• Friday, 17 March 2017

    McLellan: How are your emails being read?

    In last week’s column, I talked about the power of email marketing and how to create emails that earn your audience’s attention and encourage their engagement. Hopefully, you’ve taken some of that to heart and are considering either getting into the email game or upping your game.

    But if you don’t consider the delivery mechanism, your best efforts may go unnoticed. According to a Pew Research Study at the end of 2015, over 92 percent of U.S adults own a mobile phone, and mobile email opens have grown by 180 percent in the last three years. Perhaps the most telling statistic of all — 79 percent of mobile phone owners report that they use their phone to access email, which is a higher percentage than those who use it to make phone calls!

    You can’t afford not to create mobile-friendly emails. By 2018, 80 percent of email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices. That’s nine months away, so we’d better be sure our email campaigns are mobile-friendly today!

    So what does mobile-friendly mean? It means that no matter what device your receiver uses, your email is easy to read, looks good and all the links work. It also means that your email is written in a way that aligns with how mobile users consume their emails.  

    Here are some things to consider:

    Time is key: Nearly half of mobile readers spend three seconds or less with an email. In those three seconds, they’ll decide if they are going to read the entire email or move on to the next one.  So you have to get right to the point and make it clear what they will get, learn or know if they keep reading.

    Subject line is subject to cut-off: On most mobile devices, the subject line gets cut off after about 35-38 characters in portrait mode and about 80 in landscape. Be sure you front-load your subject lines with the most important words, so your audience will be able to discern the topic, even if part of the subject line gets lost.

    How do you hold your phone? Don’t just design your email for one view. Your emails need to look great both horizontally and vertically. Don’t assume that everyone uses a device or accesses email the way you do.
    Size matters: At least when it comes to font size. One of the biggest mistakes email marketers make is not converting the type to a larger size. Body copy should be at least 16-point type, and your headlines should be 22-point or larger.
    On the flip side, make sure your buttons and other clickable elements are big enough. Your buttons should be at least 46 pixels wide/high, or you risk your audience having to zoom in to your emails just to take action.

    Keep it simple: As you construct your email, remember to minimize the risks of irritating your audience. A single column works better than multiple columns or feature boxes. Don’t add too much navigation. And make the flow of the email easy to follow. Don’t pack in a bunch of calls to action. Be clear about what you’d like the reader to do, and make it easy for them to do it.

    Please the eye: Bold colors, lots of white space, large fonts, short sentences and paragraphs, and one big image rather than a bunch of small images all please the reader’s eye. When you follow these simple rules, you remove barriers that get between you and your subscriber.  
    The data makes it very clear that our audiences are gravitating to mobile devices at a very rapid clip. Be smart and do the same with your email marketing efforts.

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