green beans blog mobile email

Creating Mobile-Friendly Emails

As the world continues to mobilize, more and more people are ditching their computers and working straight from their smartphones. Everything is so fast-paced today, professionals need to access their business on the go, and their phone is the easiest way to do so. Email is the top reported activity that individuals take part in on cell phones, and as a result, organizations and businesses need to understand how to create mobile-friendly emails in a professional manner.

First things first, you need to choose an email marketing approach. With over half of emails being opened on mobile devices, there are three effective approaches that marketers should take when designing these mobile-friendly emails. All are effective, but should be chosen based on what your email contains and what resources you have.

Scalable Design

This design, also known as mobile-friendly, can be used on all platforms. It is the most simple to implement, and also the most common. The attributes of this design include: a single column that is easy to navigate, large font that can be read on all devices,  and large touch-friendly links, buttons etc. This approach is best used for start-up businesses and teams with limited resources.

Fluid Design

Also known as a liquid layout, this design doesn’t alter the content, but instead has a good flow throughout the page. Because of this, it has an appealing look on all different devices. It works best with heavy text, and is best used for simple layouts, emails with lots of text, as well as teams with limited resources.

Responsive Design

This layout is best used for marketers who have the resources to implement it. It is far more complicated than the other approaches, as it detects and conforms to the specific device it is being used on. This approach is best used for larger mobile audiences, teams with the right skills and knowledge, and to have maximum control over the layout.

Steps to Creating

After selecting which design layout is right for your team, be sure to follow these steps to make your emails perfect for your audience.

Simplify

Be concise with your information, and put the most important parts at the beginning. Make sure to keep the design clean and simple, and focus of the essentials. Using the single column is the easiest way to accomplish this, as it will be easier for the user to navigate through and more flexible for all devices.

Remember Thumbs

When using smartphones, people explore with their thumbs, not their fingers. Thus, the buttons and links need to be larger so there is no zooming or scrolling. If people have to search for the action you want them to take, they’re more likely to shrug it off and just delete the email.

Sender line, Subject line, and Pre-header

The sender line displays who your emails are going to be “from.” This is the most prominent aspect of  your email, so be sure that it is recognizable and consistent. The subject line is the next aspect your audience will see, so make sure that it is short, sweet and to this point. Many devices will cut off a subject line that is more than 25-40 characters, so it is important to keep it within range.

The first three words of any email are what grabs the readers’ attention the most. The pre-header would be the “hook” of your email, usually as a sub-title. It’s the next thing you see after the subject line. It is important because if your reader doesn’t show interest this far, then odds are they won’t bother to read the rest. This sentence should be kept under 100 characters.

The Format

When deciding on colors, text, contrast, and more. there are rules that need to be remember The colors should obviously correlate with your organization, and be consistent with how it looks on multiple devices. The text in your emails should be large; the typical size is 14pt, but the minimum is 11pt for the content and 22pt for headers. Additionally, recall that many people have the brightness turned down on their phones, and continue to read messages even when outside. So when it comes to contrast, do not use the reverse type. The fonts should be written in a darker color on a light background, which helps from straining the reader’s eyes.

Images

Pictures, and graphics are an important and common aspect of emails. But before going picture crazy, do some research. When sending out emails, you won’t be sure which devices people are going to be using (Apple, Android, etc.) and the settings are different for each one. For example, Apple devices automatically enable images to display by default. However, Android’s are the opposite; their default setting is to turn images off. Because of this, ensure that you have descriptions of what your images are. This will help those who can’t see them be aware of what you are portraying.

View For Yourself

It is always best if you check out your own work before you send it out. There are plenty of free and cheap websites that you can use to help determine if the emails you prepare are professional and effective.

  • MailChimp’s Inbox Inspector is free and lets you preview what your designs will look like on multiple devices. This is great for  when you have a wide audience.
  • Litmus’s Email Previewer is very popular, as it not only shows what your email will look like for multiple clients, but it also checks for mistakes and errors within your email and gives you alternate options. This is useful for when you have writer’s block.

As of right now, more than half of people are using their mobile devices to check, respond and forward emails. That being said, having a mobile-friendly website and email strategy can greatly effect responses, and business overall.

Hat Tipcs:

email marketing engagement

How to Increase E-mail Marketing Engagement

As content marketing becomes increasingly technologically-savvy, email marketing is an easy and efficient way to reach current and potential customers. Whether small business sends out a monthly newsletter or new updates weekly, these tips will help make your emails more effective and beneficial for business.

1. Mobile-Friendly Emails

I can’t stress this one enough! Many customers will open your email on their phone or tablet, and if they can’t easily read it on that device, into the trash it will go! Make sure that any pictures or videos are easy to view on a phone and that your email layout is conducive to a mobile device as well. You don’t want to alienate customers before they even have a chance to read your email. It might sound small, but this will make a huge difference.

2. Take advantage of Holidays/Seasons/Relevant News

Is Father’s Day coming up? Use this as a chance to target your customers with a product or service that might be especially applicable for men! Send an email reminding them that Father’s Day is only a week away and that the product you’re offering might be just what they need. Next week is July 4th? Send a patriotic email celebrating the holiday while also reminding them of your red, white, and blue themed products. Emails like these will keep customers interested, up-to-date, and remind them of the practical reasons they should buy your products or services.

3. Target Your Audience

If possible, try to target your emails to specific demographics, such as gender, age, or location. These emails tend to be much more productive than “batch and blast” messages, where one generic message is sent to everyone. If this isn’t possible, consider creating separate emails for potential customers, one-time customers, and frequent customers. This will help you in giving the basic information to new customers without boring those who already know about you. Keeping customers interested is the first step in getting them to read your emails and take action.

4. Include Sharing Links

Include links at the bottom of the page for customers to forward your email to friends, as well as share it on their social media platforms. While it’s great if they personally receive and read your email, it’s even better if they share it with friends. Friends who receive a personal recommendation for a product or service from someone they know are much more likely to purchase. Make it easy for your clients to let others know about what you have to offer.

5. Show Appreciation

Customers want to feel valued and appreciated. Consider sending an email to first-time customers after they make their first purchase, telling them how much you appreciate your business. Maybe you could send a promotion/discount code to frequent customers, thanking them for their loyalty and long-time support of your business. Let them know that you’re glad they support your small business and you’re thankful to have them as customers. It really will make a huge difference.

6. Create Great Subject Lines

Customers are much more likely to open your email when you have a catchy subject line, or even better, an offer or incentive. Hubspot Blog explains that by including an incentive (like “Free Shipping when you spend $50!”) in your subject line, you’ll increase open rates by as much as 50%. Subject lines should be short and to the point, but they should also convince people that it’s worth taking the time to open and read your email.

7. Include Your Logo (on the top-left corner)

This might sound a little bit specific, and it is, but with good reason. Studies show that people instinctively look to the upper left-hand side of emails for the company’s logo. Give them what they want! By including your logo here, you’ll make sure that it gets the most visibility. If you want to be super thorough, you can include it in other places as well to make sure that it’s seen several times.

8. Conduct a 5 Second Test

Your customers should be able to get the message from your email in 5 seconds, whether it’s through the subject line, heading, pictures, etc. This is also known as the Call to Action. Do the people who receive your email know what you want them to do less than 5 seconds after opening the email? Test it out! Try sending your email to a friend or colleague to see if they can figure it out. If not, keep working until you’re able to get your message across quickly. It’s worth the extra effort to make sure that your customers will understand what you want them to know.

9. Ask for Feedback

Email marketing is a great way to get feedback from consumers, but you have to be careful. Above all, DON’T be pushy. You don’t want to annoy your customers to the point that they don’t even read your emails. Maybe include a line thanking customers for their consideration of filling out your survey and explaining how the results will benefit them. Don’t go overboard and ask for feedback all the time, but every once in a while is perfectly fine and useful to you and your customers.

10. Engage with Customers After the Purchase

Don’t forget about a customer after they’ve purchased a product from you. More importantly, don’t forget about that product and instead try to start selling them on something else. Follow up! Consider sending re-engagement emails 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days post-purchase. Thank them again for purchasing your product and reiterate that you’re always available if there’s anything else you can do for them. Turning one-time customers into loyal customers is the easiest way to ensure the success of your business!

If you’ve already established an email marketing strategy, you’re on the right track. However, there are rules of etiquette that should always be followed when communicating with customers. Follow these tips and get the most out of your email efforts.

Hat Tips:

green beans blog email testing

A/B Testing For E-mail Marketing

A/B testing: an effective way to gauge how to distribute your most important business information via email.

A/B Testing comes in handy when trying out new email formats and techniques. Without testing out your options, you won’t be able to determine what works best. If you have two options and neglect to test them independently, you may accidentally choose the worse option- the option that receives fewer opens, click-throughs and conversion rates. Let’s focus on the better option and give A/B testing an honest effort!

So how does A/B testing work?

It’s simple, really. You have two versions of an email you’d like to send. The trouble is that you are unsure which will be the most effective. Refer to these versions as Version A and Version B for the sake of the visual. Version A is sent to group A while Version B is sent to group B. As seen above, Version A only received 1 click, so this will be the version you discontinue. Version B received 25 clicks, meaning that 24 more people viewed your email. Clearly, Version B won out, and now you can confidently send this email to the remainder of your email list. By doing this, you will be certain of which email will produce better results, and clicking send may not be so daunting anymore.

So what all should I test?

There’s plenty of different things to test in your email. There may be many things you’d like to test, but it’s important to narrow it down to one specific thing in order to produce accurate results.

Here are things you can produce two variations for:

Subject Line: Your subject line is likely your most important piece of email info. The subject line is what the customer uses to decide whether to open or trash. Your subject line should use wording that attracts opens, while still remaining truthful. The body of your email and the subject line must be consistent.

Call to action: From:Person’s name or Company/Organization name?
The “from” part of your email is also important. Does your name or your company’s name provide more credibility? Which boosts click-rates?

Body Text:We suggest keeping your body on the shorter side since your customers are probably too busy to read a extensive email. Try to narrow it down to the main chunks in order to avoid clouding the email with unnecessary detail.

Images

Delivery Dates/Times, Weekday or Weekend?, Morning, afternoon, evening?

Which time is the best to reach your customers? Do most of your customers check their email around the beginning, middle or end of their work day? Or do they put off personal email checking until after dinner? Gathering this information will show which time is the most viewable time for your customers.

What do I do with my results?

Your focus should be on 3 areas of your email. The open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate once they’re on your website. Your aim is to get people out of the email and onto your website and place of business. If your email is allowing for many click-throughs but little conversion, then you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. If your email is eliciting higher conversion with less click-throughs, then maybe something has to change in the subject/from part of your email. There will be some trial and error taking place here. Make sure that while doing all of this, you are testing a large sum of people to produce accurate results. Also, make sure what is written in your email is affirmed by your website. Viewers should never wonder if they have landed on a wrong page. If your information is inconsistent, this breaks down the trust, credibility, and professionalism that is shared between you and your customers.

What is the easiest way to conduct an A/B test?

There is always the manual route. Split your current lists into two separate lists, and then send out one version of your email campaign to one list and the other to the other list. Compare the lists manually but exporting your data to a spreadsheet.

The easier route would be to use an email campaign software that has built-in tools for A/B testing. A few examples are MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Active Campaign.

~Happy emailing!~