Business technology

Mobile devices: Send emails that rock

- January 23, 2015 3 MIN READ

Email still rocks! Leverage mobile devices and your email design to deliver successful email marketing campaigns and your sales could soar.

In a survey of 760 people from five countries, 85 percent of smartphone users said they would “give up drinking water” rather than delete their mobile apps. And what did a majority of them use smartphones for? To check email.

In 2013, marketers (that includes micro business owners just like you!) sent over 830 billion emails to 3.6 billion email accounts in the world. As much as 48 percent of these emails were opened on mobile devices.

Can you see a theme emerging? When combined, mobile and email marketing is powerful.

The key to being mobile friendly

A whopping 69 percent of mobile users delete email if it’s not optimised for their smaller screens. To leverage mobile to deliver successful email marketing campaigns, you can use one of the three approaches:

1. Segment your list based on their preferred mode of past opens
2. Add a URL so they can open a mobile-friendly layout
3. Create a responsive email design

Needless to say, the first two approaches are not sustainable in the long run. What if a user switches between mobile and desktop devices? Or, in the case of number two, what if they don’t notice the mobile-friendly URL or don’t want to click an extra link every time they receive an email from you? So make your campaigns responsive for all platforms, including smartphones and tablets.

What is a responsive email design?

A responsive email design is an approach that ensures your emails look nice on multiple mobile platforms and creates a much better user-experience for your subscribers. It will display your message on any device, horizontally or vertically, in different screen sizes, without the need to resize, scroll or pan.

Since mobile email open rates continue to soar, if you ignore a less-than-optimal reading experience on iPhones, iPads, and Androids you will irritate the majority of your subscribers.

Seven tips to go responsive with your email campaign templates

Most email service providers let you choose a responsive email template at a click of a mouse. But at times, you want to design a template from scratch. Here are some handy tips.

1. Stick to one-column

Single columns (about 500 pixels wide) work well because mobile devices can display the content vertically, stacked one above the other.

2. Start with mobile

Reverse-engineer the design phase by starting with a mobile platform. Design how your campaigns will look on mobile before desktop versions.

3. Swap bulky images with smaller ones

Don’t make your mobile subscribers wait an eternity for a bulky image to load. For mobile platforms, use smaller-sized images that load faster than their desktop counterparts.

4. Trim your content

Keep skimmers in mind – don’t cram too much copy. Instead, save your readers the headache of endless scrolling. Keep your most important content in mind and edit out any unnecessary copy.

5. Keep your main offer at the top

Most readers are skimmers, especially when it comes to reading on mobile devices. Showcase your main offer at the top with something that entices them to scroll down and read further, such as a coupon or discount link.

6. Make your call-to-action stand out and clickable

Don’t make your readers try too hard to click on your call-to-action button (hint: they won’t). A good rule for mobile clickable areas is 44 x 44 pixels. And make your button colour stand out so it’s attention-grabbing.

Additionally, in a vertical hierarchy of mobile display, your call-to-actions should occupy a position near the top because if they are buried at the end, they may never be seen.

7. Optimise other pages on your website

Once you’ve optimised your emails, it’s time to do the same for your landing, sales or squeeze pages. What’s the point of sending a pretty email that leads to a yucky page?

Besides, most of your conversion happens on your landing page, so don’t ignore testing it on mobile devices.

Most emails you send are being read on mobile devices. It’s much better to be smart about responsive design and see your user experience skyrocket.

What are your thoughts on responsive email design for mobile devices?