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Oopsy-daisy! Creating strategies for email errors

Mobiles: The new inbox

The Email Insider's Summit was fantastic and one of the sessions held looked at all things mobile and in particular designing for the mobile.

But before we have a look at these facts and figures, I'd like to make a special note of Chip House of Exact Target's pertinent remark in his session of 'Subscriber Rules', which was that carrying mobile devices makes receiving an email more personal now...more so than receiving it on your computer.

This has always been the general feeling about SMS/text marketing and now it is also becoming applicable to mobile email users. Therefore the potential for annoyance increases as it affects their personal space. So, the key of course to this, is to engage with the subscriber and ensure they are receiving what they want, when they want it.

Deirdre Baird (Pivotal Veracity) and Morgan Stewart (Exact Target) brought forth some facts, including that 52% access same email account through mobile and computer and 48% maintain a unique mobile email address. do we design for the 48% who are not going back to the office to veiw their emails in pretty HTML?

Here are design some tips:

  • Designing for images off is now the norm for inbox emails, this also needs to be the norm for designing for mobiles.
  • Calls to action need to be easily accessible at the top of the email.
  • Keeping in mind that according to Jupiter Research, 48% of recipients have 'add to address book' at the top of the email and 60% have 'click to view' up there as well, the downside to this is that mobile's window area is taken up with these links rather than call to action or branding or having something which compels readers to scroll down.
  • Important to check how email renders in variety of mobiles.
  • 640pi wide is the magic number.
  • B2B need to use a single column layout for mobiles otherwise, depending upon the mobile, you either scroll right or it places the right below the left column.
  • Weight should be a maximum 20kb with images.
  • Urls - Symbian doesn't recognise links -it needs the full url. The Blackberry however pulls both the image url and link url. So don't use unecessary images (which includes image spacers) and make urls shorter so they take up less screen space.

The bottom line is that it is an overwhelming task to get rendering correct for all mobiles out there at the moment, but if you follow the above tips, it should make for a better user experience.

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