Last week I attended a great interactive marketing conference in Indianapolis (and yes, got a side dish of Katy Perry while there!) Of all the things I learned about unified marketing, one of the most interesting sessions I attended was about Email Design in the Mobile Inbox Age. The presenter was Chris Studabaker from ExactTarget.
The Definition 6 team at the Katy Perry concert from ExactTarget Connections 2011.
Chris answered the question “What is mobile email?” with the following explanation: Email + mobile.
From this perspective a mind shift starts to occur and move away from thinking about designing email templates and brand communcations for a mobile device, or for any singular device at all which makes complete sense. As a “connected consumer” just think of the places you are likely to consume email content: computer, tablet, mobile come to mind immediately. Intuitively receipients interact different with messages based on the device they are consuming it on.
Will I click through email links (or even load images) on my cell phone? Maybe not.
On my iPad? I am likely to click through and browse/shop and even purchase on the tablet.
Desktop? Standard behavior applies!
As you’d imagine, we can really easily over complicate the issue and instead of inspiring improvement in a campaign become paralyzed and less clear with our goals than when we started so let’s break this down into a few tips, steps, and data points that will help us actually DO something!
Here are a few images of the data that Chris shared:
The graphs above were created by ExactTarget and distributed to Connections 2011 attendees.
Now that you know more about the landscape, let’s talk about the solution! There are three things to consider in crafting the solution: The code (technology), visual presentation (content), conversion path optimization (experience). You must balance all of these with the level of investment and projected return.
I’m going to focus on the content portion of the solution in this post but feel free to contact me if you’d like to talk more about the technology or the experience!
There are 2 major considerations:
- Small screen
The mobile inbox has some different display restrictions that are important to consider with your content strategy.
- Subject Line – Display ~35 characters
- Preheader content – Accommodate between ~40 to ~80 character.
Try the following layout guidelines when you look at how you organize your content.
- Make sure the content is readable on a small screen
- Use a grid layout that you can “train” your subscribers and creators to expect
- Try a single column layout for primary content
- Strong language & visuals for primary call to action (CTA)
- No more than 3 columns for secondary content and beyond
Scaling and Text Size Guidelines
- 22px or more for Headlines
- 16-22px for body copy
- iPhone’s automatically scale up text under 12px
In the end it all comes back to your goals and your audience. Email marketing gives the sender the great ability to data and easy A/B testing on changes so look into your performance, talk to your subscribers, develop an approach, and test! That’s the only way our campaigns will improve over time because there is no “one size fits all” solution.