Eye Tracking for Email Marketing in the Mobile World

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Polish design and testing studio EDISONDA, used eye tracking to explore current design trends and to develop best practice guidelines regarding all aspects of email marketing in the mobile world.

Challenge

In order to develop guidelines for mobile email marketing, marketers need to understand which aspects of text, visuals and layout play a role for whether the email content on a smartphone catches a user’s interest.

Especially on tiny screens, traditional methods like observation do not provide reliable information on which content grasps the recipient’s attention.

Solution

The eye tracking research was conducted with 50 students of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Science and Technology . A set of email marketing messages was created. While differing in their topics, all messages followed a similar structure with text, visual elements, buttons and links.

A multivariate test was conducted by presenting each message in two different versions. The variants concerned text, visuals and layout. Every message was presented to users for the duration of 15 seconds. Test participants could scroll the message freely.

SMI Eye Tracking

With SMI Eye Tracking Glasses, the EDISONDA team was able to objectively analyze the looking patterns of mobile phone users during natural interaction with the device. The data reveal which type of content was seen by the participants and for how long. The data collected was easily aggregated for analysis.

Benefit

The main finding from the eye tracking data is that display size does matter. From heat maps and scan paths it became clear that for any mobile content – text, image, or call to action – the probability for it to be seen or interacted with decreases greatly, if users must scroll to see it.

In real life, mobile reading situations vary greatly in their circumstances, e.g. in terms of lighting, sound, and distractions. All the more care must be taken that a marketing message designed for a small smart phone screen is free from content that distracts from the essential message, without trading in attractiveness of design for this purpose.

Background

On a daily basis, internet users are confronted with more newsletters and text e-mails than they can process. But how do we perceive the displayed information and how do attention patterns change depending on the size of a computing device?

Superficially, the differences between a mobile phone screen and a desk-top screen are clear: smaller display area, no mouse, less scrolling, and 24/7 availability anywhere and anytime. But can best practices be transferred from the desktop to the smart phone?

Benefit

The main finding from the eye tracking data is that display size does matter. From heat maps and scan paths it became clear that for any mobile content – text, image, or call to action – the probability for it to be seen or interacted with decreases greatly, if users must scroll to see it.

In real life, mobile reading situations vary greatly in their circumstances, e.g. in terms of lighting, sound, and distractions. All the more care must be taken that a marketing message designed for a small smart phone screen is free from content that distracts from the essential message, without trading in attractiveness of design for this purpose.

Customer institution EDISONDA
Customer website www.edisonda.com