You have worked hard to develop your email creative so that it meets email design best practices, but now you must consider a new imperative: making your email easy to view on a mobile device.
Mobile adoption among B2B and B2C users has exploded over the past few years, and it's only going to continue to rise:
Because reading email is the number one activity on smartphones, it's only a matter of time before all of your emails will have to be mobile-friendly.
Depending on your subscriber base, you might already be well past that point. Check with your web analytics provider, or use tools such as Litmus or Return Path to find out what your subscribers use to read their email.
Design for Mobile in Mind
As more subscribers use their smartphones to view your email, you must keep your email program successful by designing your emails in a mobile-friendly manner.
Keep these four points in mind when you design your email for mobile:
1. Use a preheader and hosted versions. The first and easiest item to include in your email copy is a "view on mobile" link in your email preheader. It links to the text version of your email or an HTML-"lite" version.
The HTML-"lite" version typically includes an image - your logo and maybe a small hero image - but otherwise minimizes image elements.
2. Design for mobile devices. When you design for mobile, don't reduce the amount of content, because that minimizes the email experience. Instead, add features to "mobilize" the experience:
3. Create mobile-friendly landing pages. Mobile-friendly emails need mobile-friendly landing pages to encourage subscribers to click through.
4. Promote your mobile applications. Always include a link to download your mobile apps in your emails. Place the link at the end of your body copy and consider sending a dedicated email intended to encourage mobile users to download your mobile app.
The Last Word
The move toward mobile doesn't have to signal the death of feature-rich emails. Creating mobilize-friendly email versions is really a balancing act, where your shorter message should be comfortably consumable on a small screen if a user wants to see it while traveling.
Longer messages can be saved for when subscribers get home. That said, mobile users will remember which brands consistently deliver solid experiences. That's a list your brand wants to be on.
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Mike Hotz is a senior strategic consultant for Responsys, working with clients to design, develop, and execute cross-channel digital marketing strategies that contribute to their cross-channel digital marketing success. As an industry veteran, Mike has worked in e-mail marketing since 1998, designing, building, and executing e-mail and multichannel direct marketing strategies focusing on increasing customer engagement, nurturing leads, supporting sales organizations, and driving revenue for companies such as CDW, OfficeMax, Grant Thornton, and Digitalwork.com.
December 12, 2013
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