Is your email messaging optimized for mobile?

This is a web page squeezed onto a mobile screen.  Too much to process for the recipient - and too small.
This is a web page squeezed onto a mobile screen. Too much to process for the recipient – and too small.

Here’s an issue that most theatres need to take a look at ASAP. And that is whether or not your email messaging is optimized for mobile.

As you know, mobile adoption is hockey sticking up to the right steeper than a real time graph of bon mots at the #GOPDebate.

Your audience is on mobile. Mobile is the only screen now for many users. Which means they will get your emails on mobile. And attempt to read them there. The entire world needs to come through that little portal.

Writing for mobile entails more than just responsive design (which if you don’t have, the user will simply delete your email). It also calls for a style of brevity and focus. When you have less space to work with, what do you with it? More – or less? Less.

Simple, readable, attractive.
Simple, readable, attractive.

Emails are not the place for WAR AND PEACE length discourses on your new season or outreach program. Emails are about a succint and compelling CTA (call to action). Emails are a notification, a bell that goes off. You want the recipient to do something when they get your email – usually click on a button that says “Buy Tickets” or “Read the full post”. You want your email to ignite an emotion in the recipient – to give them a feeling or desire. You want your emails to be a work of art – not a long piece of text like something on the wall at the DMV.

Many, many emails from theatres are still overloaded with text and frames and boxes – all at a scale designed to be read on a desktop monitor the size of a Broadway billboard.

But that’s not what your recipient is using. She’s on mobile.

If it works for Airbnb...
If it works for Airbnb…

Put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and step through each moment of the interaction when you send them an email. First, a bell goes off or a buzz vibrates. They glance at the screen and see a badge notification (which is where your brilliant subject line does its magic). If you’re lucky they will swipe open. And then they will take a look for a few seconds.

What you want to do in that microinteraction is create interest and excitement. Show, don’t tell. Give the user enough info so they’re hooked. But don’t let them off the hook. When they’re done reading they should have an active desire to take the next step.

Your email should drive the recipient on – usually to your web site to complete the message, or maybe onto social media where a conversation is going.

Email is the single most important channel to your audience, and theatres spend lots of time and money on messaging.

Make sure all that investment isn’t wasted. Learn how to write and design for mobile.

You’ll stand out from the crowd when you do.

Completely readable on mobile.
Completely readable on mobile.