I’m sure that you know that more and more people are reading email on the go (I, for example, read a large percentage of my email on my Sidekick, many others read email on their Blackberrys). In fact last year Marketing Sherpa determined that 64% of key decision makers are reading email on their mobile devices.
Reading your email on their mobile devices.
Have you ever stopped to think about what that means in terms of your email deliverability?
For example, many devices (my own included) allow the user to choose to have attachments stripped out. Some even don’t allow attachments at all.
The same is true for images.
What that means is that if the email you send is image-laden, or typically contains attachments (even simple ones like a vCard), your mail is arriving mangled and nothing like you envisioned it. In fact, your email may not be being delivered at all to your readers who use their mobile devices to read their email some – or even a majority – of the time.
“Big deal,” you may be thinking, “they can always read it on their computer when they get back to the office, right?”
Well, yes, they can; but will they?
Based on anecdotal evidence, people who read their email on a mobile device are not very likely to go back and re-read their email on a computer. Unless it is a really important email, they are just as likely as not (if not more so) to delete it, or file it unreread.
What this all means for you is that as more and more people are reading email on mobile devices, it’s likely that less and less of your email is getting through to them, and even if your email does make it through, it’s likely that it won’t be read as you’d intended it to be read, if at all.
So, what should you do about this?
Start casting a critical eye on the email you are sending, and thinking about how it will look on the small screen. Better yet, read it yourself on a small screen – on a mobile phone, your Blackberry, a friend’s Blackberry – whatever it takes.
Be wary of having too many images in your email – and in some cases one can be too many. The same goes for relying on too many links.
Keep in mind that the fancier you get with HTML coding in your email, the more likely it is that your email will not render well on a mobile device. This is especially true for things such as fonts, and tables.
Make your text flow so that wherever possible it won’t matter how the device wraps the lines.
Should you use multi-part MIME, and will that take care of the problem? Well, first, yes, generally speaking you should always use multi-part MIME, but you shouldn’t rely on it to help you look better on mobile devices. This is because if the device is capable of handling HTML, the odds are good that it will still use the HTML part of the message. So unless you are prepared to start sending text-only messages, you really are stuck trying to predict and avoid problems that your HTML email may run into on mobile devices.
Amazingly, this is something that many email senders simply haven’t really thought about, let alone yet addressed. But when you consider that 64% number, don’t you think that it’s time that they did?