Until now, marketers have been limited to two relatively uninspired options for sending direct communications to consumers on their mobile phones: SMS (a.k.a., text messaging), and text-only, imageless email on devices like the BlackBerry and Palm Treo. But with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone and competitor operating systems like Google’s Android and Palm’s Pre/Pixi now offering similarly rich user experiences, email marketers have a huge opportunity to reach consumers anywhere, any time, on their mobile devices.
The numbers are staggering. Analysts indicate that mobile Internet adoption is rapidly outpacing desktop adoption. Meanwhile the Radicati Group, a research firm, says it expects the number of consumers who access email on mobile phones will balloon to more than 1 billion worldwide by the end of 2013. The day when more people open and respond to email in the palm of their hand than while at their desks is rapidly approaching, and represents nothing less than a sea change for email marketers.