Email marketing is just like having children; as one problem is solved another is revealed. We all know than mobiles are the main medium for opening emails so we can be confident that we should design our websites and emails for mobile devices.
Unfortunately such a significant change means that all the truths that have become so comfortable over the last few years are now in doubt. The returns from your email marketing software from historical campaigns is not wrong so much as out of date. Much of it would have been gained from the times when emails would be opened on desktop and maybe laptop. Does the change in medium mean a change in content?
The simple answer is that it probably does. It goes beyond just making an email easier to read in lower quality displays, although this is obviously a vital consideration. The most significant change that comes with mobiles is one often overlooked despite the evidence all around you.
Do you ride on buses or trains? Do you walk through shopping centres? Consider the number of people who are using their mobile phones when travelling. I’m told the average commute takes up 27 days a year. It is unfortunate that the research did not investigate for what percentage of that time commuters were on their mobiles. My suspicion, based on observation, is a lot.
You will appreciate that a marketing email will need to compete with quite a few distractions, including noise, buffeting and having to stand in cramped conditions. Further research has suggested that around 70% of people read their emails while watching TV or films. One disquieting statistic was the percentage of Americans who check it in the ‘bathroom’. Let’s not go there.
It is essential to keep marketing emails simple, short and easily understood. Subject lines, for instance, need to grab the imagination in three or four words. Subtle is something to avoid and images should be clear and readable in an instant.
We will be covering how to make marketing emails mobile friendly in future articles, but in the meantime you’ve got some testing to do.