Mobile email newsletters – what you need to know right now

There is no doubt that your subscribers are now accessing email newsletters with smartphones.

A recent Nielsen survey found 68% of UK smartphone owners used their device to check email in the past 30 days; and more than 35% of UK smartphone users check their work email address in their free time. (Firstsource/YouGov).

Mobile email is an important factor email marketers need to consider when designing their campaigns.

What should you do right now?

This really depends on your audience. If you are not sure how your subscribers are consuming your emails, you should have your email newsletter template optimised for viewing in a variety of devices and use creative newsletter names if possible.

Optimise your standard email newsletter template for mobile viewing

When designing, make sure the most important message or logo is on the top left so readers can always identify who the email is from. Important information should be placed on the left hand side, rather than forcing readers to scroll right. Design touch-friendly calls to action. There is nothing more annoying than trying to touch a tiny or cramped link and touching the link next to it by mistake. Ensure that your important calls to action are at least 44px x 44px in size.

Responsive email design

Responsive email designs are great when the majority of your audience use iPhones and the very latest versions of other popular phones such as Blackberry. When you decide to go down this route however you must make a conscious decision to design for mobile first. Taking a conventional email design and attempting to make it responsive afterwards is almost never worth the effort. Responsive designs must be built from the ground up to be effective and worth while.

Consider creating a special mobile version to include as a link

If you know your audience – or segment of your audience – will be consuming your messages on a smartphone create a specially optimised mobile version. All of the methods for optimising your standard email newsletter template apply to the mobile version.

Offering readers a choice means you don’t need to compromise the design of your standard template.

Design tip – You may also want to prioritise the things that need immediate action – which may be quite different than the order of things in your usual template. Overall you will have less space to make an impact with content. This will mean getting essential points across in less space and – for clarity – less wording.

Subscriber choice

Subscribers might open your email in a mobile – and can click to the optimised version. Or, they may decide to wait to view at their desktop. But you’ve given them the choice. That’s what it’s all about today – is giving your readers choice. To make it really prominent, put a link in the pre-header text of your email.

Don’t forget to optimise landing pages

When your subscriber clicks on a link are you sending them to a landing page that is optimised for email? Many marketers neglect to ensure a smooth journey for the mobile user. Make sure your templates (and their back pages) and landing pages, are also optimised for viewing in all environments.

Insight & measurement

Thanks to the metrics available from your email marketing campaigns, you’ll get great insight into viewing patterns. This can help you decide going forward what changes you need to make to your communications. (left: Newsweaver users have access to metrics on mobile/desktop consumption of an email – and can also view by specific mobile device.)

If you are a Newsweaver customer contact your account manager to discuss your options and for further advice.