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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.

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