It’s now a good six years since 2016, the date when desktop and laptop computers lost their dominance in internet users’ browsing habits. Mobile and tablet browsing passed 50% of all web use that year, and that figure has grown steadily ever since, with smartphones massively overshadowing tablets, as you’d expect.
In short, we might still use desktops and laptops in an office environment, as they’re obviously powerful, comfortable and able to display large amounts of complex information on screen. But in our private and professional lives (and for many, the two have merged into one during the pandemic), it’s the phone that we reach for in the morning and kiss goodnight to when we go to bed.
This shift has had a profound effect on the way web pages are displayed. Responsive websites have proved to be the way to go, and it is what has made websites generally less fussy, with larger, bolder graphics and simpler text and navigation on all devices.
The same also applies to emails. Back in the day when you could be certain that an email would be viewed on a computer monitor, it was straightforward enough to design it with that in mind, hence the taste for wide images and small text. Now, though, you don’t know what device your email will be viewed on, or whether it will be viewed on a mobile app, a computer client or within a web browser. So it’s best to go to the lowest common denominator – the mobile screen – so you can be sure that your newsletter will be legible on all devices.
Here’s how to achieve mobile friendliness in an email.
- Never embed video or large graphics – this is mainly because of downloading rather than the capability to display them. If you have video or detailed images, link to them and host them on a web page, so there are no blank spaces in your emails.
- Use responsive design – this will make the content grow and shrink depending on the size of the window it’s being viewed in, so it always fills the screen and looks great.
- Make your logos and menus responsive too – you can have several different versions of your logo, from a simple monochrome shape to an image with text and colour, that is chosen automatically depending on the size of the screen. A non-responsive logo can blur your identity. The same applies to icons, menus and buttons.
- Take care with your subject line – the shorter the better is the general rule. If you can persuade people to open the email, it has done its job.
- Watch your length – it’s good practice to use the newsletter to tease the viewer with the various stories, which they can open by clicking through, rather than making them manually scroll past the parts they’re not interested in, which can be tricky on a phone, especially one-handedly.
- Test your newsletter extensively – once you’ve got an email newsletter theme, make sure you test it on the whole range of devices, operating systems, browsers, apps and clients. Don’t forget to download it when you’re not connected to WiFi or even 4G or 5G. There are still plenty of places where connectivity is slow and unreliable, for example on trains, and that could be exactly where you want your breakfast update to be read.
At Gooey, we’re experts in HTML coding for email newsletters, so we make sure all our templates perform and look brilliantly on the complete range of devices and apps. Once we’ve designed your template, you’re free to fill it with exciting content to help convert subscribers into customers.