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10 Ways Mobile Changes Email Design

Posted: July 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 10 Ways Mobile Changes Email Design

10 Ways Mobile Changes Email Design

Mobile is a big shift in the way people consume information.

Businesses, organizations and anyone that sends emails will need to figure out how to best earn the attention of mobile users. People are using their phones, smartphones, tablets, and other variations of mobile devices to open their inboxes.

As consumers access email more with their mobile devices it becomes necessary for email marketers and designers to understand how to best design email to earn attention and sales.

Here are 10 ways mobile changes email design.

1. It’s a Finger Tapping World

The obvious change in email design when it comes to mobile is the use of fingers. No longer to people have the mouse pointer to carefully select the item they want to click. Instead we all need to use the digits we were born with to make selections. Our fingers come in all shapes and sizes. Many fingers are large so it becomes important to make sure everyone can click on email calls to action. Make sure those links and buttons still look like links and buttons, but make them easy to click.

Amazon.com Email DesignAmazon’s emails have easy to click items.

 

2. Bigger Fonts

Just as with mobile website design font size is important. If you look around you’ll notice people on their phones. Many are squinting to read the small fonts on websites and in emails. It’s frustrating when we can’t read the font on our phones. Find a font size that is easy for your target customer to read on their phone. You don’t want it to be obnoxiously large, but just large enough to actually see.

 

3. White Space Remains Important

White space is important for mobile email design. Not only do links need to be large enough for clicking, but they also need space around them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on the wrong item in an email. It wastes my time even if it’s just a few seconds, but it’s frustrating and makes me not want to worry about clicking in the email again. Make sure everything has proper spacing in emails. It’s visually appealing and better for the finger clickers.

 

4. Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe Button

The unsubscribe button scares some business leaders. Don’t be afraid of it. You want people to unsubscribe if they don’t want your emails. Mobile email is not an excuse to make the subscribe button even smaller. Make sure people can easily see it and click on it if they want to leave your list. You don’t need those people anyway. Focus on the people that love your company.

 

5. Photos are Popular

Photos have been popular with desktop computing and they remain popular with mobile computing. People take photos, share photos, and look at photos. Emails are great for including great photography. Don’t be afraid to showcase your company’s photos in emails. People using their phones like to take in a visual story just as much as they like reading text.

Eddie Bauer Email Design

A great photo in a recent leggi di più Eddie Bauer email.

 

6. Video Continues to Add Interest

Video also remains important for mobile users. There are a few ways to get short videos to play in email, but really you just need to have a call to action that takes users to video on a website and they’ll be ready to watch. Call email users to action with an image of a video player and they’ll be likely to clickthrough to learn more about the item being featured. Reviews in emails are common. Think about linking to video reviews done by your customers.

Scientific America Email DesignThis is a snippet of an email from Scientific American. There are two videos and also plenty of white space making it easy for viewers to click with their fingers.

 

7. Use Headlines to Segment

I like to think of emails as blog posts. This is more for newsletter-type emails, but if your emails have multiple sections it’s an important point. Use headlines to section off the email message. People are scanners by nature. They’ll read through the headlines and the images before deciding what is important enough to read. This is true with mobile as well. Use headlines to segment the email and make sure the headlines are easy to read and space well. Sometimes they can become squished when they turn into multiple line headlines.

 

8. People Do Read Long Emails

Speaking of long emails, it’s entirely Ok to have them. People are willing to read long emails on their mobile devices. The email still needs to be interesting, but if it is people will take the time to read on their smartphone or tablet. People actually like reading longer items on their phone. Don’t think that mobile means there should be less content in the email.

The one thing to make sure is that the email still loads in a reasonable amount of time. People won’t wait for a huge email to open on their phones.

 

9. Make It Easy to Share

People do share emails from time to time. People seem to share things just as much if not more on their smartphones. Make sure that if you want people sharing your emails that there is a call to action. Make it as easy as possible to share the content in your email. Popular items people will share include promotions, photos, and videos.

Old Navy Email Design

Surprise! It’s a sale at Old Navy!

 

10. The Real Issue with Mobile Versioning

With desktop computing people have been creating versions of their websites. Some websites have multiple versions for desktop users, tablet users, and various smartphone users. It can be a pain to manage. I really like the idea of creating responsive designs for websites and I think responsive email design is interesting as well.

The issue I have is that maintaining multiple versions can be costly and time consuming. Determine how your target customers are consuming your emails and focus on optimizing for those people. Focus on the channel they prefer and make the email design the best for their device whether that’s desktop, smartphones, or tablets.

Mobile is a game-changing shift in modern day media. It will be important for designers and marketers to understand how mobile will impact the use of email. Design your emails for mobile users and you should continue to see email be one of the best ways to market to consumers.


Dayne Shuda is a contributing blogger for Fluttermail. He writes about the latest trends in email marketing on the Fluttermail blog. Fluttermail is an email provider for small businesses.

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