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Email reigns but must cater to mobile – Lessons from the June 23 Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference and other sources

The Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference held on June 23 2016 addressed several current outbound marketing issues. One of the most pertinent sessions for B2B marketers was presented by Target Marketing Magazine (reference 1) and highlighted the continued importance of email marketing. Email continues to achieve highest returns on marketing investment across different channels as shown below:

  • Email: $35.02
  • Search: $23.62
  • Social: $13.43
  • Direct Mail: $12.57
  • Mobile: $12.45

Email is old but still the most effective channel. However, this channel needs to be adapted to today’s mobile world.

Nearly everyone is aware that email messages must render well in all computer-based email clients (e.g., Eudora, Outlook, Postbox, and Thunderbird) and all browsers (e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari). In addition, the email must be responsive to the device (computer, tablet, phone) and adapt for readability.

Less well-known is the fact that people are now reading emails on Apple, Huawei, Pebble, Samsung, Sony, and Motorola smart watches (reference 2) and are converting emails to appear as phone text (SMS) messages (reference 3). Only text-based emails will work, so every beautiful HTML email must be accompanied by a text version. RightWave can make this process painless.

One of the important but still underutilized feature that can help increase Email Open rates is customizing preheaders (reference 4). Preheaders are the gray phrases that appear after the subject in a list of incoming email messages especially on mobile devices and on many email clients. We all read them! Usually, they are simply the first few words of the message so they often either repeat the subject, show a content-less greeting, or display a meaningless partial sentence. Instead preheaders must be well thought-out and programmed to provide real open-me teasers. The length of preheader content shown on different devices varies from a low of 34 characters to a high of over 200 characters. While the preheader text is always the first few words from your message’s content, it need not be visible in the email message itself. A well thought preheader text can help open rates as much as 30%.

This uncustomized pre-header simply repeats the subject:
    ABC Electronics Announces Release 6  ABC Electronics has announced Release 6
With a programmed pre-header:
ABC Electronics Announces Release 6  Mirrored disk support, triple redundancy

Which email would you be more likely to open?

Here is another ineffective preheader:
March 25 Webinar at 10am Eastern Time Hello Installed Base customers, we will..
Much more likely to induce opens, clicks, and attendance is this preheader:
    March 25 Webinar at 10am Eastern Time Announcing Enhanced 24×7 Support Contracts

Your creative marketing team can write effective preheaders and RightWave can assure that they are always correctly programmed and remind you to update them.

Over the last 12 years, RightWave has developed expertise and built best practices around these and other important intricacies of digital marketing campaigns to help B2B Marketers gain maximum Return on their Marketing Automation Investment. With a dedicated team of marketing automation consultants, marketing project managers, and developers who understand the nuances, RightWave has developed a host of services across marketing automation platforms including Marketo, Eloqua, and others. Our offering is termed Marketing Automation As a Service™ (MaaS). Contact us today to explore wide ranging possibilities and get the best ROI from your Marketing Automation.


  1. Target Marketing Magazine, June 23, 2016: 4 Overlooked Email Elements that can make or Break Your Marketing
  2. Casey Swanton, January 15, 2015: Smartwatches and Email: What You Need to Know
  3. Tim Perdue: SMS Gateway: From Email to SMS Text Message
  4. Pam Neely, August 12, 2015: How to write better preheader text in your next email campaign