Take a moment to look up from checking your email while out and about. Those around you are likely doing the same as you. Necks are bent over. Eyes are locked on the screens of their mobile devices. They are managing their calendars, texts, emails, connecting on social media, reading blogs, using apps, and more.
Mobile devices have become like another appendage for the two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) who currently own a smartphone of some kind. And that number is growing at an unprecedented rate.
In fact, studies have found that people “check in” or look at their phones 150 times a day on average. Sixty-seven percent find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. People using these mobile devices now spend nearly three hours on them each day. This is slightly more than Americans spend watching television on average.
Mobile-Friendly Communications Help Get Your Message to Your Target
Whether it is email, social media or websites, people want to access information at their convenience, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time and while on the go.
- 78 percent of 35 to 44-year-olds prefer email as their preferred way of communicating with companies.4
- 68 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds prefer email to other means of communicating with companies.4
- Overall, more email is opened on smartphones than any other device.
- According to LIMRA, 91 percent of advisors currently, or would like to, access information via their smartphone.
Will the Insurance Industry Answer the Call to Mobile Optimization? Optimizing your website, emails and landing pages for mobile phones and tablet viewing is possibly one of the most influential aspects of a comprehensive marketing plan. If you think you have good returns on your email marketing now (or if you don’t), a mobile optimized strategy can help you get your target market where you (and they) want to go.
69 percent of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile. 80 percent of people delete an email if it simply doesn’t look good on their mobile device. 89 percent of email marketers (that includes you) are losing leads and opportunities because they’re not optimizing their emails for mobile.
Remember that people check their devices 150 times a day? Not only are they checking them often, but they are checking content quickly. According to one technology researcher, the average online reader will offer you about 15 seconds of their attention. These brief interactions mean that you must focus on getting your point across quickly.
Can this average online reader (financial professionals and consumers alike) read your emails on their mobile device? Are your html emails garbled and clumsy when viewed on smartphones? If they get to your website or landing page, can they read what’s on it from their device? Can they digest it and respond quickly? Can they navigate your entire marketing strategy on their mobile device while on the go between all the other distractions of their day? Can financial professionals effectively have a conversation about insurance products and financial strategies completely from their smartphone or tablet?
Insurance carriers and marketing organizations must be implementing mobile-optimized strategies to connect with agents and retain them. Equally, these agents need to be able to access and engage software and business tools from their mobile devices to be effective in today’s challenging and dynamic financial marketplace.
Are You Friendly, Optimized or Responsive?
Perhaps your site is currently mobile-friendly. This is a good start and currently a “best practice” for site development. While it may show up and appear smaller on a phone, it may be clumsy or not work so well on a touchscreen tablet.
Mobile-optimized sites, emails and landing pages actually reformat the content for a slew of mobile and handheld devices. Optimized designs use larger, easier-to-read type to increase readability; thumb-friendly navigation for more graceful clicks; uncluttered, reformatted content that is typically laid out in one column; and optimized or reduced graphics that will load quickly on a variety of connections. These characteristics are geared to help the user reach a quicker decision.
A responsive design is the latest form of development that has come into play. This design method is completely flexible regardless of the device viewing it. Using the aforementioned design techniques, the website also automatically orientates to the screen size of the device. Building emails that are responsive or scalable will give you maximum reach to your promotions as well. Scalable emails ensure everything is still legible and clickable even when reduced to half the size. You can always give users the option to view a desktop version of your site.
You must be implementing mobile-optimized standards when creating every email you send, every site or landing page you create. Software and tools must have tablet and smartphone apps in today’s financial marketplace.
There are a lot of factors to consider when building mobile-optimized emails, so working with a company that can do it for you may spare you unnecessary time and frustration – especially if your resources are limited. Ideally, the company should be able to generate content that appeals to your target market, as well as have a strong design team capable of ensuring your emails are either scalable or reactive, and reflect your brand in each design. The investment today will pay off in higher returns and keep your marketing strategy technologically relevant, which will ultimately better position you to take on the challenges of tomorrow.
In other words, mobile marketing with responsive design will keep you in the driver’s seat of the industry – not just texting about what’s going on, but leading what’s going on.
1 Pew Research Center, April 2015 – http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015
2 Litmus, The How-To Guide to Response Email Design
3 Pew Research Center, Mobile Technology Fact Sheet, http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet
4 Bloomberg Business, We Now Spend More Time Staring at Phones than TVs, November 19, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-11-19/we-now-spend-more-time-staring-at-phones-than-tvs
5 MarketingCharts – Smartphone Penetration, Rising in All Age and Income Demos, Hits 75% of the US Mobile Market – February 17, 2015
6 Hubspot, How to Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices, December 2013
7 Litmus, The How-To Guide to Response Email Design
8 Hubspot, How to Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices, December 2013
9 What You Think You Know About the Web is Wrong, Time.com, March 9, 2014, http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong