In a study just released by email testing platform Litmus, they discovered that a majority of us (53% to be exact) now read emails on our mobile devices.
I can confirm that number in looking at our own Forge3 email statistics. Last year, we saw the tipping point when mobile usage surpassed traditional desktop usage for our weekly email blasts.
Considering that smartphones and tablets didn’t exist until a little while ago, this is pretty amazing!
Here’s what you need to know and do to embrace the changing tide of email.
The numbers don’t lie
Here’s a screenshot from our Forge3 account. Notice how mobile usage (on the right) is now over 60% for our email subscribers. Wow! In contrast, Outlook continues its slow and steady march to the bottom under the desktop category (on the left).
Optimize your emails for mobile first, desktop second
When you’re sending email campaigns (blasts) to your subscriber list, it’s clear that you need to ensure they work beautifully on mobile devices of all sizes. So, start there.
Gone are the days of complicated, multi-column email “newsletters” that require a lot of screen width to view.
Now, it’s time to simplify!
Most people will be scanning your email on their phones, so keep the content short, to the point and scan-able. Less is more in many ways.
Then, link to your website (or elsewhere) when you need to provide additional information. Not only is this a great strategy to drive traffic to your website, but it also fits the usage patterns of your mobile-reading audience.
Choose your platform
One of the easiest ways to make sure your email works on ALL devices is to use a modern platform to send them. At Forge3, we like and recommend MailChimp and Campaign Monitor.
MailChimp – mailchimp.com
This is a nice option for do-it-yourself-ers. They offer a free plan which is fine for businesses just getting started. They also tend to be very progressive with new features, so you’ll find all kinds of interesting capabilities built in, from social media integration, blog-to-email capabilities and more.
All of their new templates are 100% mobile ready and work perfectly no matter how your recipient reads your email. They also have a super simple drag-and-drop email builder that’s very easy to use when building your emails.
If there is a downside, some find the MailChimp interface confusing to navigate. I’d have to agree, but it’s not too bad once you figure it out.
Campaign Monitor – campaignmonitor.com
Campaign Monitor was built for agencies like Forge3. The platform is very powerful yet incredibility simple to use. I’d say it’s on par with MailChimp regarding useful functionality, but is easier to use for most people. The benefit of Campaign Monitor is that we can share access to the account, meaning that Forge3 can help create templates, manage subscriber lists and more.
Campaign Monitor recently launched their new Canvas email building tool. As with MailChimp, it’s drag-and-drop, so creating your mobile-ready emails couldn’t be easier.
And, best of all, getting around Campaign Monitor is very simple, meaning that you can get in, get out and get back to work.
But wait, how does your website look?
We can’t stop there, though. These email trends actually impact your website more than you may realize.
Let’s think through the typically flow.
- Send email to subscriber list, include links to website
- Recipient opens and reads email on smartphone
- Recipient taps link to read more on your website
- Your website opens on the recipient’s smartphone screen
So, if your website doesn’t work perfectly on smartphones, you’re missing the boat. It’s that simple.
Love it or hate it, email is here to stay
I don’t know of anyone who likes email. Most of us have too much of it and are on a never-ending quest to get rid of it!
Believe it or not, though, email is still one of the most effective ways to stay in front of people. Yes, it’s even better than the “sexy” stuff like social media. And, people do value it if you’re providing…wait for it…value!
Still not convinced that it works? Read this:
The bottom line is that the stats don’t lie. It’s up to use to take notice.