Over the last few years, people have started to think differently about the ways in which they access information online.

With the majority of Americans now using smartphones and almost a third of adults accessing the internet via a tablet, convenience and instant access has become the trademark of a positive online experience.

It should come as no surprise that in a recent study, 55 percent of consumers said that a poor mobile experience would negatively impact their perception of the brand.

If you run a small business or nonprofit organization, you need to rethink the way you deliver information to your target audience.

With 43 percent of emails now being opened on a mobile device, email marketing is a great place to start.

Rethink your email marketing

This is the point where a lot of people hit the panic button.

But creating emails that work well on mobile (mobile-friendly emails) isn’t something that should be keeping you up at night. In fact, creating emails that are “mobile-friendly” should simplify, not complicate your email marketing.

And it will! But first, there are a few things you might want to consider.

For starters, do your current emails look good on mobile?

This should be easy to find out. If you don’t own a smartphone or tablet, there’s a good chance your employees can show you how it looks.

Simply login to your account and send a test email. If you find yourself pinching to zoom in or putting your nose up to the screen in order to read your content, it’s probably time to make a change.

Are you choosing the right template for your emails?

If you think your emails look fine, great! But I’m still willing to bet there are places you could make simple improvements.

Like your email template for example. Does the template you’re using make the content you send to your readers easier or more difficult to consume? If you’re using a multicolumn template, you might be making things more difficult.

While templates that include an email sidebar, for example, may be helpful when organizing your content for desktop readers, the limited real estate on a smartphone or tablet requires you to present information in a way that’s easier to consume in a much smaller space.

For this reason you should seriously consider making the switch to a single-column template.

Is your content scannable?

Even before smartphones, people naturally scan emails to find the information that’s most relevant to them.

And while you may have been able to get away with text-heavy emails  on desktop, mobile users tend to be much less patient.

According to Google, 61 percent of mobile users are likely to leave a brand’s website and move onto another if they aren’t able to find what they’re looking for right away. The same is true for the inbox.

When it comes to email content, keeping it clear and concise is always the best way to go. Rather than packing your next email with an entire article, look for opportunity to link to “read more.”

Is the purpose of your email clear to the reader?

Not to harp on the same point twice, but mobile users really want things to be as easy as possible when reading an email on a smartphone or tablet.

Your email contacts are people who have signed up to receive updates from your business — they want to know what you have going on and how they can buy, signup, or register.

Take a look at your latest email. Is the action you want your readers to take obvious? If not, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to grow your business every  time you hit send.

Are you providing something of value?

While things certainly need to be clear and concise on mobile, they also need to be valuable as well.

Consumers have never had more options to choose from when it comes to finding information that’s relevant to them.

Whether it’s through social, search, or from another email being sent to their inbox, consumers are bombarded by more and more information every single day. If you want to stand out in an increasingly mobile world, you need to make sure you’re delivering something of value.

That starts with listening to your readers and making sure you’re offering something that they’ll eventually thank you for (And remember, it needs to be relevant to them.)

Have you built email marketing relationships that are designed to last?

While the way people consume information has changed quite a bit, the importance of strong relationships has not changed.

In our hyper-connected world filled with a never ending number of informational sources to choose from, people continue to like, follow, and subscribe to receive updates and information from the businesses and organizations that they know, like, and trust.

It doesn’t matter what type of device your readers are using, it’s the relationship, the one that got them to sign up for your emails in the first place, that will keep them coming back.

Making the decision to adopt a more mobile-focused email marketing strategy isn’t just about staying up with the latest developments in the marketing world. It’s about living up to your part of the bargain and providing an experience your customers, members, and supporters have come to expect.

That’s what making the switch to mobile-friendly emails is about — and that’s something all businesses and organizations should strive to achieve.

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