed After 7 Days, With One Exception Most Google posts are removed 7 days after they are first published. The exception is posts that are based on local events. These posts are removed after the event date. Google Posts allows brands to share timely messages with their customers, which show up in the local panel on a web search and Google Maps. (Search Engine Land) Introducing Photo and Video Replies to Stories You can now reply to Stories with a photo or a video. With access to any creative tools in the camera, including face filters, stickers and Rewind, you can be more fun and playful in your responses. Just like with other replies, you’ll see the reply in your inbox. (Instagram Blog) YouTube Heats Up VR Market YouTube is promoting the development and creation of VR videos with new resources and tools that help developers and make VR more attractive for marketing. YouTube has also extended applications for intensive training at VR Creator Lab. (DM News) What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more news from the wide world of digital marketing. If you’re craving more news and insights, follow @toprank on Twitter!

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The Mobile SEO Stack: Tools to Develop a Mobile-First SEO Process

Posted by Aleyda

It was a few years ago now that Google announced most of its searches occur on mobile devices across many countries, with confirmation last year from Hitwise reporting that almost 60% of US searches were from mobile, as well. With that, understandably, Google is also moving towards a mobile-first index. However, not all SEO tools have the functionality or reports to deliver mobile-focused data and results.

The reality is that due to high mobile usage across certain industries and countries, it’s already critical to take mobile search behavior and optimization into consideration to establish a winning SEO strategy. For example, as can be seen below in data obtained from SimilarWeb, this is especially important in the restaurants & delivery, health, pets, and beauty sectors, as well as many others:

Since I enjoy testing SEO tools — as you might have already guessed from some of my previous posts — to identify better ways to develop my day-to-day work, I began to check specifically which tools include any type of mobile-targeted functionality. Although the offerings are still far from ideal, with the existing ones we can at least answer the most common mobile-focused questions when developing an SEO process.

While testing out these tools, I could see that a few of them offered different types of mobile-focused functionalities. To facilitate their usage I created a “Mobile SEO Stack” graphic — easy to save and share — where I’ve mapped each tool to the most common mobile-focused SEO questions that they can answer. So without further ado, here it is…

The Mobile SEO Stack

Mobile SEO tools list

View/download a high-resolution version here

You’ll see that some of them have a yellow dot rather than a white one — for example, SEMrush for the “What’s your Mobile Audience Search Behavior?” question. This is because the tool can only partially answer the question due to some type of restriction. In the case of SEMrush, they only provide mobile data for the US at the moment.

Here’s a summary of the questions answered, along with the 28 tools included:

1. What’s your mobile audience search behavior?

Obtain the queries already sending you or your competitors mobile search visibility and/or traffic, the pages earning the existing mobile visibility and traffic, and the mobile search share of these or any other terms you want to assess and potentially target with your mobile web presence.

  • SimilarWeb
  • Sistrix
  • SearchMetrics
  • SEMrush (only provides mobile data for the US)
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Keyword Planner

2. What’s your site mobile search visibility & traffic performance?

From third-party mobile ranking sources which are handy when you’re starting out (or to double-check for terms that you might not be directly tracking) to rank trackers that support mobile search results, it’s fundamental to understand your mobile search performance at a ranking and traffic level to identify opportunities. Are you targeting the right terms and ranking with the right pages?

  • SimilarWeb
  • Sistrix
  • SearchMetrics
  • SEMrush
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • OnPage.org
  • Moz
  • SEOmonitor
  • SERPWoo
  • AccuRanker
  • Stat

3. What’s your competition’s mobile web search visibility?

It’s important to give context to your mobile visibility. Remember that just because you’re not getting a high share of mobile visibility, traffic, and conversions it doesn’t mean there’s no opportunity; analyze what your competitors are doing to use alongside your mobile search behavior analysis to establish your own mobile SEO strategy.

  • SimilarWeb
  • Sistrix
  • SearchMetrics
  • SEMrush (only provides mobile data for the US)

4. Does your site have a mobile web version?

From page-level mobile emulators and validators to bulk ones that facilitate the process, it’s critical to verify whether all of your ranking site pages offer a responsive, dynamic-serving, or independent mobile web version:

  • Google Search Console
  • Chrome DevTools (here’s how to use it for SEO)
  • Google Mobile-Friendly Validator
  • URLProfiler
  • TechnicalSEO.com
  • MobileMoxie Device Emulator

5. How do mobile search crawlers access your site?

Using historical Google crawling data, some SEO crawlers will offer the option to emulate the smartphone version of Googlebot. There are also log analyzers that allow you to check the actual behavior of mobile search crawlers accessing your site. Are they going where they should and seeing what they’re meant to?

  • Sistrix
  • SEMrush
  • Google Search Console
  • ScreamingFrog
  • OnPage.org
  • Botify
  • OnCrawl
  • DeepCrawl
  • Sitebulb

6. What’s your mobile site speed?

Obtain your site’s page speed information (as seen by the mobile search bots as well as mobile users) at a site and page level, and directly obtain recommendations to improve if necessary.

  • Google Analytics
  • Chrome DevTools
  • PageSpeed Insights
  • URLProfiler
  • ScreamingFrog
  • OnPage.org
  • Botify
  • OnCrawl
  • DeepCrawl
  • Sitebulb

7. Is your mobile web content effectively rendered?

Verify how your mobile web content is being rendered by Google itself at a page level or emulate it at a site level. Are you showing an intrusive interstitial that never finishes loading, or your actual content?

  • Google Search Console
  • Chrome DevTools
  • ScreamingFrog
  • Sitebulb
  • TechnicalSEO.com

8. Are the different areas of your mobile web content optimized?

Sometimes SEO fundamentals are forgotten when using independent or dynamic-serving mobile sites. Are the titles, meta descriptions, headings, etc. correctly set and targeting the relevant queries?

  • Sistrix
  • SEMrush
  • Chrome DevTools
  • ScreamingFrog
  • OnPage.org
  • Botify
  • OnCrawl
  • DeepCrawl
  • Sitebulb

9. Is AMP effectively implemented?

Verify whether you’re correctly tagging both your site pages referring to the AMP versions & vice-versa, and if they feature the required tags without critical errors that would keep them from appearing in mobile search results.

  • SEMrush
  • Google Search Console
  • Chrome DevTools
  • AMP Validator
  • AMP Test
  • AMP by Example Playground
  • ScreamingFrog
  • OnPage.org
  • Botify
  • OnCrawl
  • DeepCrawl
  • Sitebulb
  • TechnicalSEO.com

10. How do your ranked pages look in mobile SERPs?

Check out how your ranking pages are shown in Google’s mobile search results. Is the title being truncated? Are you losing visibility over your competition’s featured snippet? Use these to identify potential reasons for lower CTR.

  • Chrome DevTools
  • SEOmonitor
  • AccuRanker
  • Stat
  • SERPChecker
  • MobileMoxie Search Simulator

11. What’s the AMP impact on mobile visibility & traffic?

Identify which queries your AMP pages are being shown for in both rich and non-rich results, and their performance for those queries. What share of additional organic traffic are they bringing to your site?

  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • SEOmonitor
  • Stat

12. What’s your mobile visibility’s impact on conversions?

Are your mobile SEO efforts paying off? Explore how your mobile search rankings are translating into conversions.

  • Google Analytics
  • SEOmonitor

I hope “The Mobile SEO Stack” is useful for your mobile SEO analyses and processes!

This is only the first version, so if you know of any other tools that have mobile-focused functionality or data, please let me know in the comments — I’ll be happy to test and include them.

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Mobile marketing and in-store sales: what’s the correlation?

Today’s consumers research products on the go, using their smartphones to find and choose at which nearby business to make a purchase or eat a meal. Most visit the store they select on the same day. Yet most marketers can’t – or don’t – optimize their digital presence or measure the impact of their…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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Learn best practices for mobile search and in-store sales

Today’s consumers research products on the go, using their smartphones to find and choose at which nearby business to make a purchase or eat a meal. Most visit the store they select on the same day. Yet most marketers can’t – or don’t – optimize their digital presence or measure the impact of their…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Facebook Mobile Video: What Marketers Need to Know

Want more traction with your Facebook videos? Have you seen the new video-only feed on Facebook’s mobile app? Marketers and video creators who capitalize on this video-only tab now will have a strategic advantage over those who wait. In this article, you’ll discover what the new Facebook mobile video tab is and find 14 ways […]

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Digital Marketing News: Mobile Marketing Facts, Augmented Reality on Snapchat and More Google Updates

104 Facts You Didn’t Know About #Mobile #Marketing (Infographic) There’s a lot to know about mobile marketing. To help keep fellow marketers up to speed, this infographic shares 104 facts about mobile marketing including usage, commerce, advertising and email. Case in point: mobile marketing is a key player in all marketing strategies. Walkertecharts.com Snapchat Releases Sponsored World Lenses, Which Allow Brands to Augment Reality Snapchat is now bringing ads to the real word with Sponsored Lenses. This new feature builds on Snapchat’s world lenses, and brands like Warner Bros., Netflix and Dunkin’ Donuts are turning these 3D graphics into ads. What will they do next? Adweek Google Can Now Remove AdSense Ads From Single Pages Instead of ads being pulled from an entire site, Google’s AdSense policies will now only remove ads from specific pages containing AdSense violations. Also, if an ad gets removed, Google has a communication channel for that. Policy violations are clearly stated in a new Policy Center. Search Engine Journal Paid Search Trends 2017 Q1 A recent report from iProspect looked at paid search trends for Q1 in 2017, and gathered together key findings and insights in this report. Overall, it’s been a costly quarter for advertisers and wild cards in the marketing mix can make all the difference between growth and depreciation. iProspect    What Grade Do Marketers Give Their Personalization Efforts? 96% of marketers say personalization helps advance customer relationships in this survey conducted by Evergage. While most marketers give themselves an above-average grade, there is still plenty of room for improvement. MarketingProfs How LinkedIn’s Latest Update Could Help Boost Your Exposure Through the Platform The recent acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft is using third party online services to make your “public” profile more visible. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile recently, you may want to brush up. You never know who’s going to find you, thanks to this new update. Social Media Today 4 Charts on Marketing to Middle America A new survey from Digiday captures important information for marketers about customers who have recently gotten a lot of attention due to the presidential election. Findings focus on values, search habits, online purchase habits and brand importance. Digiday Facebook Now Pinpoints Individual Posts to Keep Clickbait Out of the News Feed A change to the Facebook algorithm now distinguishes between headlines that withhold information and headlines that exaggerate the story. Honing in on specific individual posts, rather than entire websites, will help to eliminate clickbait that over-promises and under-delivers. Marketing Land What were your top news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more top online marketing news. Have something to add? Share your thoughts in the comments to Tweet to @toprank.

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