Email Newsletter Publishers Using Custom iPad Apps
An email newsletter publisher, PinHawk, LLC, announced recently the launch of an iPad app for its email newsletters. With this App, subscribers to the publisher’s email newsletters get easy access to past content. The publisher’s App also enables subscribers to personalize their experience by selecting targeted information.
Should you think about an iPad App for your company?
The answer depends on the timeliness of your information and the habits of your subscribers. If you frequently send out very timely information to an audience that is on the go, an iPad App makes sense.
Top Factors for Developing an App
- Set the goals for your App. Do you want to encourage more engagement with subscribers, get more subscriber feedback, encourage social media, or attract more subscribers? Set your priorities and let that guide your development. Keep it simple to start.
- Develop a Content Integration Plan.
Think about how your subscribers interact with your email newsletters. What information do they view as most important and/or most popular? How can you easily give information to past relevant content? Will you need to change your archival system to group articles by topic rather than by issue?
- Enable Personalization for On-the-Go Readers.
If you provide periodic updates on several hot topics, allow users to specify what topics are important to them. Enable users to flag important information and to customize what information they receive. Also, remember that people will be reading your email newsletter everywhere, at the office, in coffee shops, on the subway, in a chair at home, etc. Make sure your email iPad App delivers your info in very easy-to-read formats.
- Keep Your Navigation Simple.
Stick with navigation schemes that are most familiar to your readers. Take a look at the most frequently used Apps, such as news readers. Look at the simplicity of those designs when you develop your App. Avoid a lot of splash and flash that interferes with content delivery. After all, your valuable cotent is why folks subscribed to your email newsletter.
- Make Tap-links Obvious.
Make sure folks can easily understand with words to tap to get additional information. Build sufficient space around the tap-links to get readers easily to the next bit of content after they tap a link.
- Build it or Outsource?
Think about whether you have the resources to build your own App. Apple makes it easy to get the software. To code the App, your developer should have some experience with iPhone Apps. Apple’s iPad development software (iOS SDK, software development kit) is inexpensive, at this moment is less than $5 and runs only on Mac computers with OS X version 10.6.6 or later. If you do not have the resources in-house, look for local developers or search elance for an experienced iPad App developer.
Subscribers are very familiar with standard Web site designs. A home page helps them grasp the topic of your email newsletter. Use a magazine style to design the home page. Highlight important articles and allow expansion of the articles that most interest your readers.