Email at Work

by Barbara Buffton

Email on the move

He said it!

The greatest single interruption in the modern world.

Tim Ferris, author

Some experts recommend text-only messages. The benefit with this approach is that you know the email will be readable, whether viewed on a smartphone or on an actual computer. However, HTML – HyperText Markup Language – is a text format which is now used in emails more widely than plain text. Unfortunately, because it is larger than plain text, an HTML email on a mobile device can be difficult to read, as the text may be automatically rescaled to a size that is barely legible.

So it pays to use the KISS principle when you’re emailing to those on the move: Keep It Short and Simple.

Email triage

Many people use their mobile devices to manage their inbox. They do this by deleting nonessential emails and flagging the ones that need a response for when they are back at their desktop or laptop. It is often the case that it is easier to delete an email on a mobile device than to read it.

People who read their email on mobile devices are giving you half of their attention at best. So, as with any email, you need to get to the point quickly. Include your message and calls to action early in the email, and be sure your subject line is clear and short. Screens on a handheld are often small, and since you are working with a small space, you only have a limited time to capture attention.