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OMG, that looks good!

October 23, 2008  

If the popularity of the 3G iPhone is any indication—Apple sold over one million units during its first weekend on the market—the smartphone is here to stay. According to Loren McDonald, this presents something of a quandary for email marketers. While everyone likes the idea of customers having access to messages anywhere and anytime, most mobile devices don't render HTML images as nicely as the iPhone. "The email that looks so great on your home or office PC/laptop may look like a garbled mess on the average smartphone," he says.

So, how do you design an email that looks good on computers and smartphones? If you want to optimize your messages for cross-platform purposes, here's a small sampling of McDonald's advice:

Design for the preview pane and initial mobile screen. Save the top two or three inches for your most important content by relocating administrative copy (eg, "forward to a friend") below the fold.

Keep width under 600 pixels. "This eliminates the need for users to scroll, and ensures that your email won't have ads overlaid on your content from email services such as Gmail," he says.


Spell out key URLs and links. Symbian—the most popular operating system for mobile devices outside the United States—doesn't recognize embedded links.

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