Mobile email came about at the same time WAP did, because the first mobile email clients used WAP to render emails. Mobile email was a luxury many people didn’t use on smaller phones, because of the difficulty viewing the email on the
small screen and the lack of a complete keyboard to respond with. As PDAs and smart phones came out with full QWERTY keyboards, more people began taking advantage of mobile email. Mobile email marketing hasn’t really changed much in
all the years it has been around.
Many mobile email clients have difficulty rendering full-HTML emails.You can do a couple things to improve how your email looks on mobile phones. The first mobile emails were simply text renderings of whatever came into your email box. This meant that if you received a text email from someone you knew, it rendered well, but if you received a marketing email from a company, the phone simply rendered the HTML as text, making the mobile version of the email almost totally useless. Many phones still are limited to the simplified text rendering of HTML that was present in the first mobile emails.
The most recent evolution of mobile email marketing came with the iPhone, truly offering a flexible rendering that looks exactly as it would on a traditional computer when displayed on the iPhone. This meant that recipients finally could get the full impact (almost) of the email marketing message when they were on the mobile phone, with the exception of having to zoom. The email marketing industry has not yet put significant effort into making emails more readable and compelling to mobile viewers on other types of phones.
When sending mobile marketing emails, keep these points in mind:
-Include a link at the top of the email to a Web version of the email, in case people are having trouble viewing the email on their mobile phones. From this landing page, you can use browser detection and redirection to automatically send viewers to a version of the email that is optimized for their device.Also, if you include phone numbers in the text of your email, they will automatically become clickable when they are displayed on a mobile phone. If your campaign relies heavily on people calling in, it is important to include the phone number at the top of the email.
-Including your main navigation can cause problems in mobile rendering, because the buttons could be stacked vertically instead of horizontally, pushing all the promotional information lower, usually “below the fold” that the user can see when first opening the email. In the worst case, the link to each button and the path to each image will be displayed as HTML, pushing all the readable (non-HTML) content far down in the email. It is always a good idea to avoid including your main navigation in your email messages. Even in traditional email campaigns, many experts believe that it can take away from the main messaging of the email and distract the recipient from the main call to action.
-Even if you have not gotten your email campaign to render perfectly on all devices, you should loop email in to help promote your integrated efforts and your mobile offerings.Make sure your email campaign imagery and messaging reinforce the look and feel of the rest of the campaign. Then include links and screen shots of any mobile offerings, such as mobile applications,mobile coupons, or your mobile website. This will catch the viewer’s eye and help her understand the value you bring to the mobile interaction. Once your email recipients request mobile downloads or coupons, you will have the opportunity to add them to your list of people who are opted in for mobile communication.
-Many people have email addresses that are specific to their phone, but in the rest of the world,mobile phones usually just pull in copies of messages that were sent to a traditional email address. When an email address is set up on an Exchange Server, users can automatically sync any activity that takes place on the email address, such as deleting or saving emails. If the email account is not set up on an Exchange Server, recipients are forced to delete and save emails twice, to maintain consistency of the account between devices.As phones improve, many email recipients are switching to Web-based email services, to avoid this burden.