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How to be sure your email is mobile friendly

In 2013 mobile email is on pace to become bigger than ever. Are you ready?

Here’s a cool stat;
Christmas Day consistently has the highest number of smartphone activations around the world after we’ve sat ’round the tree and unwrapped our new tablets and smartphones.

And according to “Mobile Magazine”, in 2012, over 17 Million Apple and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day, this is 2.5 times as many as in 2011.

Now that we’re halfway through the year, most of those people have even figured out  how to set up email on their new smartphones.

So how can you be sure that your email template is mobile friendly?

Your recipient’s first impression will be how the email looks on their mobile.

Here are some points to remember when building your template:

  • Call to Action Cells: make sure your call to action cells are a good size, clickable on a phone screen and not a tiny image that your recipients are going to get frustrated with.
  • Text Calls to Action: your text calls to action need to be a good size too. You don’t want your recipient unable to click on a tiny link, or to keep clicking the wrong link if they’re too small and close together.
  • Important links first, and I-shaped design: The most important part of your message should be at the top of the email, so readers can view it straight away. You should also make sure your email has an I-shaped design; mobile readers will scroll up and down, but not left-to-right.
  • Simplicity: there isn’t much room on a Mobile screen, and not everyone has unlimited data, so keep your email design simple. The last thing a reader wants is dozens of images that take ages to load.
  • Alt-Tags: on some mobile clients, images won’t load straight away so consider using alt tags behind your images. The text should be as short as possible but describe the content of the image.

So, are your emails rendering properly on mobile?

It’s good to keep the compatibility of each mobile client in mind so you can apply the requirements in your campaigns. However, you still might not be 100% sure your campaign will render correctly as you haven’t actually seen it in out in the wild. Previewing how the email will view in as many different email clients as possible will give you that added piece of mind.

The MessageFocus platform offers a really helpful service in the Content Preview, allowing you to view how your email will appear in over 40 different clients before launch. It will generate a preview of how your campaign will look in desktop clients such as Outlook and Apple Mail, webmail clients such as Hotmail and Gmail and, importantly, mobile clients, including iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

So if you haven’t yet, add “testing in different email clients” to your campaign workflow. And if you’re an Adestra client, speak to your Account Manager about adding the content preview feature to your account.


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  • Great post Jack! Some of your suggestions may be “obvious” but we tend to ignore them, most of the time. And great to have all-in-one-place kind of checklist, so we no longer make mistakes. Thanks.