Email marketing is a great way for you as a local business to connect with your customers by letting them know about sales, promotions, changes, and improvements that may be of interest to them. Whether you encourage customers to sign up for emails when they visit your business or use an online landing page offering some sort of reward in exchange for signing up, building your customer email list is an important first step. Your email offerings won’t get very far, however, if your customers don’t open them.
According to research, 48 percent of emails today are opened on a smartphone or other mobile device. That means nearly half of your customers are opening your email on a screen that is significantly smaller than a PC. Is your email optimized for that? According to that same research, 69 percent of mobile users will end up deleting an email that isn’t optimized for mobile.
Why? Email that isn’t optimized for mobile may not open properly. It may take too long to load. The text may be too small to read, or only part of the email may fit on the screen. As much as 89 percent of email marketers are squandering opportunities by not optimizing their emails for mobile devices.
Optimizing emails for mobile can be tricky, with so many different devices and so many different email programs in use, but here are a few general rules you should be aware of:
1) Keep It Simple
Boil your email down to its main points. Think about the screen size your email may be viewed on and the environment in which it will most likely be viewed. People are quite often checking their email on the go, and you may only have a few seconds to make an impression. Use headers, bullet points, and short text blocks that will engage your customers quickly and efficiently.
Use large font sizes – at least 14 points for text and 22 points for headers – and keep the email to a single column. This will make your emails more readable. One caveat is that some devices will automatically resize text that is smaller than 12 points, causing it to wrap and display differently than planned, so use larger text to start with.
Place the most significant information as close to the top of the email as possible, so that your customer doesn’t have to scroll through the whole email to get the necessary information.
2) Reduce the Size of Image Files
Images play an important part in email advertising. According to MDG Advertising, content that contains compelling images attracts an average of 94% more total views than content with no images.
Unfortunately, including images also increases the file size, which leads to slower loading times. Remember to optimize your photo files for screen viewing, which is 70 dpi, instead of for print, which is generally 200 dpi or greater. Most photo editing software includes some type of “optimize for web” feature, and will often even tell you the prospective loading time of your image.
If your email editor allows, set your image size to display at around 85% of the user’s screen width and height to “auto,” which will scale based upon the width. This is particularly effective if your entire email is contained in a jpg or other image file.
3) Use Succinct, Yet Catchy Subject Lines
You may only have around two dozen characters for your subject line, so put some effort into coming up with something that will catch your customer’s eye. No matter how great your email is, if it ends up in the trash, it won’t bring you any business.
Be sure to include the most important message from your email in the subject line, or offer some kind of compelling teaser. Beware of offering misleading information, however, as that sort of tactic will only work once.
4) Feature a Large, Prominent Call to Action
Don’t forget the most important part of your email: the call to action. What do you want your customer to do in response to your message? If your call to action is a “Click here” button for more information, to visit the website, or to make an appointment, make sure you include enough space for your customer to place their finger. Otherwise, after one or two tries they may get frustrated and skip it.
Follow these four tips to optimize your emails for better viewing, and your mobile customers will quickly recognize you as one of the on-point, savvy business owners who really “gets it.”