With the many changes to advertising and the way we consume media, it’s comforting that email marketing is still a trusted way
of reaching your audience.
But there is an important thing to note about email marketing: While the format of email hasn’t changed much since it was introduced, how we’re consuming such content has—people check their emails on their computers and mobile devices.
With that in mind, it’s important to adapt your content so that it’s accessible to both audiences. Here are some tips:
1. Focus on the subject line
Consider how long you make the subject header. If it’s too long, it will cut off; if it’s too short, you might fail to entice people to open the email. Finding subject lines that meet fit criteria for desktop and mobile consumption is difficult, so instead of worrying about all of them, focus on one or two aspects.
Depending on the email app, the character limit could range from 30 to 50 characters. If it’s between 50 and 70 characters, the keywords that pull people in should be at or near the beginning. Placing it near the end means there’s a greater chance of it not appearing—and that’s a lost opportunity.
Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out whether your readers will use mobile or desktop, but keeping the subject line short will improve the chances of it being read.
2. Know your audience
And you know your audience by learning about them. At the onset of your email efforts, you will have a rough idea of the demographics you want to reach, but once you’ve sent one or two emails your analytics will begin to paint a picture of who’s reading and receiving your emails.
Refer to these analytics regularly—every week would be a good start—to see what devices people are using to read your emails, as well as to learn when they’re opening them and the click-through rate.
3. Pay close attention to design
Regardless of the content in your email, if it’s difficult to read or fits awkwardly into a mobile format, you’ve lost your audience. Screens may differ in size, but ultimately they will scale down to the same level.
If you’re putting together a newsletter, services like Mailchimp enable you to create templates that work on both mobile and desktop. If you’re designing a custom version, you will need to do some testing to ensure things go smoothly.
This also includes font size. Consider what the optimal size is for a good reading experience and place yourself in the shoes of those reading your mail for the first time. Try sending it to some of your colleagues or friends to get an objective opinion.
4. Consider the touch vs. click experience
When you’re reading an email on desktop, the mouse allows for more specific clicks and easier navigation. Mobile doesn’t have the same practicality since fingers don’t have the same accuracy as a mouse and the smaller screen only adds to the problem.
Therefore, if you have links or buttons that you want readers to click on, design it so that they’re of sufficient size and are spaced away from other buttons to avoid accidental clicks.
5. Remember that timing is important
One rule for normal email that applies to mobile email is timing, and for good reason. While it will vary with your audience, generally the best times to send an email is during the working day between Tuesday and Thursday, with the afternoon working best. The infographic below from a previous email-marketing article
will give you an idea of when people send and check their email accounts:
6. Check content for spam
Here’s a small but important piece of info to remember before you send an email: If your message is filled with links, your email provider may flag it as spam and filter it into a different section, meaning it’s not seen by your audience. Test out your mail first through services like Email Spam Test
to ensure that your email isn’t going to be flagged before you send it.
7. Set realistic goals
While the format is popular, you should bear in mind that the open rate and click-through rate for email tends to be rather low. People are normally overwhelmed with new arrivals in their inbox; they will either ignore it or quickly scan through the contents. An even smaller percentage will open click links, so brace yourself for potentially lower than expected open rates. Over time, it will build up, provided the content is interesting.
Quinton O'Reilly is a writer of social media/tech stuff for Simply Zesty, where a version of this story first appeared.