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8 Tips to Optimize Email for Mobile

checking-email-on-mobile-phoneYou’ve optimized your website for mobile usage. That’s great going. But it doesn’t end at that. You need to optimize your email also for mobile phones. Mobiles are now driving 36% of email opens. The mobile email open percentage has been steadily increasing since Q4 2010. Take a look at some cool email statistics:

  • Nearly 10% consumers use a mobile phone or tablet to read emails.
  • 39% of respondents said they open emails from trusted brands on their mobile phones (DMA survey).
  • 49% respondents said that they have signed up for emails from 1 to 10 brands (DMA survey).
  • Main reasons customers signed up for emails are offers/sales (61%) and discounts (59%) followed by being a regular customer (42%) and linking the brand (40%).

Need we say more?

It’s high time to kick start optimizing your email for mobile usage!

To help you in doing the same, we’ve gathered some awesome tips. Check ‘em out here:

  1. Let the content be simple: Mobile phones have smaller screens and so, restricted display area. To fit into this small space, your subject line has to be less than 10 characters. Research has shown that subject lines with less than 10 characters have considerably higher open rates than other lengths. You also need to introduce the most exciting elements of the message in the first part of the of the subject line to lure people into opening the mail. Your subject line has to pack maximum punch within the small area to accommodate it.Along with your subject line, your body content also has to be short and crisp. Make sure that readers can go through your email by scrolling down just twice or in two finger swipes. Using bullet points and highlights is a great way to break up content and to point out the main message.
  2. Get to the point (your message) ASAP: Your mobile email recipients are mostly on the go juggling many things at a time and are not giving your email their undivided attention. They are focusing only on the pertinent details. Beating around the bush without getting to your message quickly isn’t going to help your case. If people have to scroll down multiple times to get to your core message, they are very likely to lose interest and abandon your email as a waste effort. So, “in short”, make it interesting; keep it short and get down to the point immediately.
  3. Setting the font’s size: The ideal font size 12. It’s best to set the font size to this on your email application. Since mobile phone screens are relatively small, many a times it’s difficult to read text on them. If your email font size is smaller or larger than a 12 point font, on the mobile phone the text may not look the way it looks on your computer.
  4. Test your email: You need to keep testing the technical aspects of your email. Check whether: your images load properly and quickly, your links are working (and open quickly), your email layout is mobile friendly etc. Do your testing on different mobile phones because each has a different screen size and format support capabilities. Your email should be easy to read on any mobile phone and should load quickly. To test this, you can mail yourself and see how it looks on your mobile phone and whether it opens easily and quickly. If people are left waiting for a long time for your email to load, it is most likely that they will put an end to that waiting.
  5. Send text and HTML email versions: Your main purpose in sending the email is that the recipient should read it. So it’s best to remain safe by sending mails in both text and HTML formats. This way, if a section of your recipients use mobiles that support only textual mails, you’ve covered that base. Also, don’t riddle your text email with flashy images/graphics. These don’t fare that well in mobile phone displays and also make the email heavy, preventing it from loading quickly. Optimize your textual emails with clear CTAs and clean, easy to read text. One more thing you need to keep in mind is that your email signature also shouldn’t have too many images and hyperlinks.
  6. Use clear Calls-To-Action (CTAs): It is imperative that you get straight to the point in your message. If their action is not clear to users, they’ll not stay on your mail for long. Send out high quality content and offer attractive deals with clear CTAs (main attractions for 18% of US consumers’ mobile opt-in are special deals/offers). Let the page your CTA leads recipients to be optimized for mobile. Let your CTAs be clearly visible which explicitly instruct recipients on what they are supposed to do. The best deal in the world with an unclear CTA is of no use because people will not know how to avail the offer. Also, it’s best to give sufficient spacing between CTAs to avoid annoying tap errors.
  7. Highlight links: Mobile screens are small and so links get covered up on mobile phone screens. This is especially true when they are surrounded by other content. Keep links apart from content and make them large so that they can be spotted and clicked easily. For links, use colors that stand out and avoid grouping them in clusters. People use their fingers when browsing on their phones (if they’re using touch screen mobiles), so if your links are tiny and hard to click with a finger, you’ve lost your email purpose there.
  8. Make your page layout responsive: A responsive design that lends itself to the screen size is one more important tip when optimizing email for mobile. An email on a responsive layout uses the same HTML code for all versions and utilizes media queries to modify the HTML based on the device’s screen size. Using a responsive layout means you don’t run the risk of your email looking different on recipients’ mobile phones (with different mobile phones having different screen sizes).

The most important thing you need to understand is, due to difference in screen sizes, you shouldn’t try to stuff everything that is there on your desktop version’s email in your mobile email. Plan an informative page cutting out unnecessary things while retaining necessary aspects. This is extremely important.

You’ve optimized your website for mobile usage. Now it’s the turn of emails! So, when are you getting started?

November 28, 2012
By Team Position²