According to statistics, nearly half of all e-mails are opened on mobile devices. That’s certainly huge – especially since it was just three years ago that only ten percent of emails were opened in a mobile format. So what can you do to capitalize on this radical shift?
A good start is to re-examine the customer experience from the mobile user’s point of view.
Step #1. Don’t overlook your pre-header text.
Lots of inboxes are formatted so that users can see not only the subject line, but also a line of text from the email, called the pre-header. This text is pulled from the first bit of text at the top of your e-mail. You can also conceal this text and still have it show in the pre-header area, if you want.
When it comes to the pre-header, the default text for many email templates is not very effective for enticing a recipient to read your email. You should ask yourself if your pre-header provides a favorable brand name experience. Is this really what you want people to relate to when they read your subject line and see your name as the sender? Return and re-evaluate your pre-header text because it’s showing up in mobile inboxes everywhere.
You also might try incorporating your pre-header into the subject line to bring readers in and urge them to click. The pre-header is an opportunity to infuse value into your email; don’t put just anything, and keep in mind that iPhones cut off your subject lines at about 35 characters.
Step #2. Embrace scrolling in an opened e-mail.
Why does the same email often look different on various mobile devices? It’s because not every smartphone or mobile device fully supports HTML and CSS and displays the email differently.
In addition, Android devices vary in what they do and don’t support, which makes them a challenge to deal with. Some scale the email, some cut off the right side and some support responsive design. iPhones, for example, are a little friendlier and scale emails to a 320-pixel width.
But with scaling comes other concerns, such as text and image re-sizing. Scrolling is a truly natural behavior on any mobile device. Clicking, or “tapping” as it were, represents a decision.
In many emails, you have no idea where your clickable links will be, especially with numerous small selections. You have to make the reading experience more user-friendly in emails by allowing scrolling. There’s no need to compact as much info as possible “above the fold.” There is no fold on your iPhone.
Accept the idea of scrolling and keep in mind that people will naturally scroll on their mobile devices.
Step #3. Recognize that on mobile devices, a finger is the new mouse.
On mobile devices, people are not clicking. Instead, they’re tapping, rendering your “Click on this Link” call-to-action illogical. On a smartphone, there is no computer mouse to click – only a finger or stylus to tap.
“Click on this Link” is actually a poor call-to-action (CTA) message, anyhow. You have to include a lot of value, see to it the buttons are topical, and inform recipients exactly what they’ll get when they click or tap on your e-mails.
The “tap” experience is more than the text of your buttons and calls to action. It’s also about the area or place you want them to physically tap. Keep in mind that a finger needs more tapping area than a computer mouse requires clicking space. Make sure they can really tap on that valuable CTA you crafted.
Step #4. Don’t stop at e-mail; optimize the entire purchase process.
You can invest all day optimizing your mobile e-mails to make sure they look beautiful on all devices and the whole thing can fall apart when they visit your website.
For consistency, do your best to sync the email and web experiences. That means your landing page should permit viewers to convert. You should have the same functionality to make a purchase on a mobile device that you do a computer.
For B2B applications, ensure people can easily read and fill out your forms on both platforms. Don’t make it any more complicated than it needs to be.
Helios Software President Robert Cochrane has been developing software & marketing
automation solutions for 27 years. Contact Robert with questions about Helios or the New Sunshine Marketing HUB at email@example.com.
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