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Ask Haley: Email display on mobile devices

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Q: Should I worry about the way my email displays on mobile devices?

In short, yes…

Consider these statistics:

  • One in three Americans owns a smartphone (Haselton)
  • Today, 16% of email is read on mobile devices (Fickes)
  • Email reading on mobile devices rose 81% from October 2010 to April 2011 (Fickes).  This number is expected to grow exponentially!

On the road, on a plane, or from your own living room–odds are you and many people you know, are reading email on mobile devices and tablets as well as on their personal computer.  That being said, it’s important to create emails that look great and get your message delivered on both.

So what can you do?

Here are a few elements to consider:

  • Subject lines.  Keep ’em short, sweet (and catchy).
  • Less is more.  In mobile devices, images are compressed.  So, think simple headers, single columns, and simple imagery.
  • Readability.  With a smaller device, you should use a larger font.  An iPhone’s iOS, will automatically adjust any font to its minimum 13-point standard. But some phones don’t do this for you.  We would recommend using a 14-point minimum for body copy, and a 22-point minimum for headlines.
  • Choose background colors wisely.  A bright background might be distracting.  Use soothing neutrals instead.
  • Call to action front and center.  Scrolling left, right or down to find out what the message is and what you want the reader to do won’t work here.  You want your message and call to action up front and center.  (Another thing to note is that image-based links might not appear or render well on a mobile device.  Keep calls to action text based.)
  • If all else fails — always include a “view as web” link.  Email services such as our own HaleyMail automatically include these on every email.  This is a good way to ensure everyone can see your message the way you want it seen.

Don’t want to worry about all the ins and outs of making your email mobile friendly?  Let us handle it for you.  Give us a call at 888.696.2900 – we’d be happy to help you with all of your email marketing needs.

Want more ideas in email marketing?  Download our FREE Email Marketing Guide for staffing firms: http://www.haleymarketing.com/Email_Marketing_Guide

Jennifer Jordan
Marketing Manager


Sources used to write this article:

Haselton, Todd.  Android market share jumps as BlackBerry slides; smartphones now owned by 1 in 3 Americans.  http://www.bgr.com/2011/07/05/android-market-share-jumps-as-blackberry-slides-smartphones-now-owned-by-1-in-3-americans/. July 5th, 2011.  BGR. Site accessed December 2011.

Fickes, Ted.  Need a mobile strategy? Start with your email.  http://brightplus3.com/2011/07/mobile-strategy-starts-with-email/#.TvtmhVawWaH. July 23, 2011.  Bright+3.  Site accessed December 2011.

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