[Editor's Note: Cindy Krum of MobileMoxie.com was too ill to speak during the Nov. 28 "Website and Email Design for a Mobile World" webinar, which is now available on demand and features speaker Greg Hickman, founder of MobileMixed.com. Krum promised, however, to answer attendees' questions when she felt better. Her answers are below.]
Mobile email design is a bit of a misnomer, because there is really no such thing as an email that is only accessed on a mobile device. Mobile email design is simply the process of making our existing emails look better when they are opened on mobile devices.
Email design is already has the potential to be more complex than Web design, because there are so many different email clients that people could be using to access their email. In some cases, people use services like Gmail or Hotmail. And, in others, they are using an enterprise email solution provided by their company or something provided by their ISP.
All of these email hosts can be configured to display email on a mobile phone: in some cases through the native software on the phone, in other cases with a downloadable application for the email software and still in other cases, using Web-based email access on the phone. Whichever way the user is accessing your email could change how it displays—and this is true in both the desktop and mobile worlds.
1. Mobile Subject Line Best Practices
The most important thing to remember about the "subject" line on a mobile phone is that it is not as important as the "from" line on a mobile phone. In most mobile email clients, the "from" line is displayed MUCH more prominently than the "subject" line—bigger, and first. So start segmenting your communication with different "from" lines so that the recipients know what they are looking at right away. If you have a newsletter, a regular marketing email and a "deals" email, that should be conveyed in the "from" line.