Just a few short years ago, it was not considered mission-critical to optimize your marketing emails for mobile device delivery. Now, as people have become attached to their mobile devices, mobile optimization has become a top email marketing best practice. If you want your email marketing to work for your business, you should be writing, designing, and delivering all of your marketing emails with mobile in mind. This post will go over the basics and essentials of mobile email so that you can be equipped for higher performing campaigns.
What is Mobile Email Marketing?
At this point, very little expert advice about even the basics of email marketing does not also discuss a mobile-first strategy. The prevalence of information and tools for mobile email is simply a reflection of the dominant position this strategy now occupies in the email marketing space.
The overall objective with mobile email marketing is to design your email to, at the very least, be equally as effective when read on a mobile device as it would be on a laptop or desktop. This is very similar to having a responsive or mobile-friendly website. You want your target audience to be able to engage with you no matter when or how they encounter your business.
Why Mobile Email Design is Important
It is likely that you yourself have received emails that failed to follow basic principles of mobile email design. Chances are, you either got impatient with the email, worried that something on your phone was broken, or felt some other negative inclination that either caused you to exit the email or switch to a different application on your phone. Mobile email design is crucial for creating a positive user experience for your target audience.
Badly designed and poorly performing emails not only fail to deliver the message to the intended audience, but they also convey a negative impression about the organization and its ability to keep up with the times from a technology standpoint. As such, mobile email design can actually help to preserve and strengthen your business reputation.
If your email design is lacking, readers are not just likely to abandon the email. They are also likely move on to the rest of their crowded and noisy inbox, to other businesses that now have taken your “top of mind” spot in their heads. Even worse, they may also “rank” you below your competitors in their mind.
Let’s say you managed to stay patient while a poorly designed email loaded, and also decided to give the sender the benefit of the doubt. Even if you took the time to read the email, you probably didn’t perform any of the calls to action, because either the button didn’t render or it was slow to load. Mobile email design is crucial for email lead generation and conversion.
Mobile Email By the Numbers
Below are some stats that will help reinforce why mobile email design is a high priority element of your email marketing strategy:
• There are over 4.35 billion email accounts worldwide with 1.8 billion mobile email users.
• Over 205 billion emails sent every day = 74 trillion each year
• In 2016 Gmail alone eclipsed over 1 billion active users.
• 56% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device. Desktop use dropped to just 16%.
• Apple iPhones and iPads account for 46% of email client use.
• 50% of Americans check their email in bed before getting up.
• 42% of Americans check their email while in the bathroom.
Elements of a Mobile Optimized Email
At this point we’ve made it clear that mobile optimization is essential for email marketing. The good news is that it is also easier now than ever to engage in mobile email marketing. There are several tools and platforms available to make sure your message is well received by your audience—no matter when or where they might read or receive the message. Now it’s time to show you how to stay in line with this best practice.
This is the first thing your reader will see when deciding which emails to open. Keep the subject line between 5-7 words and make it enticing!
Less is more. Do not try and share too many messages or ideas. For a mobile optimized email it is best to focus on one topic and give it room to stand out.
Single Column Layout
With a wide variety of screen sizes on mobile devices, using a single column layout will insure the least amount of zooming and allow the reader to simply scroll through your entire message. The optimal width is 320 pixels for normal displays or 640 for retina displays.
Call to Action/Offer
The call to action goes hand-in-hand with having concise content. Place the offer near the top of the message and then make the next step painfully obvious and simple to execute. Use buttons instead of hyperlinks and make the button at least 40 x 40 pixels.
Not all fonts work well for mobile optimized email. Choose a simple font and be consistent. Use 14 pt fonts for text and 22 pt fonts for headlines to make it easy to read on smaller screens. Dark colored text on lighter backgrounds creates a nice contrast that stands out well.
If you use too many photos and they are not enabled on the user’s device your message will appear as annoying blocks of white space. Apple devices enable images by default, however Android devices do not. Include alt text (the text alternative) for any picture you do use so the reader knows what you were going to show them. Also use smaller images that are more responsive and will load faster.
Always preview your mobile optimized emails before sending them out to your subscribers. If possible, view the email on a desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android mobile device.
Follow these guidelines to optimize your marketing emails for mobile devices and you will be on your way to worldwide domination of your segment of email marketing.