The Better Social Business BlogJournalizing work in the trenches of all things web, social & interactive
On 09, Oct 2012
Well they need to be.
ExactTarget, however, is suggesting that we not refer to email as “mobile email” … they prefer email marketers use “optimization consideration” approach towards email because email audiences will likely view a message on a combination of desktops, tablets and mobile devices.
However, it’s hard to ignore the whole mobile email discussion because, despite the optimization considerations referenced by ExactTarget (which make perfect sense), the fact of the matter is that mobile phone use for accessing email for work or personal purposes is skyrocketing every single month.
ComScore reported back in January 9 of this year that 89.6 million Americans used their mobile phone to access email during the three-month average period ending November 2011, growing 28% from the previous year and representing an additional 19.5 million mobile email users. In November, nearly 2 of every 5 mobile users in the U.S. used email (both smartphone and non-smartphone users), with penetration much higher among just smartphone owners at 78%.
And as recently as this past week, the Digital East conference that took place at the Dulles Westin on October 2-3, 2012 had tweets like the one below being tweeted during their mobile marketing session:
— Ali Baumann (@ABaumann) October 3, 2012
Yeah, these types of figures and trends are kinda of hard to ignore…
For those thinking about their email newsletter mobile opens and mobile email design efforts, here are some tips to help you figure out how to better cater to your emails to your mobile audience.
5 Tips Help You Approach Your Emails in a More Mobile-Friendly Way
1. Strip out non-essential visuals.
Yes, there’s no doubt about it…visuals, photos and videos are totally *in* but the mobile version of your email bulletins, alerts, announcements, sales promotions or newsletters should (whenever possible) adopt a “less is more” approach. Remember, mobile is all about speed and convenience. As a result, an image-minimalist effort is best.
2. Scaleable images.
If an image must be used or included in your mobile email design, be sure it scales nicely and in proportion to the screen size of the mobile device, be it a handheld or a tablet.
3. Go for short form!
Because as shared above, mobile is about speed and convenience, your content needs to be quick and easy to read. Avoid lengthy paragraphs at all costs; instead link to long-form content whenever possible.
4. Embrace scrolling!
With regard to content, don’t worry about excessive scrolling or having to stuff everything towards the top of your mobile email design. Users on mobile expect to scroll and are used to the elongation mobile design tends to require. Besides, if your mobile email design is responsive, every individual content element usually becomes block level and tends to stack when viewed on mobile…thus forcing the need to scroll.
5. Decisions, decisions!
With regard to email design and catering to your diverse user base, and again referencing ExactTarget’s “optimization considerations,” you will need to determine if your email design will be:
- a) primarily designed for desktop viewing with links to mobile-friendly version … OR …
- b) a responsive email design that will conform to the screen size of most any device
Ultimately, your approach to email design will largely depend on your goals, your email audience and let’s not forget budget!!
And as a side note, if you are leaning towards responsive email design, plan on spending more time and budget on this option due to increased design and development efforts required.
Regardless of your approach, however, do plan your email design strategy carefully.
And remember: factoring in your mobile audience is, these days, a must and not just a plus.
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In between professional engagements, Mayra guest blogs and contributes content regularly to a number of publications both in and outside the Washington DC metro area. Mayra is also the editor of The Better Social Business Blog, "Pet Tech" columnist for the Virginia Maryland Dog Magazine, contributes an “e-Trends” column to the Loudoun Business Journal and is founder of the Loudoun Fairfax Local Bloggers Meetup group which mentors and helps local bloggers network, learn and exchange ideas.