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Top Mobile Marketing Trends for 2016

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With mobile devices an ever-present fixture of modern life, keeping up on mobile marketing trends is more important than ever. When looking to improve customer acquisition rates, customer conversions and retention rates, fine tuning how your audience interacts via their mobile device is key to maximizing your revenue.

By investing mobile marketing platforms that prioritize user experience, personalization and understanding consumer psychology, your brand will see improved results through its mobile channels.

Let’s take a look at how the highest performing brands have optimized their strategies and became prime examples of what is possible within today’s mobile experience. Tactics for mobile email, push notifications and responsive mobile landing pages will all be considered.

Responsive Mobile Landing Pages

The stats are in:

● 70% of mobile searches drive to action online within the first hour. (iAcquire)
● 74% of consumers use their mobile phones to help them shop. (Forbes)
● 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. (Adobe)

By overlooking responsive mobile optimization, one can expect decreased conversions with mobile users. To attain, retain and convert an audience, friction must be kept to a minimum.

An unappealing first impression tells users that something’s not quite right, and perhaps their time is better spent elsewhere. Designing a responsive and engaging mobile landing page is the essential extension of any mobile web presence. Formatted for an enjoyable UX on a small mobile screen, responsive landing pages are the short-form version of your larger home page.

The principles of mobile strategy and design center around clarity and simplicity. The user interface (UI) should highlight key elements and actions, using a visual hierarchy to guide the eyes through the process. This results in using cues like button size, color and contrast to steer content interactions.

Aim for responsive characteristics such as:

● Fast-loading pages: Most users will turn away if these take longer than three seconds.

● Minimized personal information on forms: Use auto-fill forms, Facebook signups, and dynamic help, plus other mobile form-fill best practices, to speed along the least exciting, yet most pivotal, part of the conversion process.

● Clean, simply aesthetic: Linear and direct mobile UI design helps users navigate your web pages and focuses attention upon actions while reducing distraction.

● Smart, engaging uses of color: Employ the right colors and use contrasting color palettes to signal what’s important and guide movement through the website.

● Large, bold call to action (CTA) buttons for easy conversion: If CTAs are hard to see or find or appear in multiples, the intuitive and easy flow of your landing page will take a nosedive.

● Short, action-oriented copy that communicates brand values: Specific, active language in the body copy and on your CTA buttons will help users stay focused and attuned to the benefits - and need - for your product or service.

Now let’s look to Airbnb for a great example of how to pare down and optimize landing pages for mobile responsiveness. Below is the desktop landing page of the travel marketplace company.


Here we see great, actionable copy above a search options box and a bright, light-red CTA box. The minimal white icon bar across the top of the page allows the hero image and video function to shine.

Here’s the first thing we see when viewing Airbnb on a mobile device:


This is a great way to bring users on as app users and even bridge the activation gap for those who have downloaded, but may not have yet utilized the app. Optimizing mobile app engagement requires constant attention to onboarding. The app does this with clear, value-centric copy and an unmistakable call to action.

From here, we’re thrown to their responsive landing page:


The mobile landing page uses the same concise value statement but brings users more color, a new CTA, while simplifying the search box and avoiding the clutter of the menu bar.

The bright search and Airbnb logo icons communicate the brand’s passion and the appropriate user excitement of searching for a great getaway. With a bold icon to push it to the fore, the “Where to?” call to action masterfully prompts users to dive into finding their new favorite stay-away spot. The overall result is a minimally styled, yet engaging, brand experience that’s rewarding, whether or not there’s a specific destination in mind.

Responsive Mobile Email

Crafting a mobile email campaign is about maximizing the spatial limitations of mobile devices and using mobile consumer behaviors to best effect, while sticking with core copy principles.

While mobile tech interfaces are smaller and this does affect behaviors, there are a handful of ideas to remember when communicating with those on your lists:

  • Personalize emails and headlines whenever and however possible (and appropriate)
  • Write headlines that appeal to the reader’s self interest
  • Create value immediately with short copy
  • Use a simple layout
  • Use one actionable CTA to drive deep links for increased engagement and conversions

Mint, a money management app, does a great job of sending mobile emails that are well-suited to their users, prompting engagement and retaining customers.

Mint is a perfect example of behavioral emails done well, bringing users timely information that reinforces brand loyalty and engagement. Behavioral emails, or sending targeted emails to contacts based upon their actions, hugely benefit from optimization.



The headline immediately grabs any reader; a relevant rhetorical question is always a strong headline tactic. As Experian found, personalized subject lines see a 29.3% increase in open rates across all industries.

The nicely streamlined white and vividly colorful aesthetic is effective for communicating the spending habits and improving retention while allowing the use of color associations with nothing to distract.

The specific “Compare to Previous Spending” call to action, bold in orange, excites users to more engagement. It’s clear: It’s all about them. Experian also saw that personalized emails received 250% more click-throughs and six times the sales than non-personalized communications.

Optimizing Push Notifications

According to research done by Oracle, a sizable 68% of mobile users have push notifications enabled in their apps. Marketers see a 50% higher open rate for push notifications compared to email, while push notifications allow some apps to reach up to 92% higher rates of retention.

When optimizing your overall push notification strategy, remember that push notifications are delivered by permission only. Making these mobile home screen communications worthwhile for users and personally relevant can go a long way towards increasing engagement quality, quantity and duration of your in-app relationship.


Looking to PLNDR, an online clothing retailer, we see the brand delivering substantial and time-sensitive value in highly specific, branded language. Assuming a familiar tone with users, as with all copy, helps reinforce familiarity and motivate engagement. Concise messaging and direct value are a must for push notifications … make sure to keep your tone consistent with your brand.


GrubHub, the food delivery app, makes use of push notifications by reminding users they provide excellent customer service - and that dinner's almost ready. By reaching mobile customers through a very visible, relevant channel, the brand stays top of mind. Informational “Breaking News” is shared here in detailed copy and with a clever metaphor - seconds, please!

Mobile Referral Marketing

Hinging upon reciprocal altruism and grounded in the realities of social proof, referrals are shown to be the preferred method to move towards a buying decision:

  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. (Nielsen)
  • People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. (Nielsen)
  • Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions. (McKinsey)

Based off human nature, referral marketing is itself already optimized for use between friends. However, you can certainly attend to the quality of the user experience and boost engagement for better results.

To design a well optimized mobile referral marketing strategy, you need a few things:

  • Happy customers and good customer service
  • Lists segmented for effective mobile targeting campaigns
  • Double-sided rewards to drive action between referees and referrers


Sprig, a health food app, made their in-app referral program a lean, green, optimized machine. A bright and appealing CTA in the main menu reminds users to share their love of healthy eats - and be rewarded. The “Get Free Sprig” headline copy communicates the value of referring friends, while the body text cuts to the point of how both parties benefit from a healthy try of Sprig.

The CTA share buttons pop off the display, clearly defining the four easy options users can choose to claim their rewards. Once on the next page, the seamless invitation process finishes with a pre-filled message that requires only one click to go live and get results.

Referrals are done best when friction and static - none of which are present here - are removed from the UX. Successful brands move users’ momentum forward in intuitive, visually stimulating fashion.

Over to You….

This has been a guide to optimizing your mobile marketing strategy, focusing upon push notifications, mobile email, referral marketing and responsive landing pages. To increase your conversions, retain the most users and drive the most engagement across your channels, pay close attention to the user experience within your mobile playbook.

Any place where better copy, clearer CTAs or a better design is available, opt for a frictionless and intuitive UI for better results. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and consider each angle from the standpoint of consumer psychology: Is it 100% customized, personalized and communicative to your target users? When you feel your answers are all “yes” - and the results are there to prove it - you’ve effectively optimized your mobile marketing strategy.