Why You Might be Wasting Your Time with Email Marketing.

Its no secret I’m a big fan of what opportunities the mobile web presents for home builders. What I didn’t quite expect was a recent wake-up call on how closely email marketing is linked to mobile.

We recently sent out an email promotion for an apartment management client. The day after the email went out to a couple thousand leads, I eagerly visited the client’s Google Analytics dashboard. I was anxious to see the fruits of our labor – a big ‘ol mountain peak in the traffic chart as of the flood of leads came running back to the website for more. Only, this time I was more than disappointed. No mountain. There was barely a blip on the total traffic chart.

I was a little more than disappointed. This was the first email the client had sent in a long time, and the list was a prime database of leads who had contacted them. They should’ve been hungry for this email. They should’ve responded en masse and blitzed the website for more details. The creative came from a third party. It was good. It should’ve resonated, but it didn’t look like it did. So, a little dumbfounded, I moved on.

Perhaps it was my disappointment that caused me not to look in the client’s MailChimp account that day, but whatever the reason, I didn’t do it right then. Today, however, I did go there. And I struck gold. The kind of “a-ha” that makes you wonder how you’ve passed over the conclusion so many times. I had all the pieces of the puzzle, but never completely put them together. There it was now. In the MailChimp stats was the data detailing the  most popular email software used by the list of leads. Take a look at the screen shot below.

27.3% from iPhones!

That’s right . TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT of the opens were on iPhones! Second only to Outlook 2007, and well above GMail and Yahoo. Shortly after I finished smacking my forehead I continued to wonder why I hadn’t put the pieces together before.

Of course, the number of people who read email on their phones is growing tremendously. Of course we think about what emails look like on phones. Only now, did it click. The immediate goal of many email promotions is to drive traffic back to your website.

If you don’t have a mobile friendly website or landing page, you’re providing a poor experience for a large percentage of your email marketing list.

For this particular client, we track the mobile website traffic inside a dedicated Google Analytics account; and that’s where I found the other part of the mountain.

Clearly, the impact of this will vary a little for every email database, but its changed the way I think about email marketing and mobile websites – and how inseparable they are. There is no way we’ll send another email blast for a client without first researching how their list reads email. I can’t imagine trying to drive traffic to a landing page without a mobile friendly option.

As if we needed another reason to make the case for mobile websites. The mobile web continues to impact everything we do… now including email marketing.

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil


Dennis has spent over 22 years using the internet to sell and market new homes. He blogs about internet marketing for home builders here, wrote a book about technology's impact on the sales process, and is a respected speaker on advanced internet marketing and the online sales process.