You may spend a lot of time thinking about the text and content of your marketing emails. But if you don’t make them attractive with a catchy subject line or the first few lines of your message seem boring, subscribers may not open your message at all. This gets even more complicated if someone looks at your email on a mobile device. When it comes to cell phones, some customers can’t open your emails — or they can’t read them, or the images are blocked. Here are some eye-opening facts about email, iOS, and mobile phones/devices.
A Strong Introduction Is an Attention-Getter
55% of emails are opened on a mobile device. This is a nearly 600% increase in the last five years. This means that if you’re not optimizing your email for cell phones, your email is unlikely to be read. Even if only a third of your customers read your full email, 100% of them will see your email name, your subject line, and the preview text. Make those items smart and appealing. Those three things are visible when your message appears in an inbox, and it’s imperative you make these items “pop:”
- “From” Name: Is your audience more likely to open an email from you, personally, or from the brand? If you have a personal relationship with your customers, your name should be the name they see in the “from” line. If your brand is what they know (for instance, you have a large company with several locations), then the brand is what you should use. If you send emails from a “no reply address” you’re sending a message to customers that you don’t care enough to address their concerns.
- Subject Line: Is it compelling or interesting? Does it offer value? You get about 35 characters before a subject line is cut off on most screens. Put the most important information first. Also, understand that if your characters get cut off, something offensive may be the result. (If the last seven characters are cut off from the word “assistance,” what is your message conveying?) Search for your brand name and the keyword “email” on Twitter. You may be unpleasantly surprised that someone has tweeted an embarrassing subject line or preview text from one of your emails.
- Preview Text: These words are the first few words of the email – about 25 characters. Sometimes businesses use line at the beginning of an email saying, “If you can’t see the images, click on this HTML address.” Unfortunately, that will appear in the preview text, unless you use code to hide it in the email. If that is too technical for you to do or optimize, move that text elsewhere. Leverage your text to make your customers feel good, or help them see there’s something valuable in the email. Be creative: “Here are the next steps,” “Thanks for all you do…” etc.
Consider the Device and Optimize Your Email
When it comes to actual content, keep in mind that a number of people block images from their emails. To work around that, you can use something called “styled alt text.” Use a balance of images and text, and then put background colors behind the images. If the pictures are blocked, your email still looks interesting. Or, you can provide a description of what the image shows. Again, this is done through code.
Also, think about what you’re putting in the email. Sometimes the text is in a color that is too light to read on a cell phone, or the font is too small to be read on a tiny device. Inspect the resolution of your logos and images. If they are low-resolution and someone views them on a device with a high-resolution screen, your images will look fuzzy and unprofessional. If you save the image at 2x the intended display size, it will look better when a customer opens the email.
Create an email design that is responsive. That is, people can click on links designed to work on a desktop computer or mobile device. This, too, is accomplished with code. While it can be challenging, it can have huge payoffs. “Responsive email” gets better clicks and opens. However, if you use an image as a button, it will be blocked if someone has blocked images altogether. There are workarounds by creating a table cell with background colour, and providing a text link.
Enlarge Your Images and Pictures
Make things BIG. That will make them much more visible. Bear in mind, iOS on a mobile device will turn frequently-used terms (like calendar dates) into blue and underline them. If you have words like that against a black or blue background, they won’t be readable. (Once more, you can turn off those things or change their colour through the use of code.)
Here are some expert recommendations for maximizing your email images for mobile:
- 22 pixels for headlines
- 16 pixels for body copy
- 44×44 pixels for buttons
- Using “tappable” touch targets
- 40 pixels per space – give room between tappable items
- Use 13+ pixel font (or iOS will change it and possibly create problems)
Make Sure Your Website Is Ready for Prime Time
Ultimately, make sure your landing page is optimized for mobile devices. If you send people to your website and it looks horrible on a cell phone, the user’s positive experience ends.
If you need help improving your emails and working on code to optimize your customer mobile experience with your communications and website, find code professionals who can assist and help build your business. And if you’re looking for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get more traffic on your site, call us at LocalSEOsearch.ca. Our team will get you the attention you deserve.