Designing Emails for the Mobile World

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If you are an email marketer, you need to be thinking about how people are now consuming email. This activity has been taken for granted for many years, but it has changed dramatically in the past few years with the proliferation of smart phones that can render HTML properly.

So, forget text messages. Make your emails mobile friendly. This is easy, here are the key ingredients:

  1. Start with a good, brief subject. This really hasn’t changed and remains to be hugely important. Your subject should compel the reader to open the email instead of pressing delete. Keep it short… think 60 characters…
  2. Pre-headers… many email marketers still don’t do this. Don’t create a fancy email with images, tables, and formatting without first inserting a plain text sentence before everything. This loads first and will display as the preview text on many devices (and in many web browsers, AND in MS Outlook. Keep this to the length of your average tweet… and it should include your purpose or call to action. don’t repeat your subject.
  3. Links… your links should go to mobile-friendly pages. If they don’t, stop email marketing and start focusing on designing mobile friendly web pages. It’s the future people, get on board.
  4. Images… think back to 1999… small, light weight emails were important then, and they are still important now. They open quickly on mobile devices and people don’t want to wait for your images to load.
  5. Be brief. Most people don’t want to read 1,000 word emails on their phones. Say what you need to say in 100 words or less. If you have more to say, include catchy headers and hooks and then link to the text.
  6. Phone numbers people can click are a real boon to business. Do it.
  7. Let people reply. Stop sending messages from unattended email boxes. Why wouldn’t you want someone to reply to you? Isn’t that why you’re emailing them?

Want some more advice? Here’s a great article from ClickZ on email marketing for the mobile world by Melinda Krueger.