"For example, if you send out an email and the main call to action is free shipping, that's great if you're on a computer in your office and you want to just click to buy and get it shipped to your house," Arnold says. "But if you're on the sidelines at a soccer game watching your kids play soccer and you get this email, maybe the message should be, 'Stop by on your way home and pick it up.'
" … Also," Arnold continues, "people generally read email on their mobile phones in order to sort through their email and decide what they want to read later. So that might change your call to action. Instead of 'Buy now,' you might be more interested in saying something like, 'Save this email. It contains your link.'"
3. Show respect. "Every wireless provider touts fast speeds," Dayman says. "But your targets aren't all located in big cities where these speeds are [possible]. Be respectful of your targets' time and bandwidth by only sending what is really needed for them to get the message."
In other words, stick to the facts and don't push for a mobile conversion—that'll probably happen later, on a desktop, Williams says. "Focus on your core message and keep the copy to a minimum."
To incorporate those hints into their mobile email strategies, marketers may benefit from these design tips:
1. Always include text. Dayman says HTML tags can often get garbled on mobile devices, and Marshall adds that devices, including BlackBerry, default to text.
"It's critical to closely examine how you create the text version," Marshall says. "And perhaps place more emphasis on this process. Specifically, what text and links appear at the very top of the email? Can your Blackberry readers understand your message and take action through the text version?"