5 Easy Tips to Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices


The consensus on email marketing is that it still works—really, really well. People still go to their inboxes multiple times per day to look at their new emails, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The consensus on mobile marketing is that it’s here to stay. Mobile devices certainly are not going anywhere; in fact, more and more people are owners of smartphone devices. The consensus is overwhelming positive on mobile devices.

Email marketing is still viable because people need to check their email. And it’ll probably remain like that for a while, as long as their emails are easy to use and are accessible. Mobile devices have made email accounts more accessible than ever. There’s nothing more convenient than instantaneously receiving a notification on your phone about a new email. This, in some ways, makes email marketing more potent. People are tethered to their mobile devices. Walk into your local café and see how many people are smartphone-free (it won’t be too many).

Knowing all of this, it’s wise to begin optimizing your email campaign for mobile devices.

Most email campaigns are not optimized for mobile devices. The fact that 65% of emails are first opened on a mobile device show that this is a fatal mistake. The writing’s on the wall.

Many emails look horrible on mobile devices. This is relatively easy to fix. We’re going to list a few ways businesses can start optimizing their emails, so that they can be easily read on mobile devices.

  1. Don’t use too many images

Embedding large images or files into an email is generally not a viable practice when optimizing your campaign for mobile devices. This is because they take longer to load than regular text. If people are accessing your emails on wifi or weak data plans, then those images are going to be slow to load. People on their mobile devices tend to be impatient; you don’t have too much time to waste. Visual content will make your emails more appealing, but don’t overload the email with too many images or other forms of media.

Another point about images: many mobile email apps automatically block images. With this in mind, your email content should be able to stand on its own without the help of images. Your visual content should be supplementary.

  1. Use enlarged fonts

Bigger fonts are easier to read. Different mobile devices have various screen sizes—some smaller than others. As a general rule, tiny fonts won’t cut it, as they’ll be too difficult to read on mobile devices with smaller screens. For body content use 14 pt sizes as a minimum; for headlines, at least 22.

  1. Use clear and concise content

Your content should be succinct and needs to get straight to the point. You don’t want your subscribers to do too much scrolling on their device; it may take them out of the experience. There’s not too much real estate on their mobile devices, so too much content, which readers would have to continually scroll through, will be a cause for frustration. Attention spans get shorter on mobile devices, and to add to that, people are often multitasking on these devices, so it’s not a good idea to overload with content.

Edit your emails to shed off any unnecessary fat. Limit the amount of copy that you use and break it up with multiple paragraphs and bullet points. Use shorter subject lines; keep them below 20 characters. If there are too many characters in the subject line, it’s not guaranteed that the full subject will be shown on all mobile devices.

  1. Use touch-friendly buttons, not links

For your call-to-actions, use touch-friendly buttons; avoid links. With mobile devices, links can be too difficult to click on. Buttons are much easier to click on, and their appearance and size can be customized. We recommend that you use larger, easy-to-see buttons for your CTA, and if you can, use attention-grabbing background colors. Make sure that you’re CTA’s are linking to mobile-friendly pages, too.

  1. Use pre-headers to your advantage

Pre headers are criminally underutilized in email marketing. They’re perfect for mobile devices. A pre-header is a small piece of text that appears above the content in an email. Email inboxes for mobile devices usually display the pre-header under a subject line.

Think of this as additional real estate. It’s like a sub-headline. Use it for additional copy that you couldn’t fit into your subject line; it’s a great way to entice your subscribers to open your email.

Email usage has progressively gotten more mobile, and will continue to do so. Get proactive about it, and begin managing your campaign with mobile devices in mind.

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Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on: Business.com, Redbooth.com, Kabbage.com, MaterialDesignBlog.com

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