Posts Tagged ‘font size’

Email readership on mobile devices is growing so fast that soon it will be the predominant platform for email consumption, and mobile email consumption may overtake all other platforms even sooner. We are way beyond just ‘planning for mobile’ – it is now imperative to design your campaigns and landing pages to be easy to view and work well on a mobile device.

Return Path’s Tom Sather, senior director of email research, says:

“Looking at the trend lines of our clients, we’ll probably see mobile overtaking web-mail and desktop by the end June as the preferred platform, but definitely by the end of the year.” As a result, Sather said: “Marketers need to wake up and think about their mobile strategy. More than half of all marketers have no idea if people are reading their email on mobile devices.”  

He goes on to say “A lot of people talk about optimizing email for mobile devices, which is kind of a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t think beyond the email. If they do click on a link and they come to a landing page, is that optimised for mobile as well? Studies have shown that less than 2 percent of people will revisit an email on their desktop or laptop, so you really only have one chance to make a good first impression.”

 However, Sather cautions against discounting other platforms. “But just because mobile is the rage, don’t forget about desktop email clients such as Outlook, as well as web mail,” he said.
We agree Tom. To back that up, here is our list of the most important mobile email design considerations and best practices:

Make sure you optimise your emails and landing pages for mobile. Email open rates have increased since last year and last quarter, but click-through rates have declined. This is most likely because they are abandoned after consumers open them on mobile devices and the messages are not optimised. With mobile you only have 1 chance to get the recipient to read your email and to click through to landing pages. If you are directing people to your website or landing page and it doesn’t look good or load or operate well on mobile, people will leave – and find another site that does work.

Think about where, when and how people read emails on mobile. In a recent survey, it was discovered 70% of users read emails in bed before going to sleep or first thing before waking up. So be mindful of this in terms of your design, and don’t use bright images which might be hard on the eyes for those reading your emails in the dark or as they are just waking up.

Reduce the template width to fit a smaller screen. We recommend you set the width of your email template to 640 pixels or less. Smartphones have screens between 320 and 480 pixels wide, so if your email is 640 pixels wide it is both suitable for desktop viewing, and is suitable for viewing on smartphones too.

From name and subject line become even more important for mobile. We know the from name is important already – but it becomes even more so due to the fact that the very first thing you see on your mobile, is your from name. So this to me becomes the most important facet of the mobile email. This is closely followed by your subject line. Make sure your subject line is punchy, strong, and we recommend no longer than 35 characters. This is how many characters you see.  

Space is at a premium so make it simple and save on real estate. Use one-line pre-header text. Pre-headers are usually 1-2 lines of HTML text at the very top of the email. They are ideal for hand held devices to highlight an enticing offer, making it the first thing prospects read before they even consider downloading images. Keep key content above the fold. (This will be the top 200 to 250 pixels). This area is prime real estate for the 3 to 5 seconds a prospect is focused on your email message, so it needs to have useful, readable text, or a very clear image. Be mindful to incorporate branding and offer-driven text above the fold.

It doesn’t have to be brevity central… if it’s good enough, it will be saved for later. On a mobile you obviously have less space so eliminate unnecessary content and put the focus on the key parts of the message. However don’t strip everything out – creating mobile friendly emails is a balancing act, where your shorter message should be comfortably able to be viewed, read and actioned on a small screen. Longer messages can always be saved for when subscribers get home and can read them in full on a larger screen. Mobile users will delete any long emails that are ineffective, but they will save your email for later if it’s well designed with great content.

Bigger, Bolder call to actions – think of the thumbs! It is crucial you increase the size and padding of text links and call-to-action buttons throughout your emails. A typical adult finger covers 45 pixels, and it is no accident Apple makes all their app icons 44 x 44 pixels! Make sure your calls-to-action are padded by at least 10 to 15 pixels to avoid frustrating and accidental finger tapping errors.

Because it’s on a smaller screen, you can use larger fonts. This is where we do recommend you use a slightly larger font to keep things easy to read. However still stay with web safe fonts, and use a font size of 12-14 point for body copy and headlines at 20-22 point. Keep in mind that the larger font means you’ll have even less space, so keep your content brief.

Please do download the Jericho Mobile Email Whitepaper here now and share with your colleagues.

 

There is obviously a plethora of mobile infographics, links, resources, tips and advice everywhere you look however this is really intended as our list of vital mobile email design considerations that we really want you all to know….

If you have any queries please contact us, and remember we have an expert in house design team that you can contact for advice at any time.

Colour is an important consideration in regards to your brand identity.  Colours have a significant impact on people’s emotional state, and they also have been shown to impact people’s ability to concentrate and learn.  They have a wide variety of specific mental associations.  In fact, the effects are physiological, psychological, and sociological.

For instance:

•Non-primary colours are more calming than primary colours
•Blue is the most calming of the primary colours, followed closely by a lighter red.
•Test takers score higher and weight lifters lift more in blue rooms.
•Blue text increases reading retention.
•Yellow evokes cheerfulness.  Houses with yellow trim or flower gardens sell faster.
•Reds and oranges encourage diners to eat quickly and leave.  Red also makes food more appealing and influences people to eat more.  (It is no coincidence that fast food restaurants almost always use these colours.)
•Pink enhances appetites and has been shown to calm prison inmates.
•Blue and black suppress appetites.
•Children prefer primary colours.  (Notice children’s toys and books often use these colours.)
•Forest green and burgundy appeals to the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans and often raises the perceived price of an item.
•Orange is often used to make an expensive item seem less expensive.
•Red clothing can convey power.
•Red trim is used in bars and casinos because it can cause people to lose track of time.
•White is typically associated with cool, clean and fresh.
•Red is often associated with Christmas and orange with Halloween and Thanksgiving.
•Red and black are often associated with sexy and seductive and are favoured by porn sites.
•Black clothes make people look thinner.
•Black is also associated with elegance and sophistication.  It also seems mysterious.

So how do these colour connotations translate to your email marketing campaigns? Well any successful email marketing campaign is made up of many different components and a good template is one of the most important parts. However, it takes more than simply creating a template – you will need to think about the colour and font that you use.

There is no need to use every colour in the rainbow when putting together your email marketing, however while colour goes a long way in email marketing just as it does for any other marketing medium, to make really effective use of colour there are a few things that you should always avoid and a few things that you should always do.


1. Catch people’s eyes, don’t blind them.

Using colour in email to help something stand out is great but you cross the line when you blind anyone who tries to read it. Colour should subtly catch your eye without being painful to look at.
Tip: Many email clients automatically block images by default so you can use coloured text as your alt text as a useful way to capture recipients attention and get them to download images.

 

2) It’s not a children’s book…

Colour is best used to highlight specific points in your email, not to highlight the whole thing. Try to use colour sparingly to highlight the most important part of your email rather than the entire email.
Tip: There are actual methods out there that mark certain words within messages, as the brain picks up on these marked words and pays special attention to them. Coded spy letters use this technique, and so can you.

3) Colours to avoid

Going by our handy guide above, there are definitely favourable colours you should use. But are there certain colours you should avoid in your marketing? Red and blue are two such colours you should be careful of when writing text on email (or web). The online world has trained us to automatically identify blue text as links, and red is too often the symbol of danger so these are best avoided.
Tip: Ensure all links are highlighted in blue and that all other text is a different colour.

4) Size of the font

Is there a ‘right sized’ font? At Jericho we maintain a standard font size of 10pt or 12pt. Spammy emails tend to use larger fonts, and any smaller than 10pt can be too hard to read.
Tip: If you wish to make a point you can change the size of the coloured font to 1 or 2 point sizes larger, which makes this important point pop even more to anyone who even glances at the email.

How do you use colour in your email marketing?

Today we have received a lovely email from Anytime Fitness with a great deal. However we couldn’t really identify said deal from their email…

 Some of our staff go to this gym and they are great, and their staff are lovely. However from the email we received from them today, we identified a few things they could do to improve on their email campaigns.

 

 

1) Font color. Their header font is white and their footer font is black. And the blue link in the footer is almost impossible to read. It is always important to ensure that you stay with your brand look and feel, and stick to consistent design, font colors, etc.

2) Font size. This font is OK but any larger and can have the tendency to look like spam. Be aware that the optimal font size is 10 or 12 (This is what we stick to when designing emails) and if it is any bigger it usually gets picked up by spam filters.

3) Watch your use of jargon. Note the sentence “You are able to use your access fob…” Now I have spoken to someone who attends the gym and even they don’t know what the fob is. Always watch your use of jargon.

4) Template. You may have seen some of the stunning templates we get to put together for clients at Jericho. They are structured, have a set width, includes images that catch the eye, they are structured into tables that help certain elements stand out and makes everything easy to read. More importantly, spammers don’t tend to use templates, instead choosing to use line after line of plain text. So this only serves to highlight how this email could have been improved by a template.

5) Centre Aligning. I think this came and went with comic sans.  It is very difficult for people to read so be sure to keep things left aligned.

6) Lack of prominent offer or call to action. We here at the office are struggling to identify what the offer actually is and where to find it in the email. And what do we do now? Where is our clear and simple call to action? One of the most important things to include in your email is information that answers these questions – who is this from, what is it for, what’s in it for me, and what do I do now?

7) Line height. It doesn’t help that the font is large and centre aligned, however we suggest increasing the line height to improve readability.

8) Contrast. The contrast of black on white generally is quite hard on the eyes – we suggest using a softer colored font, or a subtly colored background.

9) The main thing we noticed was what initially appeared to be Name and contact number fields that hadn’t been filled out correctly. The words in capitals do say ‘your free membership links’ so I was expecting to see links to something that gave me free memberships.  So I thought this was a matter of them not having checked the email correctly before sending. However after looking at the email 10 more times I see that it is actually where I need to input the names of 6 of my friends and then reply to the them with that information… Not many people look through emails more than once, so if they were like me they will miss this entirely. I will now reiterate the importance of having a clear call to action as mentioned in point 6.

10) I will give them this - they had a catchy subject line that was clever and worked well, and the email did pass all the tests on litmus that we ran it through. Litmus is the service that tests your email campaign against all major spam filters and will tell you if it will pass or fail the filters requirements, and gives you grades accordingly. Any number of things can influence this such as having all images or all text, or words such as ‘deal’ free’ sale’ and ‘$’.

So you can see how the little things can make such a big difference. We hope you use this as an opportunity to review your own campaigns and look out for the little things you could do to enhance your emails.