Creating Newsletters that Work on Multiple Devices

Alright, so the title of today’s blog entry may seem ultra-boring, but it’s actually ultra-important. I know, I know, how could something that addresses multiple device usage be any fun at all. Well, it is. At least for us email marketing nerds. And we’re a tough bunch, so watch out.

Anyway, I’m getting off track here. To the subject at hand, we’re talking about optimizing your email newsletters for viewing on multiple devices. In a study released late last year, researchers found that the overwhelming majority of smartphone users check the same email account on multiple devices. Seems like a fairly obvious bit of information, right? Personally, I check the same email account on FOUR different gadgets.

“So, we’re making obvious statements, huh? Well, I got one for ya; this is still boring.”
I know, I know. But, check this out. That info has major relevance to your email marketing campaign. That study should tell you that your email newsletters need to be geared toward readers who will be seeing it in very different formats. Graphic-rich newsletters don’t always look great on tiny smartphone screens, but you don’t want to give up on that visual punch because so many readers are still using desktops and laptops. So, what’s a motivated email marketer to do?

Well, one of your first goals should be updating your design to reflect a more mobile-friendly format. Single column newsletters with 1-2 high-contrast text colors and centered images (no text on the left or right, only above or below embedded pictures) are a great place to start. Also consider adding short preview paragraphs of any longer content you may want to add. That way, subscribers have to option to read the intro paragraph and follow the link (to your blog or website), and they won’t have to scroll through a 700 word article on a 3.5” screen.

Now, that sounds all well and good for mobile viewers, but what about computer viewers? Aesthetics are very important in the world of email marketing, so you want to make sure stationary readers can enjoy your newsletters as well.

That brings us to the most important part of creating a cross-optimized email newsletter: backgrounds and banners. A small (600 pixels wide by 170 pixels tall) visually engaging banner with a mild, but stimulating background (something like a color gradient) will make all the difference in the world when your newsletters appear on a big screen. It may seem like a curiously simple solution, but it really improves the eye-appeal of your email in a larger format.

With just a little trimming and an eye for subtle detail, creating multi-platform appropriate email newsletters is a breeze. Don’t overwhelm and don’t under-do-it, and you should find a happy medium that will please all of your subscribers.

One last note: Always test your newsletters! Check them out on multiple devices to see how they appear in action. Measure twice, cut once.

Join us online for our brand new webinar: Make Your Newsletter Mobile Friendly.
Tue, Oct 22 at 1 PM EST