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Mobile email will soon be a thing of the past, it will soon just be email and the notion of mobile email will seem quaint like when people used to talk about “electronic mail”.

The point is that the tide has turned, more smartphones were sold in 2011 than desktops, there is no going back from that point, every bit of research out there shows that  more and more people are using non desktop devices to check email.

Our own research shows that tablets and smartphones rarely make up less than 50% of opens.

First off you need to view device type as an additional demographic, there is so much that can be implied and several correlations that can be drawn based on what device people choose to use.

Just check out this infographic from Hunch:

A simple example: you’re a retailer, so who are you going to send your latest pet food offer to? Android users are 12% more likely to own a pet, so let’s target them first.

These are simple correlations not causative links, you aren’t going to earn $200,000 if you buy an iPhone. These are quite interesting stats and we can all poke fun at Android users for being lord of the rings loving xenophobes but the real value comes when you look at your own data.

There will be correlations between device type and what makes a good customer, it’s simply a case of reviewing your latest customer campaign in your ESP’s device reporting page then conducting a specific campaign to that same segment within your prospect list.

Another very simple campaign you can run is personalising based on device type. Here is an example from the Economist, if you have an app to promote you should be using dynamic content to ensure that people only get the app email that is relevant to them.

With these campaigns it’s always a good idea to have a backup, like here on the left of the ad, in case the recipient has recently changed device.

Consider when, because you know it REALLY matters!

Another new area we can use device for is the time, check out the graphic below from Pure360:

I’m always saying that people should view emails as postcards not as letters, this view is exaggerated by the intersection of device and time.

So in the morning people are on phones, in fact people will check email before they even get out of bed, what they need is really short snappy content, as they aren’t going to read a long newsletter or scroll down.

However in the evening people are more likely to be on iPads, so go nuts with content include links to videos, loads of in depth content options, all sorts. There are very few companies optimising and segmenting to this extent based on device type, so use them now before they become just “email”.

Marc Munier

Published 16 July, 2012 by Marc Munier

Marc Munier is commercial director at Pure360, and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can hook up with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

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