Your Mobile Email Optimization Sucks. Here’s What to Do About It


I admit that I was late to jump on the Smartphone bandwagon (it is enough that I’m glued to my laptop). So, I only recently realized how terrible of a job most email marketers are doing with mobile. Mobile emails take forever to load, are loaded with images which get blocked, have unreadable text, and invisible calls to action.

Why are these such serious offenses? Because mobile usage is developing at a faster rate than mobile email optimization! Just consider these stats:

79% of smartphone owners use their device for email. Only 78% use it for phone calls. (Digital Publishing Report)

Mobile email will take over desktop email  (Inbox Marketer)

In Sept 2012, 38% of emails were opened on mobile. This is a 123% increase from 18 months before. (Litmus)

Here is the stat you should really be paying attention to: Mobile emails get lots of clicks, but few actions. (Knotice)

It is easy to understand why mobile users are opening their emails via Smartphone. We like getting messages because it makes us feel important to be taping away busily on our phones. We like the diversion that the email gives while we sit in public transport. We are also a nation susceptible to distractions, so it is hard not to open an email when our Smartphones vibrate in announcement.

But none of this is going to compel us into taking action on the email – especially when the email looks like crap on our mobile phones!

With this in mind, here are X easy ways to optimize your emails for mobile.

1. Use Bigger Font: Use at least a 14 pixel font for text and 22 for headlines

2. Short is Sweeter: No one wants to read a novel on their mobile phones. Make sure that ALL aspects of your email marketing campaign are shortened to the liking of mobile users. This includes headlines, email body AND your landing page.

3. Simplify Design: With email, it is generally best to stick to the simple, 1-column email designs.

4. Make Blaringly Obvious CTAs: Don’t be shy about making blatantly obvious calls-to-actions. Mobile users love to click, so you will be surprised how ready they are to click when you make it obvious and easy. You also want to make your CTAs really big so it is easier for subscribers to click.

5. Optimize for Fat Fingers: Don’t you hate it when you try click on a button and accidentally click on something else? Your subscribers hate this too! So, make sure there is adequate space between all your links so fat-fingered people don’t accidently click.

6. Expect Images to Be Blocked: With mobile, you should really keep images to a minimum. If you do include images, expect them to get blocked. So, make sure your alternate text is well written.

7. Test Send Time: You should always be testing send time with your email campaigns. But, now that mobile email is on the rise, send time is going to be even more important. You’d be surprised at what a difference there may be between 11am and noon!

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