Maybe you’ve been there.  Emails and newsletters that aren’t optimised for mobile…  You’re eager to read the content so spend time pinching the screen and attempting to click links but eventually give up in frustration… Aarg! Don’t let that be your company’s email newsletter, blog or other marketing communication.

Especially after sinking your teeth into these telling stats around mobile & email…

Email opens:  

  • Litmus reports 51% of email is now opened on a mobile device – “Email Analytics” (Jan 2014). This varies by industry and audience however. In general: for a given industry, mobile email will account for 15-65% of email opens depending on your audience, product & email type” – eMailmonday  “the Ultimate mobile email stats” (2014).

Reading emails:

  • 61% of consumers read at least some of their emails on a mobile device – Yesmail “Email Compass: The Mobile Effect” (2013).
  • 30% of consumers read all of their email on a mobile device – “Email Compass: The Mobile Effect” (2013)

Email Design:

  • Only 11.84% of newsletters use responsive design techniques to optimize their layouts for mobile devices. – Equinux (June 2013)

Email Popularity:

  • Email is the number one most popular activity on a smartphone, 78% of 18-44 year olds check email on their mobile phone. This is ahead of web browsing & facebook. IDC and Facebook – “Always Connected” (2013)

12 Tips to Optimise Mobile Email Marketing Design & Conversion

With the ongoing growth of mobile and email consumption, having a clear strategy for integrating your email marketing with mobile is essential. Be sure to integrate the following ideas into your next email campaign.

1. Include a plain text version of every message.

This will allow those mobile readers that don’t support HTML to view your message. Most email marketing services allow you to send plain text versions.  Be sure to utilise this so mobile users whose phones don’t support HTML can view your emails.

2.  Short & punchy subject lines

Those checking their inbox from a mobile will see less of a subject line compared to viewing via desktop – usually only about 5 words/ 45 characters. Therefore, make sure those first 5 words are enough to draw in the reader and make them want to read your email.

3.  Adequate space around your links

Don’t put links too close together or mobile users will get frustrated that they can’t click on the correct one. They need to be spaced far enough apart so they can be easily clicked in a small space. As a general rule, 44 x 44 pixels is usually wide enough for any buttons or links to be clicked by a thumb but include space around that so that people don’t accidently click the wrong button.

4.  Small image sizes

Mobile phone speeds can be slower than desktop, therefore it can be difficult & frustrating for mobile users waiting for large size images to load. JPEG Mini allows you to reduce your file size by up to 80% without sacrificing quality for a very reasonable price. Smushit have a great wordpress plugin that will reduce image file sizes across your site with no loss of quality. Keep image sizes small and ensure they are no more than 40k. Ensure the total email size is no more than 70k. If it is larger than this, some email clients will truncate the email or cut it off with a ‘download more’ button.

For example, Gmail will display the first 102k only and truncate the remainder with various messages depending on the device

5.  Use alt tags

Some email clients automatically block images so use alt tags so readers know what the image is even if it is blocked.

6.  Concise messaging with headlines

Make the content of your email easy to grasp for someone who may be scanning the content for something interesting or relevant. Mobile users are often on the go and spend less time reading and digesting an individual email than do desktop users.

An option to keep emails lean is to use ‘progressive disclosure’ – displaying a small snippet of text and have the option for the user to ‘read more’ if they are interested in a particular topic or story

7.  Use a responsive email template

To avoid emails that don’t display well, give yourself a head start by using a responsive email template. Mashable have listed 32 of the best templates– all of which are under $20.

8.  Mobile specific call to actions

As well as regular CTA’s, take advantage of mobile by using call to actions designed specifically for mobile users. Utilise ‘click to call’ buttons to make it super easy for someone already holding their mobile phone to call you for product or service info.

‘Download app’ is another great CTA for mobile email readers who are already using their phone.

Ensure important CTA’s, whether mobile specific or not, are towards the beginning of your email (first 100 pixels) so you can maximise conversions.

9.  Optimise landing pages & shopping carts for mobile

There is no sense succeeding in getting someone to click a call to action if the page they are taken to is not mobile optimised. If your website is not responsive and you have no mobile version, you can create individual mobile landing pages.

Unbounce and leadpages are excellent landing page services you can use.

10.  Triggered emails

Triggered emails are a great tactic for both desktop and mobile. These are sent when a user performs a certain action as purchases something, views a product page or abandons a shopping cart.

Triggered emails are highly relevant to the customer and are therefore much more likely to be clicked (and result in a conversion).

11.  Unsubscribe buttons

Include unsubscribe functionality the same as you would for regular marketing emails as mobile messages are subject to the same types of regulations.

12.  Test for mobile

Finally, test for mobile! Especially if you have a large or important campaign going out or have recently changed your email template. There are several tools that allow you to test and preview your emails before sending. You could try Litmus,   PreviewMyEmail or   Campaign Monitor.

Some email clients such as Mailchimp allow you to create responsive emails and test/ preview them before sending.