Today, brand managers know the key to reaching healthcare professionals (HCPs) through the cost-effective email channel is designing email for mobile devices. After all, more HCP emails are opened on a mobile device than on a desktop. Unfortunately, a lack of mobile understanding leads to email campaigns that fall flat. To boost your email campaign performance, check out these essential mobile design tips you can start using today.
Start with Function
Most ad campaigns start with a persuasive idea and progress to design and creative elements. Mobile design, on the other hand, starts with function and moves back to the big idea. For mobile email, make sure your content renders perfectly across every device, by designing for variables, such as screen size, mobile navigation behavior, and network limitations.
Design for Device
In healthcare, the iPhone reigns supreme among mobile devices with almost 75 percent of mobile HCP emails opened on iPhones. Of the remaining 25 percent, all but 5 percent are opened on an iPad. For healthcare marketers, optimizing for iOS devices is essential to reach your target audience. DMD’s “Golden Rule of Three” states that you have three seconds and three inches to grab your readers’ attention, so you must design for the lowest common denominator, which is the three inches of the classic iPhone screen.
Focus on "Bite-Sized" Morsels
The mobile experience is vastly different from the PC one. On the Web, splashy graphics, rich media, unique fonts, and swathes of text, provide a visual feast that enhances the experience. With mobile, content needs to be tight and concise and easily digested, a bite-sized snack designed for a single screen. Think Twitter or SMS text, not a full-page ad. The subject line should be the smallest “bite” at about 35 characters or less.
Respect Network Limitations
Mobile networks have limited bandwidth. Imagine an HCP throughout a busy day, checking his or her mobile device and moving between email, text, and work-related apps. A bulky media-rich message that doesn't download immediately gets swiped to the trash without a second thought.
To limit download and rendering time, keep images simple. Your text content should never be inserted as an image, and it’s best to avoid animated GIF files, particularly in emails. In addition, for lower spam ratings, keep the image-to-text ratio at 30 percent or less.
Engage Natural Mobile Behavior
It's also important to design around mobile navigation behavior, and successful marketers use email as much more than just a digital communication channel. It becomes a digital experience that keeps the reader engaged with your brand. Think of the ways we move seamlessly between mobile applications: We use Yelp for a restaurant recommendation, tap Open Table for a reservation, and open Uber to get a cab.
How can you leverage mobile behavior with an email campaign? Imagine a campaign built around an upcoming webinar. Calls to action such as "Add to my calendar," "Remind me later," and "Connect to our webinar" encourage ongoing engagement. Other opportunities include "Tap to chat with a rep" or even "Text my rep."
Also, remember that the universal navigation motion is the vertical swipe. Expecting users to scroll horizontally or pinch to zoom results in a navigational dead-end and decreased engagement. Keeping it simple is much more effective.
Today's HCP marketers don't have the luxury of neglecting responsive design. They need to reach their customers on the devices they use the most.