Are Smart Phone Users Missing your Emails?
by Kristy Barker - Client Services Manager, What Counts?
Mobile marketing has been a hot topic for awhile, but it’s getting even hotter as the number of smart phone users climbs to almost 50% of the cell phone using population. More than ever, people are accessing email, websites and social media on their mobile devices. As an email marketer, this presents some challenges, as well as some opportunities that many of you may be missing.
To make sure you are reaching your recipients at all points of communication, including mobile devices, consider incorporating some of the following ideas for smart phone enhanced emails.
Create a preference center that allows users to indicate whether they usually receive your emails on a smart phone or personal computer. By gathering this information, you could create 2 versions of the email and optimize one for mobile devices. A word of caution about this approach – not everyone consistently checks email the same way, so you may end up with many people viewing mobile versions on PCs and vice versa.
However, your resources may not allow for creating multiple versions of one email. In that case, it’s best to design emails so that they will fit both the mobile device and PC screens. A few design and content considerations can ensure your emails are appropriate for both channels.
Instead of a preference center for users, include a “View Mobile Device Version” or “View in a Browser” link at the top of the email that will take readers to an HTML hosted page of the email.
Include alt-text for images. If images are not rendering correctly on a mobile device, the recipient will still be to use the descriptions provided by the alt-text tags to determine if they want to view the message on a PC later.
Use the subject line and pre-header area to engage the reader. Even if the message doesn’t display properly, your reader will still understand what the email is about – and can choose to revisit it later.
Don’t make clickable links too close together. If the links are too crowded, your reader will have a hard time clicking on them from a mobile device, thus lowering your engagement rate.
Keep in mind the small screen size. You should still follow the “above the fold” rule that you use for normal inbox delivery, but your “above the fold” line may be in a different place on a mobile device. Similarly, your email should be between 500-600 pixels wide. Avoid making your email too long as most people will not be scrolling on mobile devices.
As a step in your testing process, always view your emails on several mobile devices in your office before broadcasting to customers. Even if you follow all of the best practices for mobile device email design, there are still some aspects that may not render correctly on smart phones – and this step will give you a chance to correct any issues.
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