The Role Mobile Plays in Supporting Email

By Shannon Cook: Director, Go-to-Market Enablement – Mobile Channel

In 2020, 60% of smartphone users increased their screen-time during the pandemic, making mobile’s role in marketing strategy critical. While marketers are well aware of the mobile age unfolding in real-time, you’d be surprised how many are unprepared for it. According to eMarketer, only 9% of marketers have achieved a seamless omnichannel experience and 39% of marketers report having just a basic integration between web, email, and mobile communications. 

However, it’s not because of a lack of awareness of the value of omnichannel experiences. It’s largely a challenge for marketers because customer data is often stored in silos, making it difficult to bring together. On top of this, teams owning campaign development across a brand’s mobile app may work in different parts of the organization. Together, these challenges hinder cohesive personalization efforts. Marketing teams may be itching to create sophisticated, cross-channel campaigns, but ownership over different channels can cause misalignment that blocks scalable personalization.  

Despite these challenges, there are ways around siloed data and teams. Brands now have access to unheard-of amounts of data empowering cross-channel personalization in new ways. With the right marketing technologies in place, organizations can automate email and mobile campaigns that support one another and create cohesive, full shopping experiences for each unique customer. 

Share data across channels to build better customer journeys

The biggest hurdle for many marketing teams is a lack of cohesion between mobile and email channels. Luckily, it’s not as tricky as it may seem. Marketers can easily share data across channels to effectively engage users based on their behavior and channel preference. 

One simple way for marketers to do this is by promoting mobile users to engage with apps from other channels. Utilizing email campaigns to promote mobile apps can be a powerful way to bridge data and build a strong cross-channel story. For instance, if a consumer does not have a mobile app, email communications can promote app benefits, like accessing account information or receiving exclusive content and offers to drive downloads. If a user has an app, email can further communicate the features a user is not utilizing to bolster more app engagement.

It’s valuable to understand if a user does not open an email but engages with a brand through an app instead. With this information, marketers can drive segmentation across all channels, focus on mobile messaging for app users, and scale back on email deployments to provide the most utility to both the user and brand.

Cross-promote to grow audiences 

Use one channel to grow another. While email has been around for nearly 50 years, mobile marketing is still a relatively new concept. Brands can utilize email marketing to increase mobile adoption. Applying mobile value props in email communications, such as alerting subscribers to enable push notifications for mobile offers, can encourage message engagement and expand the mobile channel’s reach. 

Take digital couponing and rewards. Consumers always have their phones on them, but physical loyalty cards and coupons? Not so much these days. With more people consolidating their wallets on their phones, the opportunity for cross-promotion grows. Marketers can send email subscribers a link to download a coupon or membership card and prompt them to add it to their mobile wallets. In turn, this allows mobile and email experiences to build off one another and boost momentum for consumer action. 

Reinforcement is the cherry on top 

Cross-promotion may be the key to growing different digital audiences but using one channel to reinforce the other ties strategies and inspires return behavior that fosters long-term loyalty. In some cases, a brand will send an email first and then reinforce it with a mobile message. 

A daily deals campaign is a perfect example of cross-channel reinforcement. A brand’s marketers might send a digest of all available deals via email but only send a push notification for the one deal that is most relevant to the user. By comparing engagement, marketers can further target their audience by segmenting those users that did not open the email version. 

Today, users engage with different channels in different ways. To meet customers in the channels that matter most, marketers should take a hard look at their current mobile and email strategies and ask themselves how they support one another. Ultimately, favoring one avenue over the other doesn’t strengthen strategy; uniting them does. The brands that understand the unique value of email and mobile synthesis will build better customer experiences that drive lasting relationships with the brand. 

How can Movable Ink unify your email to mobile personalization strategies? Request a free demo to find out.

Shannon Cook is the Director of Go-To-Market Enablement for our mobile product, focusing on strategy for our clients based on best-in-class examples and industry trends, as well as arming our teams with resources and collateral for this ever-growing marketing medium. She is a 5-year Movable Inker, working as a part of our award-winning CX team for several years, working with clients such as Best Western, Movember, and Frontier Airlines. She also is our co-chair of Movable Pink, our female-identifying employee resource group, for the last two years.