Mobile: the No.1 reason why simple emails work better

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As I frequently mention, it’s quite likely that as many as half of your marketing emails are now read on mobile devices. This means that they need to look good and scale well on tiny screens – I’m in the middle of a project (which is taking several weeks!) to completely update this email to read well on more devices, and it’s not easy. In fact, it’s staggeringly hard, especially thanks to the different, unconventional and plain mad ways in which Outlook and GMail (the worst offenders) work. If you’ve never looked at your own emails using these particular email readers (and on different platforms), then be brave and do so. It’s often not pretty.

However, what I wanted to mention today are the implications of so many emails now being read on mobile devices. What’s the difference (assuming you can even read the emails)? Well, clickthrough rates are lower, for a start. This could be because people tend to be in more of a hurry on mobile devices, or it could be because they think they’re not going to enjoy the experience if they click through to a website. I can sympathise with that. People also click on fewer links per email.

So what can we learn from this? I’d guess that we need to make an email interesting enough that the recipients will mark it to be read later when they’re on a desktop device. The only way you’re going to do this is to make the message arresting and simple, I suspect. A multi-column newsletter, from a company in which the reader has little interest, isn’t going to achieve this.

On the other hand, I’m on the circulation for emails from one plant automation company which meet the challenge superbly. Simple company branding. Large (but short) “why this email should be relevant to me” headline. Description of an article which you must read on their website, including what you’ll gain from doing so. Job done.

More reading: Impact of Mobile Use on Email Engagement by Mailchimp

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