It’s no secret that many of us access our emails on-the-go rather than from the comfort of our desks, however reading emails on your mobile or tablet’s tiny screen is hardly ideal. Images can take ages to download, sentences can appear scrambled or not properly formatted and sometimes you’ll have to zoom in or out to access the full contents of the email or to click through to the featured link. Yet on average, 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices and tablets. So why do marketers continually fail to address this problem? By not taking action, marketers risk disengaging customers, fed up with experiences that aren’t optimized.
Get to know your audience
Marketers should always keep their audience in mind when thinking about mobile marketing. By dropping a pixel from email marketing tools Return Path or Litmus, marketers can find out where most of their traffic comes from. Are audiences accessing emails from a tablet or a phone; an iOS or an Android device? Each phone operating system, browser and mail client renders HTML differently so knowing how audiences interact with content would help marketers to prioritse the platform used by their largest audience.
Most emails are opened on Androids, especially iPhone and other Apple iOS devices. Fortunately, these devices are the least problematic when it comes to rendering emails. The same system is compatible with Samsung, HTC, Google and Motorola however there isn’t a unified support system in place across all the devices and email clients, so this can be troublesome.
Thankfully, Oracle has created a guide listing out four different designs strategies so you can identify which would work best for your email marketing model and contribute to capturing mobile clicks.
This is a singular HTML file that adapts its layout according to the receiving screen size, using media queries. This function can only be applied when subscribers use emails on their smartphone or tablet’s mail app. However, the design format can be tricky to produce and default messages will only be sent to Google or Yahoo mail users. It also struggles to introduce new graphics and images in emails.
If formatting emails is a problem, consider wrapping. Wrapping allows emails to be easily reorganized and redesigned within a mobile screen, enabling users to receive its contents better. Marketers will need to think about the grid structure for each device; either 640 pixels wide for desktops or 320 pixels for the smallest-sized Apple iPhone. By sticking to just one or two grid columns, subscribers will have less problems reading emails too.
Swap the image
This function swaps out any images that don’t work in the current mail format and allows marketers to edit them as well. Not all desktop hero images will work in a mobile format; landscape images for example won’t fit portrait-shaped smartphones. Images can also be sharpened and resized to fit the required dimensions.
Hide those X’s
Unfortunately many emails are still plagued with terrifying xx’s instead of displaying the marketer’s images. This can be because the data takes too long to load, the email is unnecessarily long or perhaps it isn’t relevant enough to mobile customers. However, implementing a smarter and more responsive design into the mailout will automatically hide the xx’s from consumers if they’re incompatible. By doing this, customers will still be able to click on the image to view it but this function allows for a much smoother marketing experience rather than a frustratingly intolerable format.
Work out how to optimise your marketing emails with Oracle’s go-to design strategies. Download the whitepaper here.