Let me ask you: are your marketing emails optimized for mobile? If you answered “no,” you’re definitely not alone (about 89% of emails aren’t optimized!). And this is happening while email on mobile is a hugely popular topic.
You’d be surprised to know that it may only take a few simple changes to turn your messages and newsletters into mobile-friendly email messages.
89% of Marketers Are Not Keeping Up to Pace
For the past year everyone has been talking about how one in two emails are now read on a mobile device. The interesting fact, however, is that only about 10-12% are actually mobile-friendly emails.
At first we were surprised about this number, we found that it’s an industry wide trend and this percentage is consistent across multiple sources. Research from Equinux states that “only 11% of newsletters feature responsive mobile layouts (July 2013).” In Nov 2013 – this research from Exacttarget, reveals that “only 12 percent of brands use responsive email design and 10 percent use mobile-aware design.” The online retailing industry was the only one that showed a significantly larger adoption of mobile-friendly design.
Email is the most popular smartphones activity
Email is the most popular activity on smartphones and over half of US adults own a smartphone. If you aren’t already doing so, it’s time to take the first steps into making your emails more mobile-friendly.
Mobile Email Design Simplified
There are a few ways to achieve a mobile-friendly email. One method is to use a fully responsive email design template with sophisticated media queries that adapts according to your subscriber’s screen size.
Another approach can be to optimize your current email into a more mobile-friendly layout by simplifying the table structure and increasing the font size. Simple changes can make a big impact in terms of how they render in smartphone screen. Chances are that you may already be half-way or even further to having a mobile-friendly email.
Mobile email example and tips
Let’s look at an example and draw a few tips. The email shown below is a promotional email from one of our customers, YouMail, a leading voicemail solution with over 5 million users.
This email stands out for us, for two reasons:
1) overall, YouMail sees a 90% mobile open rate on their marketing emails, and
2) this is a great example of how you can really simplify the layout and design of your messages. What would you do if your mobile open rate was 90%?
- Often, the most successful layout is also the simplest! The email layout is a simple HTML table with a top banner for branding, an image – which immediately attracts the attention and reinforces the message – brief text copy and a clear call-to-action both in the form of a visible link (if the images are not loaded) and a button.
- Having a simple HTML structure also makes applying CSS attributes easier. Why? Because there are fewer elements to manage!
- Focus on your email sender name, improve your subject line, and preheader. Tons of research shows that these three variables account for more than 50% influence in subscribers’ decision to open your email.
- Don’t try to communicate too much in a single email. Keep it simple and keep your emails to the point. In the email marketing community, the rumor goes that people checking email on their smartphone have an attention span comparable to that of a 5 year old!
Practical Tip: Make Your Email Look Great On Both iPhone And Android Smartphones
For an email marketer the fact that iPhone and Android smartphones have different screen sizes is not ideal and sometimes our customers ask us if there a solution to rendering emails on both iPhone and Android screens without creating multiple emails (i.e. one version for iPhone and another one for Android or alternatively choosing to optimize only for iPhone).
This is where the concept of responsive design comes into place. Without getting too complicated, a bit of responsive code can help your email fit beautifully in any screen size. Specifically, assuming that you have adopted a simple, one-table structure for your message, you can set a defined width for the main table (or body) and apply the .shrink CSS class mentioned in the code below. In this example, our table is 600 pixels wide and the code essentially performs this task: when the screen size is smaller than 600px, it applies the .shrink class to make the table zoom to a width of 100%.
Simple and quick to implement. See if you can take advantage of it, keeping in mind that this is only one tip and it’s simply a starting point into the process of rendering your email marketing mobile-friendly.
Ready For Mobile-Friendly Emails?
Are you still wondering why only 10% of emails are mobile-friendly? Us too! One reason could be that marketers are overwhelmed with keeping up with the day to day tasks, but another reason could be that the email marketing platforms need to make it much easier for marketers to develop mobile-centric campaigns. At the least you should be able to quickly retrieve what was your last campaign’s mobile open rate. Would you be surprised if it were 90%!?
For an in-depth look at the mobile email optimization tips covered in this article, download our free ebook on mobile marketing (registration required).
Image via flickr