on the phone, night time

Email marketing remains an important vehicle for businesses to reach new and existing customers. As people increasingly read email on their mobile devices, marketers need to create compelling experiences, no matter what size the screen.

A recent Radicati Group report estimated worldwide mobile email users will total over 2.2 billion by the end of 2018. By this time, the report predicts 80 percent of email users will access it via a mobile device.

The Challenges

Marketers typically face two challenges when sending email to mobile devices:

  • Some mobile devices will automatically open every email that comes through to scan for viruses, often resulting in 100 percent open rates. This leads to skewed statistics for any given email marketing campaign
  • Marketing to mobile devices requires different insights to desktop email campaigns. Marketers can start by looking to the click-through rate

Also keep in mind, consumers check their mobile devices on a regular basis, which can result in a quicker rate of marketing fatigue if they receive too many messages. Analyze sending frequency and adjust with this factor in mind.

Quick Tips

Consider the following tips as a starting place to hone your email marketing campaigns for mobile devices.

  1. Slim down. Most email templates have a set HTML width of about 600 pixels, which is great if you’re on a desktop. This is too wide for most phones — and could prevent horizontal scrolling.
  2. Focus On Formatting. Include a plain text version in HTML email and make use of responsive design templates. In general, .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf attachments are safe to send, provided the email includes some content as well. Avoid any and all executable attachments, such as .exe, .zip, .swf, etc.
  3. Don’t overuse images. Marketers are often tempted to go big on visuals but forget that they increase the likelihood that the email will be classified as spam. If images are unavoidable, balance the email out with at least two lines of text per picture.
  4. Clean tags. If you’re using CSS, go back to basic HTML and take advantage of the ALT tag for all your images. Some mobile email readers won’t automatically download images upon opening an email, so it needs to be ready.
  5. Easy to share. Include a simple call-to-action with a relevant offer, combined with easy sharing features. Make sure your action buttons are large enough for a user to easily tap to convert.
  6. Safe landing. You’ve put all this effort into optimizing your email for mobile. Don’t ruin it by sending your subscribers to a landing page that isn’t mobile-ready. Your landing page should look as good (or better) on a phone that it does on a standard browser. This means following some of the same rules above regarding page width, plus keep the content brief and easy to digest for subscribers on the go.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License Title image by  kohlmann.sascha