Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tips and hints on marketing via email to blackberry users

Yes, it's true. Blackberry is addictive. Some say that it's as addictive as hard drugs. In fact, once you have email on your phone (I use gmail for mobile) then it really is addictive, but it's a very different experience from the pc or laptop based version. Personally, I use gmail on my phone to take a cursory glance at my inbox to see if there's anything really important in there. If there is, the chances are I will call the sender back as it's easier to talk something through than tap it out on the keypad. Or if I do reply on my phone, I use text speak (and all the associated abbreviations and emoticons) which might look a bit odd to the recipient.

Marketing Sherpa has recently completed a report on how key decision making folks are reading their emails and it seems that 64% of them are reading them on blackberries or other mobile devices. This is important news to email marketers.

Marketing Sherpa gives some interesting pointers as to how to make your marketing email mobile and blackberry friendly including using the full URL i.e. in the message rather than a hyperlink. The chances are the full URL will be 'read' by the email reader as a website and create the hyperlink for the reader. Whereas the link will just give you the link words and will not be a hyperlink.

They also have some information (with a US bias?) about who's using email on their mobile and why, including:
  • 38% are ages 18-44 vs 12% for ages 45-64 (so does that mean 60% of survey participants don't use mobile email?)
  • 80% access their mobile email at home (yup, guilty as charged)
  • 39% admit to checking email while driving their cars (I don't drive, so this doesn't apply to me, I do check it on the bus though).
  • 87% access the same email accounts from both their mobile device and through a computer at home or work (yup, that's me - in fact, that's one of the reasons I route all my work email via gmail so I can do precisely this)
  • Mobile email users scan their email for important one-to-one messages, leaving the rest for perusal on their PC later (absolutely)
  • Sales reps and road warriors are the main mobile email users, but this is going to change in the next six months as the software and pricing becomes more accessible to consumer users.
If you also have a look at GigaOM's roundup of AOL's latest mobile email research (of US customers) there are even more tidbits of info of email usage:

Mobile email:
  • 59% of people check email in bed (yup, guilty of this one too!)
  • 53% in the bathroom (only while I'm waiting for the bath to fill up)
  • 37% are checking email while they drive (don't drive, see above)
  • and 12% admit to checking email in church (absolutely not! The phone goes to silent and is put away as soon as I enter a House of God of any denomination).

Who's addicted to email generally:
  • Women (16%) are more likely to describe themselves as addicted to email than men (13%), and are actually spending 15 minutes more per day on email than men.
  • Forty-three percent of email users check their email first thing in the morning, and 40% have checked their email in the middle of the night. Twenty-six percent admit to checking email on a laptop in bed while in their pajamas.
  • Sixty percent of people who email admit to checking their personal email at work an average of three times a day. While only 15% of those who do so have been busted by their bosses, 28% say they feel guilty about it.
Read more of the special report for technical guidelines and further hints and tips for marketing via email to mobile devices and you can request a free whitepaper on the topic from the folks at Exact Target.

And it seems that emozes is giving RIM (the folks behind Blackberry) a run for their money.

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