Mobile technologies and devices are adopted by consumers at an incredible speed. Desktop computing is being overtaken by mobile computing with an increasing range of devices and formats.
The smartphone is becoming a communications hub – indeed, for social networking and email as well – and allows users to integrate location, social networking, communication and information. The war of the formats is raging (smartphones, netbooks, MIDs,…) but it’s obvious mobile is a key focus.
This is a challenge for businesses and of course an opportunity. On the Email Institute web site, I found an article by Epsilon’s Colin Bhowmik including some thoughts on the iPad and some tips.
I got the permission to publish it. So here it is, feel free to comment and add your thoughts.
With the introduction of the Apple iPad consumers dispose of yet another category of mobile devices that will push the limits on Internet experiences such as surfing the web on the go. Consumers are also increasingly using their mobile devices to view emails, making it important for marketers to optimize their email creative for these next-generation gadgets.
One of the challenges facing marketers today is that there are multiple product categories and devices, which make up mobile. Is a mobile device a cell-phone, a smart-phone, a net-book, a tablet, a laptop?
Mobile device form factors are becoming more and more fragmented, which is making it challenging for marketers to develop creative for multiple devices. As consumers move away from legacy devices such as cell-phones with small screens and traditional keypad and trackball interaction and switch to next-generation mobile devices such as smart-phones with larger screens and multi-touch interaction, marketers will have the opportunity to provide consumers with a rich, interactive and engaging experience.
Optimize HTML creative for mobile
Most new mobile devices are capable of rendering a rich HTML experience. Marketers should optimize their email creative (which have typically been viewed on desktops and laptops with large screens) to also cater to mobile devices with smaller screens such as smart-phones, net-books and tablets. Creative teams should test multiple configurations of the email wireframe such as height and width of the email template, image sizes and placement, text placement, background colours and fonts to ensure the creative is engaging regardless of the device the user opens the email with. Consideration should also be given for testing creative in both portrait and landscape modes as accelerometers are becoming common place in mobile devices, offering both vertical and horizontal viewing experiences.
Interaction with these new types of mobile devices has also evolved. The days of entering information on a consumer mobile device with a keypad, mouse and trackball will slowly become the exception rather than the rule. With advances in multi-touch technologies, creative teams will have to become familiar with tactile interactions that can take place with their emails, which Apple refers to as “gestures”. Consumers can now interact with creative by “swiping”, “pinch-and-expanding”, “double-tapping” content on a touch-screen. Creative teams will need to be aware of these capabilities to provide the best experience possible. The phrase “look and feel” takes on a much more literal meaning with these multi-touch devices!
As new product categories and devices emerge in various form factors, one common outcome is that marketers will have the ability to provide consumers with a rich, interactive and engaging experience.
Definitely an opportunity that marketers cannot afford to ignore.
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