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Multiple Device Testing

“Why are there so many rubbish websites!” I find it baffling how many websites do not function properly on my iPhone. From the local school website to the most popular travel companies and online grocery stores, it is really shocking. For me, it’s like a high street retailer forgetting to unlock the door of the store.

Surely people check that their own websites work on the most popular iPhones.

iPhone testing

It took me a little while to recognise the importance of mobile devices. I remember my first experience of website viewing on my mobile phone. I was thrilled to check train times whilst on the move whilst at university (around the year 2000).

Technology developed quickly and people increasingly used mobile phones to browse and buy things. In around 2006 I recall reading reports stating the importance of mobile devices for buying. I was a website manager at that time and I wasn’t convinced. I spent most of my time working on my laptop so I couldn’t see why people would fiddle about with a little phone.

When I had my first child in 2011, I suddenly found that my mobile phone was my number one piece of kit for any research, reading, browsing and buying.

Importance of Web Traffic from Mobile Devices

In 2019 there were 3.5 billion smart phone users on the planet (73% of all phone users globally).

Back in 2015 mobile devices generated less than a third of web traffic. For the past 3 years around half of all web traffic has come from mobile devices.

An Ofcom report found that on average people spend 24 hours a week browsing the web on their phone.

There are many more eye watering statistics on mobile device usage.

So, why oh why are there so many functions that do not work or buttons that I cannot see on my phone.

Test, Test, Test

People constantly underestimate the need to test websites and emails, but accessibility issues can make or break the success of a campaign.

Testing is tedious! Nobody thanks you for finding errors! You certainly won’t get any thanks for finding an error and correcting it, without a trace! However creating a good user experience has to be the priority for online communications.

Promotional Copy – What’s In It For Me?

This question is always on my mind when writing promotional copy for a product or brand.

copywriting

Customer Focused Copywriting

I feel that it is crucial to think from the point of view of a customer when writing promotional copy. This can be difficult, especially if you have been involved in the development of a new product or service. In my experience product development teams and designers tend to focus on parts of the project that cost the most (in time or money). It is very difficult to prioritise communications based on what really matters to the customer.

I recall a difficult conversation when working on a technical product launch. I argued that a Safety Stop button wasn’t the top feature of a new product. You would think I had discredited the entire development team as they took this very personally. However I managed to convince the team that there were key features of the product that had to come ahead of the Safety Stop button.

Sometimes it helps to gain a little perspective from someone outside the regular internal team.

Customer Research

It is great to gain some real customer insights through Customer Research as it is fascinating what real people think about products and how they make decisions.

Where budgets do not stretch to customer research, Sales people and Customer Services staff often have great insights as they have real conversations with real people.

Customers usually need a little motivation to choose your product over another one, so it is important to put yourself in their shoes.

Passion for the Sale

I have worked on global brands that are very successful and market leaders. I find that there can be an element of complacency where people rest on the fact that customers will choose your brand and products on this basis. Personally I dislike this kind of arrogance and laziness.

Whatever the size of the business, I try to understand customers and discover what they want. When writing about the benefits of a product, the start point should be to answer the question ‘What’s in it for me?’

Email Marketing Tips

Email Marketing is a great way to reach your target audience. We may feel inundated with emails at times, but carefully constructed targeted email campaigns are widely regarded as the most effective promotional tool.

Email marketing

Email Messages

Email campaigns must have a purpose. Recipients are rarely impressed with continuous email campaigns with no real message.

Email Lists

Buying email lists is generally frowned upon. In my experience the email addresses are often poor and the unsubscribe rates are huge. Whenever a customer makes contact with your organisation, particularly through an enquiry or sale then this is the time to ask if they would like to receive emails. It is much better to get a list of interested contacts than bombard people with irrelevant messages.

Email Software

I personally like to use Mailchimp. I have worked on various email campaigns, including multinational mailing lists and small personalised campaigns. Mailchimp is a good website offering free email Marketing, however it is fiddly for anyone that is not used to dealing with website software.

Test, Test, Test

It is so important to test emails over and over as you are developing them. It is always interesting to see how email campaigns appear on different screens.

I hate it when I receive an email with errors and it makes me judge the sender in a very negative way. I always feel it is critical to send messages to a few different email addresses and check the results on different devices in the process of developing emails.

Call To Action

It is funny how many emails I receive that have no clear call to action. Without this, there is no way to measure effectiveness of a campaign. It can be a link to a website page or a button to request a sample or brochure, but it is the only way to monitor whether the email is working. It is really exciting to watch your open rates and click through rates which is all possible in MailChimp.