Mobile Marketing Best Practices

Americans are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever before. In fact, mobile usage surpassed that of desktop and other connected devices.1 Now two-thirds of U.S. adults own a smartphone and seven percent of them do not have broadband service at home.2 

An overwhelming majority of mobile device owners use multiple screens to accomplish a task.3 This digital media landscape requires an increasingly cross-device and cross-channel marketing mindset to ensure touchpoints at every step of a consumer journey. 

The best practices that follow are designed to help ensure your marketing campaigns – across every channel – work for, and appeal to, a growing mobile user base.


CROSS-CHANNEL ADVICE

No matter where your creative appears, these tips will engage and help convert your target audience.

  • Design Mobile-Specific Creative: Think about small screen sizes when you’re designing ads and avoid making any element of your creative execution too small. You have roughly two seconds to engage viewers, so keep your message short, simple and compelling with 200 characters or less—most mobile viewers won’t spend their time reading anything longer.
  • Use Responsive Design: Devices come in many shapes and sizes, all of which can be addressed with responsive design. Aim for full-width layouts on mobile devices to avoid horizontal scrolling by the user.
  • Avoid Flash: Flash requires a plugin, which is not downloaded by every mobile user. If you want similar special effects, use HTML5.
  • Encourage Inbound Calls: Asking users to memorize a website’s phone number as they move to the phone keypad creates a negative user experience. Solve this challenge by implementing click-to-call (CTC) phone numbers so users can reach you directly with one touch. You can even have phone numbers appear only when your call center is open.
  • Use a Strong Call to Action (CTA): Make your CTA clear and ensure it’s relevant to your target audience. Consider adding a sense of urgency to encourage taking action in the moment.
  • Track Your Performance: Utilize attribution tracking to evaluate the impact each channel has on your overall marketing efforts. Assign different toll-free numbers (TFNs) to each traffic source for detailed call tracking and campaign optimization.
  • Test, Then Test Again: No list of advice can serve as a catch-all to tell you how well creative will perform without testing it first. All creative should be A/B tested as often as possible to continually enhance performance. Test variables such as headlines and color, but be sure to test only one variable at a time. There is always room for improvement, and your findings can turn into enhancements that will deliver real and immediate performance results.

PAID SEARCH/PAY-PER-CLICK (PPC) MARKETING

It is anticipated that more than half of all paid search clicks will be from mobile devices by the end of 2015.4 Make sure your brand is visible to secure your share of this traffic.

  • Run Mobile Campaigns: This is the simplest, and possibly the most essential, piece of advice within this list. Mobile search campaigns increase your visibility and your performance with a lower average cost per lead (CPL) and higher conversion rates (CVRs) than desktop campaigns.
  • Write Mobile-Specific Ads: The smaller the search engine results page (SERP), the less space there is for your ad to show. Write concise ads to avoid getting your message cut off.
  • Be Aggressive: Most mobile devices only show two ads in the SERP. To reach the first page, you need to bid aggressively. This may mean a higher cost per click (CPC), but a well-managed campaign can balance that with higher CVRs. Report Mobile Separately: Mobile campaigns perform differently than desktop. Report, test and optimize your campaigns separately.
  • Use Match Types and Misspellings: It’s easy for consumers to mistype while searching on a smartphone. Make sure you capture this traffic with broad match. To take it to the next level, build out misspellings of essential keywords.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

Smartphone users spend more than 25 minutes every day engaging with social networks on their mobile devices. In fact, Facebook is the most-used app on smartphones.5

 

  • “Read More” is Not Compelling: Even if you spend a lot of time and effort writing your ad copy, your audience may not be committed to reading it all. Avoid CTAs like “continue reading” or “read more” and stick to actions your prospects might actually want to do.
  • Consider Removing the CTA: It may seem counter-intuitive and like it contradicts typical best standards, but creative without a typical CTA may perform better in the mobile environment because it requires you to use all of your limited ad real estate to trigger the engagement versus using a CTA as the final engagement push. Test it to know what works best for your message.
  • Monitor 24/7: Your followers’ social activity doesn’t stop at the end of the work day. Make sure you’re monitoring social media activity around the clock and have a policy in place for after-hours reviews and responses.

EMAIL MARKETING

Two-thirds of consumers use smartphones to check their email.6 If your messages don’t look good on mobile devices, they’ll be quickly deleted. Even worse, unsubscribe and spam rates may climb.

  • Spend Time on the Subject Line: If your email is not opened, your carefully crafted message will never be seen. A compelling subject line can boost your open rates, positively impacting every key performance indicator (KPI) that follows.
  • Make It Concise: A strong mobile email message is succinct, with a CTA that is easy to find.
  • Test Creative on Various Devices: A responsive design automatically sizes your email to fit varying screen sizes. However, it’s best to still test the design on the email clients used most by your audience.
  • Automate Your Campaign: Send timely, relevant messages to your audience by automating trigger-based sends.
  • Focus on the Goal, but Add Value: Your nurturing campaigns should nudge your prospects toward conversion, but adding valuable content will keep your audience engaged until they are ready to convert.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

Almost half of mobile users start their internet research at a search engine.1 Results at the top of the SERP, and designed to capture click traffic, will reap the benefits of high visibility that leads to high click rates.

  • Address Page Speed: If your site doesn’t open quickly, visitors will leave the site. Leverage browser caching, reduce redirects and remove all unnecessary source code characters to optimize performance.
  • Don’t Block Code or Images: Google, where most consumers search, is built to categorize all available page content. Let everything show, even on mobile devices, since they no longer have issues supporting CSS, JavaScript or images.
  • Shorten Titles and Meta Descriptions: Smaller screens show fewer characters. Keep your titles, URLs and descriptions concise to ensure your complete message shows.

LANDING PAGE DESIGN

Extend the user experience past the click. Every part of the conversion path, especially the landing page, should work well on a mobile device.

  • Bring the Eye to the Action: Use clear, concise messaging. If you’re trying to capture inquiries, your form should be one of the first things a visitor sees.
  • Forms—the Shorter the Better: Make it easy for your visitors to provide their information. Forms should be as short as possible to capture only the most essential information.
  • Disable Pinch-to-Zoom on Forms: If your form requires users to zoom in or out, it’s not designed well for the mobile experience and will frustrate users.
  • Be Proud of Local Status: Half of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results.7 If you’re local, be sure it’s prominent on your page.

 

FOR MORE PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING TIPS, CONTACT THE DMS TEAM.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients win in their business ventures and realize their marketing goals. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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