The click-through rate long has been used as the benchmark for measuring email marketing success. But with the rapid adoption of mobile technology, the click-through rate is sharing the limelight with a newer metric, the tap-through rate. With tablets and phablets gaining market share, marketers are paying attention to tap through rates, which measure customer interactions from these mobile devices.
If you’re still optimizing your healthcare marketing campaigns for customer clicks, here are some compelling reasons you may want to rethink your strategy.
Mobile Devices are Edging Out Desktop Computers
Mobile device usage among consumers is growing to encompass a much wider range of communications than ever before. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, 58 percent of all adults own a smartphone, and 34 percent of those users access the Internet primarily through their phones. In an article published by CNN Money, the rate of mobile opens can be as high as 67%. Based on updated DMD statistics across multiple HCP sectors, this rate is closer to 55%.
It’s no surprise that today’s mobile users are practically addicted to digital communication. A 2014 Pew Research study noted that 67 percent of cell phone users check their phones for messages, alerts, and calls even when they don’t hear or feel a notification from the device. Nearly half of smartphone owners sleep with their phones beside their bed.
While it’s clear that Internet usage via mobile is on the rise, these numbers point to a deeper societal trend. Consumers are using these mobile devices as a global channel for all of their communication. Americans, in fact, spend roughly two hours a day on their devices.
The implications for healthcare marketers — and indeed, for marketing in general — are significant. As Kelsey Jones of Search Engine Journal noted in a piece published earlier this year, “With 8 percent of a person’s day spent looking at a mobile screen, there is a huge opportunity for mobile marketers to find customers who are looking for local services, as well as m-commerce customers who want to make a purchase online through their smartphone or other mobile device.”
Mobile Interactions Don’t Include the Click
With the widespread nature of mobile use, marketers are beginning to take this expanded mobile activity into account. Your target audience is no longer measured solely by the almighty click; instead they're interacting via taps, glances, and scans. Here are three metrics you should be watching in addition to your click-through rates:
Tap-through Rates: While click through rates are attributed to interaction from a desktop, tap through rates come from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and phablets. This specific metric is analyzed to discover how the market consumes your content and if it is effective enough to compel visitors to move through the marketing funnel.
Scan-through Rates: Mobile devices have a scan-through rate for promotions that include bar codes that merchants can scan at the register for discounts and special offers.
Glance-through Rates: The glance-through rate is an important metric for mobile users as well. Modern conversion tracking devices measure instances where a customer scanned the email on a mobile device, then opened it again on a PC for further interaction.
Of these, however, the tap-through rate is possibly the most important metric with the widest range of potential applications across devices. With the advent of responsive design and mobile apps, it's only going to grow in importance.
Email Marketers Must Recognize the Growing Mobile Customer Base
The approach to email marketing is a little different when accounting for mobile behavior in your campaigns. Healthcare practitioners, in fact, are expressing a diminished amount of interest in brands that aren’t optimizing for mobile. Mobile optimization has a direct influence on open rates; from 2013 to 2014, open rates decreased by 10% when a piece of content was not connected to a mobile landing page.
The importance of optimizing for mobile should speak for itself. Here are 7 best practices to ensure your emails can be consumed effectively on mobile devices:
- Designing for mobile, including responsive design that adapts to different devices
- Creating effective subject lines for mobile is essential. They are most effective when kept to fewer than 50 characters because many mobile email clients and readers will truncate anything longer
- Use preheaders that have been optimized to include keywords — not only will your preheaders tell your audience what’s in it for them, so to speak, but including keywords
- Tweak your CTA placements so that they fall above the fold on mobile screens. You’ll see a dropoff in taps if your users have to swipe downward to find them
- Focus on including images in your content; images resonate with viewers exponentially faster than text, and mobile is a highly image-driven platform
- To increase tap-through rates, use elements like big buttons and large readable text
- Include deep links to mobile-optimized websites or installed mobile apps
The Healthcare Industry Is Poised for Mobile
The healthcare industry has several distinct strengths that it can promote for mobile users. After all, health and well-being apps are immensely popular offerings in all of the major platforms' app stores.
By 2017, it’s estimated that health apps will be on half of the projected 3.4 billion mobile devices around the world. Email marketers who link directly to their own apps can send mobile customers tapping directly over to their programs. While many healthcare apps are used for preventative purposes, HCP’s also are making extensive use of mobile devices as well. ER wait times, mobile appointment making, and on-the-go access to patient charts are all valuable applications that practitioners are using. It is clear potential clients already are interacting in the mobile space, so it's imperative that your marketing efforts be fine-tuned to account for this.
Consider the mobile user’s unique needs and design email marketing campaigns that will meet them flawlessly. Delivering digestible content with clear calls to action creates a seamless user experience that positively influences click through rates, tap through rates and open rates.
It may not actually be time to put the click-through rate out to pasture, but there’s no question that mobile devices are changing the face of the marketing to healthcare professionals.