Question: What else can I do to optimize e-mail for handheld message rendering?

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Answer: Last month we looked at the comical yet serious repercussions of “from name” rendering on handheld devices, but there are a number of other message components to consider. This month we will look at another quick win: leading with a link to a handheld version of your message.

There are some challenges rendering HTML on a handheld device that we marketers must come to grips with, but the annoying gobbledygook that appears as HTML code doesn’t have to be one of them. You have all seen it: You open up your latest message on your BlackBerry and you see code and image paths and linked URLs—much worse then any plain text message you have ever seen.

Instead of sending such a message to your recipients, how about leading the e-mail with a link to a handheld version? Depending on the tools you use to send your e-mail, this could be an extremely simple and customizable solution, but it's an option that marketers often overlook.

The first line of copy and the first link in your code should be to a handheld (HTML lite) version of your message. The language should be simple and apparent: "View on handheld." When this link is the first thing users see, they will be more likely to click it before viewing the rest of the messy code that appears below it. Not only do you allow your mobile audience to view a cleaner version of your message in a browser, you also have a trackable metric and can begin to determine who is viewing your messages on handheld devices. It is not absolute, but you will have more insight than you do today, and that is always the goal, right?

Kara Trivunovic is director of strategic services for Premiere Global Services, eMarketing Solutions (, a provider of communication technologies.

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