After Google’s recent update we’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of responsive websites but enewsletters are often overlooked. We should apply some of the same thinking we now use when developing responsive websites to our approach to building enewsletter.
It’s easy to create enewsletter on a desktop and be happy with the way it looks, conveniently forgetting that many of the recipients will open it on their mobile on the way to work or on their tablet in the evening at home while relaxing on the sofa. Nearly 70% of all enewsletters are opened on a mobile device! Clearly optimising emails for mobile makes sense and will improve their effectiveness so it is staggering how many enewsletter are built and designed with little or no consideration for how they look or function on a mobile phone.
Here are a few important things to consider before distributing your next enewletter to ensure it well received by those accessing it whatever their chosen device.
Links – think about the proximity of links. We’ve all tried to open links on a mobile only to find we’re clicking the wrong one because the links are too close together. Make sure the text is big enough and links are far enough apart. Or think about using buttons which are user friendly on mobiles and other touch screen devices.
Content – keep the copy concise. Too much copy is off putting particularly on a smaller screen think carefully about your key messages and definitely no waffling!
Images and columns – think about the layout. Enewsletter have often been created in columns to replicate the appearance of a printed newsletter. This worked in the days of desktop only but is not as effective on mobile. Instead of columns and lots of images consider a hero image. For inspiration it is probably worth looking at striking, effective mobile website to influence design of enewsletters.
Above the fold – Position the most important or relevant information where it will be seen without scrolling all the way to the bottom.
Subject line – OK so this isn’t specific to improving functionality on mobile but it is always important. We all receive too many emails and so many people hit delete before even opening them so think about your subject line and make sure it will grab your target audience’s attention.
Test – Test your enewsletters, the beauty of electronic newsletters is you can experiment and test different content, designs and formats to see what works best.
It might sound obvious but probably the last thing you should do before sending out your enewsletter is to actually look at how it displays and functions on a range of devices. Only when you are confident it works is it time to hit that send button.