For those who read their business email on smartphones, we need to take steps to keep them happy. Below I have listed a few tips that smartphone readers in writing classes have suggested.
And since I won't be getting an iPhone for a few weeks and can't speak from my own experience, would you please share your suggestions too? If you read your email on a mobile phone, jump in and help us write better for you.
- As with any business email, write succinctly, with the main points at the beginning, less important details at the end. Many smartphone readers won't get past the beginning before clicking to the next message.
- When you are replying, do not embed your answers in the other person's original email. Include your answers at the beginning of your reply. Otherwise, your reader may need to scroll through lots of text to find your important content. And the embedded answers may be difficult to spot.
- When your email includes an attachment, paste essential content from the attachment into your email. Don't make your smartphone readers open an attachment for must-have information. It may be too much trouble for them, and it's not fun to read endless text on a small screen.
- Think twice about including images. A few phones won't display the images in your email, and others won't clearly display words that appear in images.
- Recognize that employees may not be able to access your intranet from their phone.
- Know that your readers may not bother to click your links because of slow-loading Internet pages.
- If you regularly write to people who read their email on an iPhone, a Droid, a BlackBerry, or another device, find out how you can meet their needs better.
- Forgive those who send odd, all-thumbs messages. Of course, they are all thumbs.
What do you wish for as someone who reads email on a phone?