If you’ve been writing emails for large-screen desktops, what changes do you need to make for small-screen readers?
And yes, it matters. More than ever.
- Already there are 2 billion smart phone users [source]
- At the start of last year, 53% of emails were opened on mobile [source]
- Mobile email opens have grown by 180% in three years [source].
And those numbers are only going up, right?
Best practice for writing emails for mobile phone readers
The “From” line:
It’s one of the first things they’ll see (which is why I’ve listed it here) but there is no best practice for this yet. If the people on your mailing list will respond positively to you personal name, include it. If not, go with your company name.
Or both, which is what I’m doing. From: “Gary Harvey | eNewslettersForProfessionals.com”
Keep it short. 5-6 words maximum. Make it catchy, of course. Personalize it by inserting the reader’s first name.
These are the first words on the screen after the subject line. Highly valuable web real estate. So don’t waste it by saying “If this message does not display properly, click here…”
Use the preheader as an extension of the subject line by making it directly related to the content of your email. Think of it as another ad, enticing your subscriber to open the email.
- Short is good. Long isn’t.
- Make it scannable by using subheadings.
- Include a prominent CTA (call to action). “Read more”, “Buy now”, “Check this out!”
- Single column. Because if you use 2 columns, one of them is probably going to get shoved down below the other one anyway. Better if you control that.
- Large font size. 14px minimum for body text. 22px for headings.
- Readable font. Arial, Verdana, Tahoma are safe without being boring. Times New Roman is safe but some surveys indicate it’s seen as boring, so I don’t use it.
- Choose a responsive theme so the line width changes when the reader turns her phone sideways, or views it on her tablet.
- Go light on the graphics. Optimize the ones you do use, so the file size of the image is as lightweight as it can be without sacrificing viewing quality.
Now you know!
These are the best practice policies used here and in email newsletters that I prepare.
Did I miss anything? Tell us in the comments section below.