According to the Ofcom International Communications Report for 2011, 41% of Internet users access the Internet, via mobile phone. The percentage has nearly tripled over the last three years. With nearly half of the population accessing the Internet, affiliate marketers, who have not mobile-enabled their landing pages and websites, clearly stand at a significant disadvantage over their peers, with such capabilities.
Ofcom’s report goes far in dispelling the myth that mobile Internet usage is solely the purview of rambunctious teenagers and recent college graduates. In fact, the demographic with the greatest access percentage is 25 – 34 year olds, with 35 – 44 year olds coming close to the level of 18 – 24 year old users.
More than Website Optimization
The study also found that the leading Internet activity for U.S. mobile users is reading email. Optimizing email marketing programs for both computer-based and mobile-based browsing, could have a significant effect on open and click-through rates. What is the point of having a great landing page, if a third of the target audience cannot read the email?
Catering to mobile email readers also means that email weight is once again a factor to consider. Heavy graphics may need to be eliminated and designs streamlined. Given the smaller screen size, even more weight is placed on the messaging that goes into the subject line.
Mobile Advertising Spending Growing Dramatically
The report goes on to show that mobile advertising spending per head is accelerating. Comparing 2010 to 2009, the amount spent per head in the U.S. increased by over $0.60 (assuming a 1.56 GBP to dollar conversion rate) to nearly $2.00. This number still pales in comparison to Japan, where spending exceeds $10.00 per head.
To get the attention of mobile users, affiliate marketers will need to battle an increasingly crowded field of competing advertisements. If history is a guide, expect ad click-through rates to decline to levels comparable to other forms of online advertising.