Working remote may be in vogue, but using our smartphones to field email communication, meeting invites and take on-the-go conference calls is nothing to write home about. We’re all doing it, everyday. We’re using mobile for email communication so much so — that this fall, more than two-thirds of emails were opened from mobile devices alone.
Email communication, born on the tail-end of mid 20th century, has now entered mature middle age. If you’re using email to send and receive information, there are some easy things you can do to optimize your emails for mobile readers.
Our Safari team in Scottsdale, Ariz. participates in weekly lunch-and-learns. A few weeks back, we munched on some crunchy food for thought in regard to email communication. We discussed crafting easy-to-read messages, when to use and send email, and how to evoke timely response from your emails. We expressed the most interest in best practices to optimize email for mobile reading.
While most of you reading this post will never send out mass email campaigns, there are a few gems that you can extract from the cavernous mines of marketing, to ensure that your personal and professional emails are being opened, being read, and most importantly, shining like diamonds in the mobile rough to elicit response.
I’d like to share some great tips I’ve learned along the marketing-writer-way, on how to optimize your email for mobile reading. Let’s get up to speed with today’s snail mail 2.0 (a.k.a. email communication).
Optimize email for mobile reading – getting started
Emails should be used to:
- Communicate one topic at a time
- Follow up a phone call or meeting
- Request a specific action for a later point in time. (schedule a meeting, etc.)
- Provide the reader with detailed “next steps”
Emails should not be used for:
- Emotional or complicated discussions
- Communicating a variety of topics at once
Before you send your email, I’d like you to ask yourself these questions, to prepare your optimized email.
- You aren’t the only one sending this person an email today. Who are you to the email reader? Are you important to him or her? Is this person a known associate? A stranger? If they don’t know who you are, how are you planning to introduce yourself? Does it make sense to a stranger?
- What do you want your recipient to do with the information you’re sending? Let’s ensure your objectives are crystal clear and that the action required is spelled out for them to understand.
- Why is the information being sent in an email important to the reader? The answer to this question will be the meat and potatoes for the words written in your email. Seems simple, but often times we bury the “what’s in it for them” with a bunch of I, I, I, me, me, me’s.
- Why are you sending this communication in an email as opposed to picking up the phone, chatting or communicating face-to-face? All of these questions need to be answered and addressed before you compose and send the email.
TIP: If your email conversation volleys like Forrest Gump in the 1972 People’s Republic of China Ping Pong Championship – pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Optimize your email for mobile with subject lines
How many emails do you get in a day? Do you view those emails on your phone? When you’re browsing your inbox via mobile, do you appreciate a subject line that gets to the point? If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track. Your subject line needs to get to the point in 37 characters or less.
Here’s why: Take a look at the top two emails in the image to your right. Notice, that, when you read the top two emails, you have no idea what I’m trying to communicate by only reading the subject line. More importantly, you have no idea what I want or what you’re supposed to do.
Now, check out the the bottom two subject lines. Each one of the four emails in this example is communicating the same message. Which email helps you, (the receiver), get to the point and make a decision to act faster?
Remember! Most of the time we’re viewing email via mobile, we’re multi-tasking. We’re on-the-go, thinking of other things, listening in on a call, jamming to Spotify – the list of distractions is endless.
If you’re not adhering to the 37 character limit, you’re unnecessarily complicating the reader’s email consumption experience – and that, my friends, is annoying.
Optimize your email for mobile with snippits
Remember those questions we answered getting started? Your meat and potatoes goes in the first 70-77 characters of your email. Your meat and potatoes is the answer to your “what’s in for your reader” question.
Notice the top two ‘snippits’ read kind of like: blah, blah, blah. Now, read the bottom ‘snippit’. You get a better idea of what’s in this email for you, yes?
The best part about all of this is that your subject line and snippit go together like peas and carrots. When you are browsing email in mobile, the bottom two examples let you know exactly what I want you to do, and what’s in it for you.
One of our Safari team members found a cool tool using our gmail accounts. You can check out your snippit in Google Chrome for Mac by visiting: https://mail.google.com/mail/mu. Switch to mobile view (Command-Option-I), review your message display & optimize accordingly. I, however; prefer to email myself all day when I’m working on email marketing copy as you can see by my exhibits.
I hope you enjoyed these quick-tips on optimizing your email copy for mobile reading!