While an email newsletter can look superb in the inbox, when squeezed onto a smartphone it can become unusable, with narrow columns, small fonts and broken layouts typical common issues. Suzanna Chaplin and Warrick Lambert of Freemax Media takes you through some of their best practices for delivering and targeting to the agile consumer.
1. Mobile is about to take over desktop when viewing emails. So, you need to ask whether your users are reading emails through desktop or mobile. Using analytics packages that show data by user agent will help you idenitfy how to optimise both web and email based strategies. In May, iPhones took just over 50% of mobile conversions, but remember to look deeper into other data such as Android that may be misrepresented. Things such as tablets that combine iPads and Galaxy Tabs can skew some data for you.
2. Knowing the time of day to send emails is also important. The spike for tablets and mobile happen between 7pm and 10pm on weekdays, whereas desktop use peaks in the middle of the afternoon (2pm – 4pm). When looking at the day of the week, Thursday and Friday are great as a general strategy, but if you’re optimising for mobile users then send during the weekend.
3. Tracking is therefore essential to know your audience, but also know the audience per device. hasoffers and affiliatewindow are 2 great platforms for this – but you need to be sure that the links from the email go to the relevant landing page for that device too. If you don’t do this, you’ll most likely lose that conversion. Publishers need to think of cross-device tracking to show eCPM.
4. Don’t repeat messages as this bores the readers and could trigger spam. Use a spam filter tester such as cloudmark to see whether your email may be triggered as spam. Look at email pre-headers and change potential negative words that may decrease delivery rate. Also check how your subject lines may look like on each device. You can use a paid-for service called Litmus to test all of these, like a cross-device email viewing tester
5. Design – use a good image above the fold, ensure there’s a CTA on each fold and make sure they’re buttons and nothing elaborate or clever. When thinking about Android devices, make sure everything is clickable. With iPads, think about orientation as portrait/landscape change is big. When it comes to images, you can colour code image boxes to create CTAs even if the image doesn’t load, and you can even make more effort by creating a word within the image slices.