From the “wish I’d written that” file …
In the July issue of DIRECT Magazine, Len Shneyder wrote one of the best articles I’ve seen on a hot topic: how to adapt e-mail copy and design for the fast-growing subset of recipients that read and consume their e-mail on mobile devices. Some of the key takeaways:
* Keep your message concise, direct, and to the point
* Make sure your key messages – offer, benefit, call to action – appear “above the fold” (that “fold line” being much higher than the preview pane on a desktop e-mail client)
* Consider not including add-to-address-book copy at the top of the e-mail, since on a mobile phone, all text is rendered the same size and, as a result, that copy may be the only thing the reader sees at first glance
* Lose the sidebar (mobile phones don’t take kindly to multiple columns)
* Use fully qualified URLs (http://…) to ensure they’re clickable
However valid Shneyder’s points are, I’d advise a measure of caution about adopting these recommendations in wholesale fashion across all your e-mail marketing. For one, it’s possible that some of these changes might actually inhibit response if the resulting design is viewed on a standard desktop PC. Secondly, few of us know with certainty what percentage of our audience is actually reading their e-mails on mobile devices.
One thing is certain: that percentage is growing, and fast. If you’re e-mailing regularly to an in-house database, consider integrating these changes (single columns, shorter copy, qualified URLs, no optimization copy) into your testing regimen, one change at a time, to better gauge their impact, for better or worse. Or if you have the capability, consider creating “mobile versions” of regular e-mail communications (for example, an e-newsletter) and allow subscribers to express a preference for mobile-friendly e-mails.
Question to the techies out there: is there broadcast technology that will recognize a mobile recipient in real time and deliver a mobile-friendly version of your message automatically?