iPhones, Androids and other smart phones have changed the game when it comes to reaching consumers. In fact, one could argue that people on the go often have more time for reading your email blasts and even visiting your web site. After all, what do we do when we’re sitting in a waiting room or waiting in line? We pull out our handsets to check mail and read some news.
In March, the Pew Research Center reported that 33 percent of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones. And they’re not just kids: 45 percent are 30 or older. One in three lives in a household with an income of $75,000 or more.
So these people can be important to your business, so here are a few ideas for getting your message to them:
1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. That means it needs to comply with current web standards. Heavy use of Flash and Java can make your site less accessible on handsets.
2. Enable RSS feeds on your website. If you use a content management system (CMS) for your site, you can usually do this simply by enabling the option or installing a plug-in. With this in place, visitors can get automatic updates on their customized home pages and mobile phones. Each time you add a new auction to your website, it will automatically show up in the RSS feed.
3. When sending email blasts and newsletters, keep the graphics to a minimum. Remember that many users read most of their email on their phones and can delete those that don’t capture their attention. This means if your picture-heavy email blast doesn’t grab the reader on his or her iPhone or Android, you may not get a chance at that same reader on the desktop. If you’re still sending e-mail blasts that consist of one big graphic, you’re missing a big chunk of your audience. On the smart phone, text rules. Remember, too, that many users have their e-mail set to block e-mail images, so you’re missing them on their desktops as well.
4. Reduce your reliance on PDF documents. We’ve all become addicted to PDF, especially for sending multi-page documents and electronic copies of brochures designed primarily for print. These are excellent as long as you’re sending them to someone who’s expecting them and who will get them on a desktop or laptop. But PDF documents can be difficult to view on a handheld. Whenever possible, render your information in either text or HTML so that the text can wrap to fit a small screen.