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Mobile has changed the way people access their emails. A recent report by Litmus states that 48% of all emails are viewed on mobile while only around 33% are opened on desktop.
Contrary to a common assumption, most subscribers don’t preview their emails on mobile and then save it for later desktop viewing. Users rarely view emails in more than one environment. A 2012 Litmus study suggests that, only 3% of users have done so. And users who have viewed it on mobile in the past are 45% more likely to do so again.
If the initial email experience on mobile disappoints your user, chances are that they won’t open your emails again. Therefore optimizing your emails for the mobile user has become very crucial. Here’s a checklist to optimize your emails for mobile:
1. Redirect users to a mobile optimized website
Most emails have a call-to-action that takes the user to a webpage that is not optimized for mobile. This makes it very difficult for your users to read. Around 4 in 1 users will visit a competitor website if they don’t experience a mobile-optimized website. Also, if your email template is majorly composed of images, ensure that each image is linked to the corresponding landing page rather than the same webpage.
2. Use a single-column layout
A recent report by Litmus, suggests that 80% of users will delete an email if it doesn’t render well on their mobile device. A single-column layout ensures that your emails fit the small screen and are easier to interact with. It also helps improve legibility.
3. Add ALT text to images
Many users and most email apps disable images in emails on their mobile device by default. And for those who don’t, the images might take a longer time to load due to a slower connection. In both these cases, the email would display the ALT text, which can then be utilized to describe the image displayed.
Pizza Express email when the images are enabled
Pizza Express email when the images are disabled
Image Source: Litmus blog
Consider this email by Pizza Express. The ALT text displayed gives the user a clear idea about the message conveyed. This is extremely helpful especially when the email template is majorly composed of images. In addition, by keeping the important information in the email as live text, it ensures that the key message is conveyed regardless of whether images are disabled or not.
4. Place links carefully
While deciding on a template for your emails, you need to keep in mind the standard design elements of each mobile operating system, such as the tray icons at the bottom of the iPhone screen. Placing links near these icons can lead to your users clicking on the wrong link.
Image Source : Litmus blog
For example, consider the footer shown above. With the text links placed so close together it becomes difficult for the user to click. You could end up losing a lead as the user might accidentally click on the unsubscribe button. Further with footer text of around 9px, it is very difficult to read on a mobile. [Tweet “Use a minimum of 14px text size to facilitate optimal reading on the small screen of mobile.”]
5. Optimize for every mobile platform
A recent report by Yesmail,a company focused on email marketing solutions, states that 82% of emails are viewed on an iOS device, while 17% of them are viewed on Android. Therefore, you need to focus on optimizing emails for every mobile platform. This can be done by keeping the subject lines and body copy short.
That being said, media queries used in responsive email design are not supported on every mobile OS. If you find that majority of your users view emails on devices that do not support media queries, then it’s best to opt for a scalable email design.
6. Place the CTA at the top portion of the email
An important part of your email is the call-to-action. Ensure that you place it on the first screen, so that your customers don’t have to scroll down to view it. Also, keep your call-to-action buttons big enough to make it easy for users to tap on. You could follow the guidelines provided by different mobile platforms to decide on the size of the touch targets. For example, iOS Human Interface Guidelines recommends a minimum target size of 44 pixels wide 44 pixels tall.
Image Source : Litmus blog
In addition, opting for a bullet-proof button provides your user with a compelling call-to-action regardless of whether the images are enabled or not.
[Tweet “78% of users saying that email is one of the most popular activities on smartphones.”] That being the case, email marketing has become the favorite tool of the marketer. The above mentioned tips are sure to help you get started in the right direction. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter as well. So post your comments and let us know if you have used any other tips for your company.