Think about it – do you want to read long and complex messages on your phone? When you’re on the go? No. Which means neither do your customers or supporters?
Start to re-think your content. Long-form content (think newsletters that have more than a couple of short, to-the-point paragraphs) doesn’t work for mobile readers. So look at the content you’re building and start to re-think it: could it be condensed?
Can a picture tell the story better? Can you turn one newsletter into a series by cutting it into pieces?
Tip #2: avoid using multiple columns
Prior to the rise of mobile and mobile communication, emails had started to take on an almost website-like feel – with multiple columns and navigation elements similar to what you find on websites. But with mobile communications driving content to be more focused, and also just to fit a more physically condensed space, multiple columns cause problems.
Tip #3: clear and easy calls to action
You want to make it easy for your readers to take an action, to do something that keeps them connected to you – come to your website or event registration page, click through to a white paper you wrote, learn more about your services. You can increase the odds of them taking that action by carefully thinking through the design of your emails.
What you really want to do is make it easy for your readers to take the action you suggest.
Whether you give them large text links (with clear separation from surrounding text) or easy to tap buttons, make sure that there is no confusion about what action you want your reader to take: learn more? Register for an event? Make a donation? Make it incredibly easy.
You should also be thinking about where that button or link takes them – will they be dumped into a screen that is hard to see on a mobile device? That could derail the entire experience for them.
Tip #4: avoid using tiny fonts
This one would seem to be pretty self-explanatory…but is no less important.
At a minimum, use 11 point font for body text (and go larger for headlines – 22 points is good) and strong color contrast (dark text on a light background) – but also be sure to test the content on yourself…send the email to yourself and view it on your phone or tablet…or borrow one from a friend…
Tip #5: use images carefully
Images are a great way to convey a message, tell a story…create a connection. But if you don’t carefully consider how you’re going to use images, you may end up with some unintended consequences that lead, at best, to someone not reading your email. At worst they’ll unsubscribe from your list and you won’t be able to communicate with them at all.
Some mobile email clients may not display images by default…so be sure that you’re using what is called “Alt Text,” or text that appears if the image doesn’t, to at least let people know what’s there.
And last but not lease, before you send any message out to your customers or supporters, TEST THE EMAIL BY SENDING IT TO YOURSELF!! And then view it with your readers in mind…and make changes accordingly.
A few extra minutes of testing can save a lot of headache later.
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