Recently we covered the changing nature of how emails are read. No longer are customers sitting at desks but are now pushing their way onto trains while they check their inboxes. We need to design marketing emails to cope with the new reality.
What is required is not just responsive emails, although that is an essential nowadays. If a customer opens one not optimised for the device they are viewing it on the odds are they will delete it, or at the very least close it.
Research varies in its specific conclusions as regards what puts readers off the most, but near the top of all lists comes images. Our difficulty is that much will depend on the device being used, and not only the size, but the download speed and poor rendering with the operating system being used.
One point where most commentators agree is for images not to be used as the sole link or other vital content. This stands even when most of those on your email marketing list use laptops or desktops. Some suggest doing away with images altogether. With Alt-text not being displayed by email clients and there being a requirement for it with regards disabled customers, one can see the argument.
Dusting a marketing email with various social media buttons seems to be seen as a good idea by some. I assume those marketing emails I receive with links to apps I’ve not heard of have been tested but then I wonder. By all means include them, but below the fold.
A major irritant for readers is having to scroll through an email to get to the important information. There’s not much room at the top so this not only means cutting out as much text as possible but eliminating all unnecessary content.
Don’t think about what you can get rid of, but what you must include for the best likelihood of completion. That logo that you spent a lot of money on having designed by a well respected company should look good in miniature so keep it as small as possible. Even consider not having it there at all. Heresy I know, but we’re talking sales here.
The most vital bit of any marketing email is the call-to-action. This should be high up in the email, big enough for thumbs to be able to select it, and easy to see as we don’t all hold mobiles close to our nose. If you have other links then ensure that they are easy to pick out and activate. I’m a big bloke and my hands are in proportion. I get frustrated by stupidly small links near to one another.
Do not force particular font sizes. It is probable that for some devices it will not be the optimum size and it can play havoc with the display. Leave it at native settings or for the user to decide.
Most importantly, and likely to scupper all your careful planning, is the unreliability of android mobile email clients. Further, they tend to vary with older devices running outdated operating systems and with different sized displays.
Test and test again.