The Evolution Continues
If you operate a local business and tap into the power of digital marketing, you understand how it changes your approach to attracting new customers. As market gurus such as Steven Strauss and Seth Godin point out, these new tools are some of the greatest gifts ever given to small business owners. You now have the ability to reach out and market to prospects and customers in extremely efficient ways.
However, this new world of marketing continues to evolve rapidly and requires a constant update of your marketing strategies. It was only a few years ago that being progressive as a local company meant having a website and using simple email. Now, both of those vehicles offer a wide range of opportunities for adding power to your marketing efforts.
With the rapid growth in the use of tablets, smartphones and social media platforms, there are new ways to use email even more effectively. At the same time, these multiple ways that customers and prospects may receive your communications also create some new challenges for your email program and website. You simply don’t know if your marketing message will be viewed on a PC, a tablet, or multiple sizes of smartphone screens. In fact, you have to assume that it will be all of them.
Responding to the Challenge
Over the past year, an increasing number of local businesses are turning to a partial solution to this problem: responsive email templates. This approach takes the issue of adapting to the device out of the recipient’s hands and makes the adjustments automatically.
Whether you are creating the emails as the business owner or working with your designers and developers, it’s your responsibility to make your customer’s viewing experience as intuitive and convenient as possible. The first effort to respond to this range of devices was to simply limit the creativity of your emails. The new capabilities address this issue and return flexibility. This adaptability to devices is referred to as “responsive email.”
Yet, even with this new approach, you’ll find your marketing is more effective if you also acknowledge the reality of your customers seeing an email on a screen as small as three inches and as large as 24 inches or more. This includes evaluating:
- What content you’re presenting. Even if your reader’s device zooms out automatically, as many now do, that technology will not overcome presenting too much information in too small a space. Evaluate carefully what you’re sending in an email and make sure the primary message is quickly grasped. Of course, you want to apply the same concepts to your website. As a local business, make sure the user can find key information (address, phone number, menu, specials) quickly and easily regardless of the device they’re using.
- Evaluate the layout of your material and message. This is closely related to the issue of content. The difference is it deals specifically with things like graphics, font sizes, and where you locate the information on a page. If someone wants to call for a reservation, make sure they can accomplish that quickly and easily.
Don’t just rely on your designers or technology. Check out any of your emails and web pages on the devices your customers will use. If you can’t easily read the content, you can trust they won’t spend more than a few milliseconds trying to.