How to liven up your emails on tablets

Today it will be exactly 2 years since Apple rocked the multimedia hardware market by bringing out the iPad.  This nifty device allowed surfers to explore the internet on a whole new level.  Today, this fast-emerging market already offers a lot of choice, with Dell, Asus, LG, Samsung and others also focusing on these compact mobile devices.  No surprise it was one the best-selling items last Christmas.  It has already found its way into14% of households, and there are absolutely no signs of this growth stopping any time soon.

Many email marketers, HTML builders and designers are already used to building emails for PCs and smartphones, but how can we liven up our emails on tablets?  Here are some tips to get you going:

1) Haven’t build a mobile version yet?  Well, do this first.  This has a bigger market share and it is fairly easy to adapt your mobile version to a tablet version.

2) Don’t build something boring.  A tablet is a lean-back device that users use for browsing.  Make sure you build an attractive design to get them to read and click on your newsletters.

3) A lot of tablets don’t support Flash.  You definitely shouldn’t use flash in your emails and you should also make sure you don’t put it on your landing page because a lot mobile readers won’t be able to open it.

4) Make your email ergonomic.  Your CTA’s need to be easily clickable so make them large enough.  You definitely want to avoid putting text links below one another because you don’t have the accuracy of a mouse to work with.

5) A lot of web-based email clients also offer their services through an app version.  They will probably use the same rendering engine but you should check if there are differences in rendering.

6) Your subject line, from name and preheader are still important.  If, for instance, you hold your iPad horizontally, you can see your mailbox and preview your email.  If you hold it vertically, you don’t have a preview version.

7) Adjust the width of your email to the vertical screen width.  Nobody likes horizontal scrolling.

8) Put a link to your online version on your landing page.  If you close your landing page on your PC, your previous frame (your inbox) pops up.  On the iPad, for instance, you have to close your browser and reopen your inbox to get back again.  So make it really easy for your reader to check out other articles in your newsletter.

9) Make sure that your message is trustworthy.  Tablet readers (as well as smartphone readers) can’t hover over a link to see if it seems trustworthy.

10) If you offer discount codes, for a webshop, for instance, make sure you personalize your URL’s with them so they are prefilled on your landing page.  Copying and selecting text is more difficult on a tablet.

11) 2-column designs are less interesting given that your tablet is controlled with either your left or your right hand.  You might cover up a column or CTA simply by controlling it.

Conclusion:  The tablet PC market is growing strongly, so make sure your emails render properly and can be easily controlled with touch screens.

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