You may have noticed that this newsletter came in a new format –and this was much more than a simple design decision. It was a change from a simple layout using a newsletter template to a text-only format and it was from a non-responsive to a responsive format.
I actually feel pretty dumb it took me so long to do this about this because I firmly believe in the present and growing importance of mobile phone communications.
I'm far from the only one who thinks this. According to a recent article in Litmus.com, a site that tracks email effectiveness:
It’s official: mobile now accounts for the majority of email opens, with a 51% share. That’s an increase of three percentage points since the previous record of 48% from September and October. Desktop opens now make up 31% of opens, while webmail has dipped to 18%.
In spite of knowing the importance of mobile and working very hard to make my website compatible with mobile phones and tablets, and making it a responsive site, I forgot all about making one very important part of my communication ministry compatible with mobile phones: my newsletter.
Ways to make a newsletter easier to read on your mobile phone
Below I'll share with you what I'm doing to make the newsletter easy to read on a mobile phone. This includes some of the changes I made before this last week.
- I decided to have my newsletter be a blog broadcast of the latest articles on my website. What this means is that the newsletter program I use (AWeber) sends the newsletter out automatically.
- I use AWeber as my newsletter creator because it does blog broadcasts better than the other programs I tried.
- AWeber has recently created templates for mobile phone newsletters, but to use them, you have to create your newsletter using them. Here is the article about them: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/mobile-responsive-email-templates.htm
- Because I use the automatic blog broadcast, that doesn't work for me.
- Currently even the templates for the blog broadcast aren't mobile compatible. This is where I made a mistake—when I switched to the blog broadcast, I tested the blog broadcast template I chose on my computer, not my mobile phone. This week I was reading an article about making sure your newsletters are compatible on your mobile phone and I realized I hadn't tested mine on it.
- When I did, as they say, "my bad!" –I realized how hard it was to read. The template was not responsive. It was a shrunken version of a computer screen-complatible newsletter. It was hard to read and none of us have time to pinch and move the screen around.
- I went back to AWeber and after trying other templates and modifying them, I realized that the text-only format was the only one that would work.
- That was fine with me because on a mobile phone, we don't really need graphics for a quick newsletter skimming of topics that go back to your website for longer articles for the complete article. The purpose of most newsletters is information--not to share great artwork and this format does that well.
If you are reading this on your mobile phone, you see the result. If you don't have a mobile phone--borrow one and check it out.
The bottom line is that making our newsletters easier to read on a mobile phone is simply one more tool to help us better share the messages on our websites and ministries that will help people find Jesus and grow to maturity in Him.