If you spend a few minutes people watching just about anywhere in the world, the ubiquity of mobile devices in our society will become very clear. In fact, a Pew Research Center survey found that one-third of Americans rated their cell phones as something they can't live without. Our dependence on mobile devices has become borderline compulsive; the same study found that 67 percent of cell phone owners admit to checking their phones even when they don't hear alerts or feel the phone vibrating.
Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are anything but immune from this trend. As we pointed out in our recent HCP mobile usage infographic, 88 percent of physicians use a smartphone. All physicians using a smartphone use a smartphone app for email. Incredibly, though, less than five percent of all emails are truly optimized for mobile. With how heavily HCPs rely on mobile devices, it's imperative that marketers send responsively designed emails that account for the limitations that mobile brings.
Make Your Emails Easily Viewable by Accounting for Mobile Screen Sizes and Image Limitations
In designing email for mobile, remember the rule of three. The smallest, most prevalent mobile screen among HCPs is that of the iPhone, which gives you about three inches – and three seconds – to grab your audience’s attention. For your readers to see things clearly, you won't be able to put as much content above the fold. For this reason, concentrate your most intriguing messaging in the top left of the email.
You'll also want to keep your emails light on image content. Otherwise, image-heavy emails may not load properly for HCPs with slower devices or networks. Try to pay attention to the overall file size of the email when you include images. Ideally, you'll want to keep the email to 95 KB, including images.
From a consumer behavior perspective, we know that readers don't like to have to scroll, pinch, or expand to view content and images. For maximum clickability, make sure your critical email links are readily visible and easy to tap.
Be Cautious in Repurposing Content/Design from Other Marketing Channels
You don't want to make the mistake of repurposing content from a direct mail piece that is ill-suited for mobile email. Much like a website, email is an interactive channel. You want to be able to drive HCPs to the easily clickable call to action.
However, the goals of email are different from that of a website. Email communicates with the readers in a two-way relationship. In this way, marketers and HCPs always have the opportunity to continue the dialogue. A website, on the other hand, disseminates information and relays the brand proposition in a unilateral exchange. For example, complex graphs excerpted from your site or print publications may appear indecipherable in mobile email without gesturing to expand the visual field.
Ensure Digital Connections to Other Brand Assets Are Also Mobile-Friendly
If your email prompts readers to visit another asset, such as a landing page or an e-book, make sure those assets are compatible with mobile as well. The HCP should be able to easily follow the desired path along the customer journey, using the device of his or her choice.
Planning around the limitations of mobile is essential for effective email marketing. Whether an email is mobile-optimized determines whether that email will ever get read.