6 Essential Rules for Mobile Email Marketing

We all know that smartphones and mobile devices are changing the way we as consumers approach our daily activities, including email. In fact, one of the primary activities of smartphone users is reading and responding to email. Several recent reports have indicated that over 36% of all email opens are now on mobile and it is predicted that this number will continue to increase and soon become the majority. For that reason, mobile can no longer be ignored when planning and implementing email marketing. Email marketers must also be mobile marketers and follow these best practices to be sure your email marketing will be successful in the mobile space.

1.     Shorten subject lines. On mobile devices, as little as 15 characters of a subject line may be viewable. Make every character count. Front load your subject line so that the first 6 words get your message across.

2.     Keep it simple. Less is more on mobile. Limit your email to the most important words, images and calls-to-action. Clearly state the core benefit upfront. Be concise and use bullet points when possible. A single column format works best on mobile.

3.     Size Matters. Make the most important message and any calls-to-action or buttons BIG. The CTA should be a minimum size of 44×44 pixels and it should be really obvious that it is a ‘tappable’ button. Headlines should be increased to 22 pixels minimum and body copy should be a minimum of 14 pixels. Fingers generally cover 45 pixels, so add 10-15 pixels of padding around an object to make it easy to click.

4.     Increase contrast. With tiny screens and reduced brightness levels to conserve battery power, mobile devices require more contrast between text/images and backgrounds.

5.     Be selective with images. Don’t design emails as one huge image, because your message won’t be visible if images are blocked. Use small images so that it doesn’t take a long time for mobile devices to download your email. A 3:1 ratio of text to images is recommended. Rely on text based calls-to-action in case images are blocked.

6.     Optimize websites for mobile. If your email renders perfectly on a mobile device and a recipient clicks through to a website that isn’t optimized for mobile, they will be unlikely to convert.

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