Making your emails mobile-user-friendly – vol 2

Please take a look at the vol 1 in the same series. Here is the link:

Making your emails mobile-user-friendly – vol 1

For other great tips about emails, please take a look at my favorite book on the topic – aptly named “Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home“.

11. Keep the subject line current

Whenever possible, keep the subject line current. Most email threads have a tendency to morph into something totally different than what started the thread.

Imagine renting a movie based on the cover. When you come home, you realize that the movie was not the one you rented. Someone had placed a wrong movie in the box. I don’t think you want to be in that situation.

Having a subject line that does not reflect what is in the body of the email is the same way. It confuses everyone.

12. Make the emails search-friendly

As you can imagine, it is hard to browse through all the emails quickly. Most mobile devices will provide a search option but that helps only when your emails are search-friendly.

A few examples of how to make your email search-friendly:
1. If the email is about a conference, state the name of the conference clearly instead of writing something like “the conference we attended last week”
2. If the email has names of people, be sure to include names in a format that the recipient is familiar with. Robert Parker may be Bob Parker in the recipient’s mind. Simple solution will be to say something like “Robert (Bob) Parker…”

13. Structure your emails for effectiveness

People may not have time to read through your emails so structure your email for maximum effectiveness. For example, if the call to action is the last line in your email and the early part of the email and/or the subject gives an indication that this “might” be an informational email, you might not get the recipient’s attention to the “action item” at the bottom of your email.

14. Don’t show your anger in your email

It’s not a good idea to show anger on any written communication. However, if you know that the recipient is going to read this on a mobile device (imagine driving a car and reading your email) you got to be extra careful.

15. Make emails self-sufficient whenever possible

Meaning – include all the information that may be required to complete the action.

For example, if you want the recipient to call John Parker, rather than saying “Please connect with John Parker”, say something like “Please connect with John Parker at 444-555-5555 at his office or at 555-444-4444 on his mobile”

16. Include your current location – where necessary

We all know that we live in a flat world. So if you are traveling and if you think the recipient does not know it, mention your location and/or time zone so that you don’t get a phone call back in the middle of the night (Sorry – only if you don’t want to get a phone call in the middle of the night)

17. Make your emails dictionary-independent

If your goal is to communicate a message, then please just do it. You don’t have to ALSO try to communicate how GOOD you are in your vocabulary. If someone has to refer to a dictionary to find out what your email says, you have lost the game.

18. Make your emails search-engine independent

For example, if you write something like this

It’s hard for Sally. With a bun in the oven and being under weather, she also found that a relative kicked the bucket recently.

You can be rest assured that most people will need a search engine – which means that your message is not communicated (or worse yet, communicated wrong)

This is especially hard when someone is reading from a mobile device where researching for meanings of phrases and expressions will be a total waste of time.

19. Do a quick WIIFT (what’s in it for them) test on your email

If it fails, chances are you may need to re-visit the email.

20. Think again before you hit the “Send” button

Is it absolutely necessary to send this email to this recipient. Will the recipient treat this as something important or is it contributing to the “clutter” in his or her email box?

If you are very sure that you need to send this email, think about the time – Is this the right time to send it?

If the email passes the “relevance” and the “timing” test, please go ahead and hit the “send” button.