Walk down the street, sit in a hotel lobby or watch travelers at an airport, and you'll see many people paying close attention to their mobile phones. With everyone on the go, more people also are reading emails on these devices.
Here are some indicators that should underscore the growing power of mobile:
- Increased mobile usage is not just a business phenomenon; marketing agency Merkle found that 63 percent of mobile consumers check their email one to four times per day.
- A recent survey by ClickZ found individuals are not casual phone readers. About 70 percent read emails, 18 percent skim their emails, and the balance simply glance and delete.
- Many individuals report their mobile phone is within reach 24 hours a day.
Marketers need to consider mobile activity and how it may affect their email programs. Best practices in email design are changing to ensure a good experience for all recipients, regardless of how they access their messages. Life would be easy if there were a limited number of devices to design for, but there are a lot of devices and few standards. The mobile user experience ranges from good on an iPhone (although emails autoscale by default and fonts may be small) to terrible on older BlackBerry devices (where images do not display and URL links can run on for several lines).
Here are six tips on how to provide the best user experience and have your emails cleanly render on as many mobile platforms as possible:
1. Include a "view on mobile device" link in your pre-header. Image blocking has always been problematic with email and many marketers include a "View on Web" option at the top of emails. Because design rendering on the small screen can be an issue on a mobile device, it's a good idea to include an additional choice for "View on Mobile." Plan to track how many users click this option to monitor your trends.