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Allrecipes exec: Email open rates increase 30pc with responsive design

Panelists from Bag Borrow or Steal, FordDirect, Vistaprint, and ForeSee spoke about the ways that brands are increasingly incorporating smartphones and tablets into their marketing mixes. Executives on the “Crafting Proficient Tablet and Mobile Expectations To Exceed Customer Expectations” panel also spoke about results that they are seeing from mobile.

“For us responsive design works very well because we are looking for that seamless experience between the platforms,” said Rita Spangler, vice president of retention marketing at Allrecipes, Seattle.

“We just recently launched our responsive design on our newsletters as well so that they can have that experience through newsletters,” she said.

“We’ve found that newsletters recently have gone down a bit in terms of open rates – we have open rates in the 20 – 30 percent rate and click-throughs very high, but we have seen it actually go up substantially since launching it, and it has only been a month. We’ve seen it go up 30 percent, so I think in that case, responsive direction was the right direction to go.”

Mobile eats
One of the major parts of Allrecipe’s mobile strategy is to develop a seamless experience across all screens.

The company’s mobile strategy was originally heavy in mobile apps. When realized that it also needed a mobile Web site, the company turned to its consumers to ask what was most important.

“We were very successful at apps, but we realized, ‘Oops – we forgot the Web experience on mobile,” Ms. Spangler said.

“So we went back and did our research and found that people really wanted to have the whole Web experience with their recipe box, so we created an experience for mobile where we basically have upfront and center the ability to search all of our recipes,” she said.

“I would suggest really doing the research upfront and find out what your customers are looking for.”

Mobile conversion
According to Russ Blain, CEO of Bag Borrow or Steal, Seattle, WA, one of the company’s biggest learnings in mobile is to keep it simple.

Additionally, the company has taken some of its mobile learnings and applied them to the company’s Web site.

Marketers need to design their mobile, tablet and Web sites differently to tap into the features of each device that consumers are using their devices for.

For example, when FordDirect designed its mobile and tablet sites with features that focus on location and driving in-store traffic.

Additionally, the company developed an in-dealership app that pulls in content from but is specially designed for each dealership.

“What we found in the automotive world is that there is a lot of different device usage, and you want to have a seamless experience across all of the devices so that these customers will trust the Ford Web site, they will trust the dealer Web site and have similarities in the content that is optimized for what they want to do,” said Susan Blue, director of product strategy at FordDirect, Dearborn, MI.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York