The 5-Step Guide to Optimizing Emails for Mobile Devices

Every month, Litmus, a tried-and-true email testing and marketing analytics platform, analyzes more than 1 billion emails and shares trends found in various email clients and environments. A post in mid-December caught the eye of digital marketers everywhere when Litmus stated that 55 percent of all email opens took place on mobile devices.

It’s worth noting that the definition of a “mobile open” refers to not only mobile-specific clients, like iPhone or Android, but also where users are opening their mail. Using platforms like the Yahoo or Gmail phone app on an iPhone count as a mobile open. This also includes tablets like the iPad.

To further emphasize that mobile marketing is still king, mobile recorded more than $750 million in sales on Thanksgiving Day and more than $1 billion on Black Friday.

As mobile shopping continues to become a more common practice, the importance of digital marketing managers optimizing emails, websites, and landing pages for mobile devices is paramount.

Here are a few tips for optimizing emails and making them mobile friendly:

1.) Shorten Your Subject Line

While typical desktop and webmail platforms are easy to adjust for various subject and pre-header lengths, mobile email platforms are fixed. Keep in mind a subscriber might be using a small iPhone 5 or a much larger iPhone 7 Plus. Always plan for the smaller phone in mind, keeping your subject line less than 35 characters. The shorter, the better.

2.) Use Pre-Header Text

You are setting yourself up for failure if you have a catchy subject line followed by “View in Browser. Click here to Unsubscribe” in the pre-header text. Take the opportunity to include a short pre-header line that complements your subject line. Typically, this is where you further explain what your message is about.

3.) Reduce Image File Sizes

Mobile download speeds are continuing to improve across the board, but that doesn’t mean they are anywhere near ready for oversized images—there’s a reason platforms like MailChimp require you to shrink images if they are too large. Retain your resolution and shrink file sizes by using a platform like TinyPNG.

4.) Resize Images by Screen Proportion

There is nothing worse than opening an email and only seeing a portion of an expertly designed creative message. When emails aren’t resized for screen proportions, the subscriber is left pinching, zooming, and swiping to get the full picture.

5.) Code Your Emails

Most email service providers like MailChimp and Klaviyo host excellent platforms that allow you to design a message that is both desktop and mobile optimized. However, they’re still rather limited when it comes to elaborate email designs. When you need to go the next step, you can create a responsive email with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HTML. It’s worth noting this requires a serious amount of coding experience, so outsourcing your work to a digital marketing agency like Hawke Media is your best bet.

While emails are excellent for guiding your audience to visit your website, it’s important to think about the holistic user experience on mobile and desktop alike. Increased open and click rates on mobile-optimized emails are likely to be met with high bounce rates if your website isn’t ready to take on a mobile audience. Optimizing emails for mobile devices is only a piece of the puzzle.

Ready to fully charge your mobile marketing strategy? Access our white paper on the mobile marketing mix!

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