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Top 7 Tips: How to Write for Mobile Consumers

Top 7 Tips: How to Write for Mobile Consumers

By | 12.12.17
Top 7 Tips: How to Write for Mobile Consumers

Just how important is mobile marketing?

By 2018, American adults are expected to spend on average 3 hours and 23 minutes on non-voice mobile media per day.

And that’s up an entire hour since 2013. People spend a lot of time on their phones.

More Startling Mobile Marketing Stats

What does all of that mean? Not only do these stats reinforce the importance of tailoring your marketing efforts to the mobile moguls, they highlight top areas mobile users want you to be friendly with their devices: on social media, your website and in your email and text campaigns.

Aside from designing for these top marketing channels, they have one other core element in common. Their success relies largely upon how you write for mobile.

So how do you approach writing marketing copy? Do you have someone who helps put together your ads, updates your web copy for you, automates your email campaigns, and posts to your social media account? And do they do all this for both desktop and mobile audiences? Consider yourself lucky if so, because you’re in the vast minority for local businesses.

7 Tips: How to Write for Mobile

If you’re writing your content yourself, it may seem overwhelming. After all, each marketing channel requires its own level of attention and has its own set of rules. But writing for a mobile audience doesn’t have to be daunting.

Apply these 7 tips to make it a bit more bearable.

1. Answer their questions immediately.

Whereas desktop consumers and even those consuming traditional print advertising materials are willing to invest a little more time and energy into consuming marketing content, mobile users have no patience for that. So instead of belaboring a story about your business’s history and origin on your website’s home page and social media accounts, lead first with how you can help your target customers.

Doing this will also improve your search engine optimization (SEO), as popular searching engines like Google will love how easily and clearly you answer popular consumer questions.

2. If you’re going to make a claim or an offer, do it fast.

This applies particularly for social media and text message marketing. If you don’t make it clear what you’re communicating within the first sentence or two (or better yet, in a catchy headline), it’s way too easy for users to scroll right past your messaging.

3. Use short words, short sentences, and even shorter paragraphs.

This applies to all mobile marketing channels, including your website, social media, emails and texts. It’ll make your copy easier to skim, and it’ll keep longer words from splitting across more than one line.

4. If you have to be wordy, break it up.

For longer web copy, or even longer descriptions of your business on social media or online listings sites, break your copy up with clear headlines, subheadings and bullet points. For example, if you work in landscaping and lawn care, you may want to break up your services into a few different categories or subheadings like regular maintenance, weed-eating, landscaping and tree-trimming services.

5. Tailor your tone for the casual mobile environment.

Though business professionals use mobile more and more to manage their work, the typical consumer views mobile as a place to consume more casual, personalized content.

So write for mobile with that in mind. Instead of using professional, overly stodgy words, try to make your language more relatable and casual. For example, replace “Introducing!” with “NEW!” Or, change “Warmest regards,” with “Thanks,” or even “Cheers,” if you’re feeling particularly festive.

6. Make your calls to action mobile-centric.

Without even knowing it, many businesses employ calls to action on their website and social media, even in their emails, that are tailored to desktop users. If you’re trying to encourage consumers to take action with your writing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are links easily tapped on a small device, or are they a lot easier to click with a mouse?
  • Do buttons or links include desktop words like “click,” instead of mobile terms like “tap”?
  • Is the destination for your links also mobile-optimized? It better be!

7. Take extra care to cater your emails.

Mastering email marketing that’s specifically tailored to mobile devices is tricky.

How to write for mobile emails:
  • Keep subject lines to fewer than 50 characters, including spaces. Include eye-catching, but still relevant, emoji where you can.
  • Add preheader text into your template. This is the text that shows up below the Subject Line in mobile email preview panes and helps consumers understand the contents of your email. This text shouldn’t exceed 100 characters, with spaces. Pro tip: If you fail to designate preheader text, your email will pick up the first few lines of copy from the email itself, which can often be words like, “Trouble viewing this email?” …not likely your ideal first impression.

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  • Preview your emails on both desktop and mobile before sending. Some of the best email templates look great on big screens but make your messaging nearly illegible on mobile phones and tablets.
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