More people than ever are checking their emails on mobile devices. According to Experian, 53% of all email opens now occur on smartphones or tablets. However, this rapid rise in the popularity of mobile emails had led to a rise in problems that email marketers have to overcome. People consume data very differently on smartphones and tablets than they do on desktop computers, so mobile emails have a whole different set of requirements. Here are some of the problems that mobile email marketers face, and how you can overcome them:
You’re Vying For Your Reader’s Attention
When people are checking their emails on a desktop computer, that’s generally the only thing their doing. Your email gets their full attention. However, when people are checking emails on a mobile device, they could be doing any number of other things at the same time, such as watching the television or eating dinner. You do not automatically get your reader’s full attention, so your email should be easy for them to take in and click though when their attention is elsewhere.
In order for your mobile email to be effective, you need to minimise the amount of information you put in it. Focus only on your main point so your reader is able to take it in, even if their attention keeps being pulled elsewhere. It can also be useful to put your call to action button close to where your reader’s thumb would fall on their device. They can then click through without really having to think about it.
This email for Zizzi keeps things very simple. Their focus is on one main point (30% off mains), and the call to action buttons are clear and easy for the user to click:
Your Subject Line Gets Cut Off
The subject line is often cited as being one of the most important elements of a marketing email. They are generally the catalyst that encourages a subscriber to open and read an email. However, on a mobile device, your subject line may not have the effect you were hoping for. For example, on an iPhone, it’s fairly common to see something like this:
Most of the subject line has been cut off because it didn’t fit across the small screen. If a lot of your subscribers check their emails on mobile devices, your subject lines may need a rethink. Of course, the obvious thing to do is just make your subject lines shorter, but that might lead to you having to compromise. If you don’t want to have to compromise on your subject line, there is another thing you can do. On many mobile devices, emails in the inbox are displayed like this:
Along with the subject line, users are also able to see the pre-header text before they open their emails. You can use your pre-header text as a ‘back up’ subject line, giving your readers a little bit of extra useful information that may encourage them to open the email, just in case your subject line gets cut off. Don’t just repeat what your subject line says though; they should each tell your readers something new.
Your Emails Get Squeezed And Squashed
This is one of the most common mobile email problems but, thankfully, it’s one of the easiest to resolve. An email that’s been designed for a desktop email client will look squeezed and squashed when it’s viewed on a considerably smaller mobile screen. This will make it difficult for your subscriber to read the email, and make your email look unprofessional.
You can overcome this by using responsive design for your emails. The use of responsive design will help ensure that your email has a logical layout and is readable, whatever device it’s being viewed on. As you can see from this example from Pizza Express, responsive design doesn’t radically change the content of the email. It just makes some slight changes so that the email’s design is pleasing on any device:
Emails on mobile devices can raise a few problems. But, as long as you’re prepared for them, you can make sure that all your readers get a good user experience, whatever device they’re reading your messages on.