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FreshDirect promotes mobile products via email

October 3, 2011

Online grocer FreshDirect is testing out email marketing to promote its line of mobile products, which include iPhone, iPad and Android applications.

Email marketing is an unusual way to promote mobile, but with more consumers accessing their email via mobile devices it gives FreshDirect keen insight into where to focus its marketing efforts. The company rolled out its commerce-enabled apps in 2010.

“As an online grocery retailer, I would imagine one of the company’s main goals is to add convenience for consumers to shop while on-the-go and email seems like a natural best fit,” said Mike May, head of insights at Real Magnet, Bethesda, MD.

“FreshDirect can use email and Web analytics to help determine how many of its consumers are using mobile,” he said.

Mr. May is not affiliated with FreshDirect. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

FreshDirect did not respond to press inquiries.

Real Magnet is an email marketing service.

Fresh perspective
In the email blast, the words “FreshDirect is mobile” are prominently placed across the top.

Both the Android and iPhone app are placed side-by-side in the email.

Here is a screen shot of the FreshDirect email

The Android version of the app is the newest addition to the line of mobile apps, which is shown with a sticker placed across a picture of the app.

Additionally, the email features a click-to-download feature where consumers are automatically directed to either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Market.

Below, a call-to-action for the FreshDirect iPad app is promoted.

At the bottom of the email, buttons link to FreshDirect’s social media outlets, blog and Web site.

“Increasingly, the number of people that respond to email on mobile devices is going up,” Mr. May said.

Mobile mail
Email marketing can be an effective channel for companies to gage its consumers’ mobile habits.

“Studies continue to reaffirm that reading email on mobile devices is one of the most frequent activities among owners of smartphones,” said Manny Ju, director of product management for BlueHornet Networks, a business unit of Digital River Inc., San Diego.

“With this information in mind, I would advocate that mobile email be the primary email marketing strategy of this company,” he said. “Their target customer is the mobile-engaged consumer, and who better typifies this individual than the mobile email reader?”

FreshDirect is not the first online retailer to use email marketing to test its mobile audience.

Real estate company Citi Habitats recently finished an email marketing campaign that promoted its line of mobile products (see story).

Mr. Ju advises companies to look at its demographic of mobile users before testing email marketing.

“Mobile devices enable instant gratification,” Mr. Ju said.

“Therefore try targeting quickly-gratified calls to action for your mobile audience,” he said. “See if they respond better to the same offer than your tradition desktop audience.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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