Are you making the number one email newsletter mistake?

Are you around other people right now? If so, take a look around. How many are looking at their smartphones? This morning, I stopped for coffee. Everyone around me was immersed in their phone. Standing in line, sitting at tables, even while ordering—phones. Any thoughts on what they might be doing on their phone?

According to this article, 49.7% of email is opened on a mobile device. That’s huge!

Business owner, if you’ve got 2 seconds to connect with your prospects while they’re standing in line, sitting at Starbucks, or waiting for a bus—your message had better be mobile-friendly (a.k.a. responsive).

What is mobile-friendly?

It means no roadblocks will get in the way of your prospect reading your email. Mobile-friendly means:

Regardless of your reader’s screen size, your content is easily readable (with a large enough font), the content stacks (they don’t need to scroll from side to side), and everything works with your fingers (links, buttons).

Is your newsletter responsive? Check it quickly by: Opening your newsletter on your smart phone. If the text is large enough to read without zooming—and there are no horizontal scroll bars—then congrats, you’re responsive!

Not mobile-friendly :(
Not mobile-friendly :(
Mobile-friendly :)
Mobile-friendly :)

Can you see the difference? Take a look at my old newsletter (circa January 2013). On a smart phone, the text was super tiny and hard to read. The text links were also really small and caused the fat-finger syndrome when trying to visit a link. Now, look at my responsive newsletter. The text and links are nice and large and easily readable. Yay!

If your newsletter isn’t responsive, here are 9 reasons to board the train to mobile town:

  1. Percentages are people. Only 6 in 10 of your viewers can easily read your email newsletter. Do you think the other 4 viewers have time to pinch, zoom and scroll? It’s doubtful since their name just got called: “Jill, your cinnamon dolce latte is ready!”
  2. If content is king—where’s his chariot? Picture a regal king arriving at your house in 1972 station wagon. I mean, assuming you were expecting him, wouldn’t that be weird? Kings don’t belong in station wagons. And your content doesn’t belong in a rusty old newsletter.
  3. Your ideal client isn’t a circus performer. What do all ideal clients have in common? They like when we make things easy for them. People are busy. They don’t have time for pinching, zooming or hoop jumping.
  4. Time is tight, and deleting just takes a swipe. One quick moment of frustration, especially for a busy person (every person) can result in a quick delete. Alakazam. Your newsletter has disappeared.
  5. Bitter frustration, anyone? Have you ever gotten an email you really wanted to read—and couldn’t. Argh. It makes me frustrated just thinking about it. Don’t do this to your clients; I beg you! Even if they love your business, frustration is the anti-love.
  6. Care about conversion? When your prospects can’t click on links, it will ruin any conversion you had hoped for. Including great samples or a call to action? Don’t bother.
  7. Fax machine, schmax machine. Yes, technically they still work. But they’re a pain the in butt. It’s nearly 2014—there are so many easier ways! Mobile-friendliness is becoming standard. Become an early adopter to stay current. Your other option? Be stuck in the land of fax machines and Flash websites: obviously outdated.
  8. It reflects you. It’s all part of your brand. Is a hard-to-read newsletter really what you want to say about your business? If your brand is all about good things (like positive user experience!)—an easy-to-read newsletter reinforces the goodness.
  9. Plastic orange, anyone? An e-newsletter is push marketing. If you’re putting something in front of your audience, don’t you want it to be ready for consumption? A non-responsive newsletter is like sending someone a fruit basket full or plastic fruit.

Have you met MailChimp?


Personally, I don’t see a reason not to use MailChimp—4 million+ people use them to send email newsletters. It’s freaking awesome, and they obviously care about making things easy for their clients:

  • Free for under 2000 emails
  • Customizable, mobile-friendly templates
  • Easy drag-and-drop editor
  • Seamlessly integrates with WordPress
  • Simple social media sharing
  • Great reporting functions
  • They sponsor web design conferences and give out free hats!

Let everybody love you. When someone can consume your content on a small or large device—everybody is happy. Ready to give them a newsletter (or website) that’s friendly? Then my mission is accomplished! If you need help, sign up for my free 30-minute chat »

About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress WordPress designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. Get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, and check out my Client Onboarding Toolkit, a simple 4-step digital course for converting prospects into a paying clients.


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