Completely, totally, unreadable, non-mobile-friendly, email newsletters

IAB Smartbrief EmailI catch plenty of news headlines on Twitter and via Facebook.

But I don’t mind admitting I still seek out daily or weekly email newsletters that can show up in my inbox on a regular schedule so I can consume them when I’m good and ready. The problem for me, as a guy who’s constantly on-the-go?

Way too many email newsletters just aren’t readable on an iPhone. Including those from resources “connecting the marketing community”, those providing “digital intelligence”, and news sources aimed at advertising, marketing, and media professionals.

Apple has sold well over 100 million iPhones already, and plans to sell that many in 2012 alone.  There are another 200+ million Android phones floating around out there already as well.

Yet, seriously, I have to use two fingers to expand an email to read just the headlines, let alone the content? And it doesn’t get any better if I CLICK on a headline to see a specific article in my iPhone’s browser. Tiny text formatted for a full PC screen. Surely, you’ve experienced this.

The content may be high-quality, the opinions riveting…but what ends up happening most often is I delete the email instantly on my iPhone, or it gets deleted eventually from my desktop when I go into email-cleanup-mode in Outlook.

That’s a shame for those people who go to such great lengths to create compelling content for people like me.  It gets lost in the shuffle…over something as simple as formatting. Some designer got overly ambitious, or overly cute and design-y, and created a template for the editors to use.

Nice work. You did your employer a disservice, making it harder for them to connect with their audience.

I’m ranting here, but I’m actually amazed at just how out of mind this notion is to the people behind the newsletters. Do they even try to read their own newsletters on a smartphone??

Bottom line: if you distribute a company email newsletter to prospects, customers or an E-club of some kind, do yourself a favor, make it streamlined. Ditch the multi-column, rigid-font-size formatting. Make it, you know, actually readable, usable, and actionable from a smartphone.

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