When it comes to brand messaging in the mobile, consumers overwhelmingly prefer to receive email messages - but the frequency of those messages is critical, with most being willing to open messages from a brand only once a week, according to a study by StrongMail. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

The study, entitled 'Consumer Perceptions of Mobile Marketing' and conducted by Forrester Consulting for Strongmail, was designed to provide insight into the most effective ways that brands can reach their audience using mobile devices.

The survey asked participants a range of questions about their attitudes toward marketing via mobile devices, as well as about their behaviour following the receipt of these messages. Mobile marketing was defined as: email messages, SMS, and in-app messaging accessed via a mobile device.

Apart from message frequency, targeting was also a critical factor for most consumers, with smartphone users being the most likely to open email and then to make a purchase following receipt of an email promotion.

According to Forrester, promotional emails among smartphone owners have the greatest success rate for sales conversions a little more than a third of this group reporting they have made such a purchase before.

"With smart phone adoption approaching 50%, marketers must ignore mobile marketing at their own peril," said Tal Nathan, vice president of client services for StrongMail. "StrongMail's own internal strategists are already helping clients to develop mobile-optimised email templates and fully integrated cross-channel campaigns that blend the combined strengths of email and mobile."

Among the report's key findings:

  • Smart phone owners are more open to receiving promotional messages from brands they like compared with those who own standard mobile phones.
  • Consumers have little interest in receiving in-app promotional messages and SMS Messages - even smartphone users - although they are at least three times more likely than standard phone users.
  • In terms of frequency, consumers are largely open to receiving promotional messages via email at least once a week (52% overall and 65% for smart phone owners). But when it comes to SMS and in-app messages, interest in receiving these decreases (60% and 63% respectively never want it).
  • Nearly a third of smart phone users (32%) have made a purchase after receiving a promotional email; however, purchases after SMS or in-app messages decrease to 9% and 6% respectively.
  • Smart phone owners experience the most technical challenges when attempting to interact with their brand via their device, with the top problems being bad links (28%), non-mobile optimised email templates (28%), and poor network connectivity (23%).