Tips for Sending Mobile Friendly Emails and Why You Should

Gabriel Nwatarali

May 17 2020

We have to think about the mobile experience with every email campaign. More than half of Internet users read emails on mobile devices such as smartphones. So you’re likely missing out on opportunities if you’re not sending mobile friendly emails. A mobile friendly email can adjust to fit the viewport or window space of any device while looking great. This allows businesses to provide the same experience to users on mobile and desktop.

Today people access the Internet using several devices on a given day. A study by Think with Google found that 57 percent of consumers use more than one type of device. And people move back and forth between devices throughout the day. The same study found that 71 percent of mobile users use email applications. That is a huge number of users. In this article, we’ll look at some tips for making sure your emails are mobile friendly.

1. Use Responsive Email Templates

A responsive email template can adjust the contents of your email to fit the user’s device. For example, the user won’t have to scroll side-to-side to read your text since the layout or design would shrink to fit. Responsive email templates also adapt to the situation. For instance, your two-column layout would become one column on a mobile device. Similarly, the images on your email can disappear once a specific width target is met.

But building a responsive email template from scratch isn’t in the cards for many and may not be the best route. Instead, you should use email marketing software that features responsive email templates. Constant Contact is one asset to consider that comes with high-quality responsive email templates. Another good choice is HubSpot. Responsive email templates help ensure your audience enjoys a great experience no matter the device they used.

2. Keep Your Subject Lines Short

The space provided by mobile device displays is limited. So your subject line is often cut off when it’s too long. While some email applications will display the entire subject line, many won’t. And the subject line is pretty much your headline when it comes to email marketing. This is because, like an article’s title, it’s often the first thing the recipient sees and can determine whether or not they explore further. Therefore, you don’t want it cut off. A mobile user typically sees the sender’s name, the email headline, and a snippet of the body copy (in that order).

That can mean missed opportunities to impact readers positively. So you should keep your subject lines brief. A good rule of thumb is to use 5 words or less than 40 characters for the subject line. However, this isn’t always possible with an email campaign. In cases like that, place the most important words or phrases at the beginning of your subject line (within the first 40 characters). So that your readers can see them on mobile even if the headline is cut off.

3. Make the First Line of Your Body Copy Count

The first line of your body copy is shown by most email apps as a preview text, also called the preheader text. Some email marketing software allows you to specify a preheader text. This is then shown to the recipient in place of the first line of your copy. But not all platforms offer the feature. However, no need to worry if yours doesn’t. Just make sure the first line of your body copy is written to move the reader along. It should provide some context that can entice the recipient to open your email.

For example, starting an email with, “my name is…”, is less effective than beginning one with, “Hi there, here’s the latest…”. But always set a preview text if your platform features it in some way. For example, SendinBlue lets you set the header and footer texts of your emails. The header text will become the preview text since it’s the first sentence in your body copy. Also, keep in mind that text length will vary by the mobile device and email clients.

4. Increase Font Size

Your text will always appear smaller on mobile devices and small fonts are hard to read. A small display like the original iPhone SE or even smaller device magnifies the problem. You also don’t want your text too small on a desktop either. Some email template developers set two font sizes, one for desktop and another for mobile. But the best approach is to use one font size that is big enough for both scenarios.

Font size is a huge part of mobile friendly emails. Keep your font size larger than 16 pixels to make sure your emails are readable on all displays. You can increase the size of your font as much as necessary if it improves the user experience. For the sake of simplicity, most email platforms allow you to set one font size for all displays.

5. Use Smaller Images and Plan for No Image Situations

Speed is an important aspect of mobile user experience. A lot of mobile users are on slower networks that take longer to load large data. Reducing the data size of your images can improve the time it takes for emails to load. To do this, use an image compression tool. You can find plenty of free ones online like Optimizilla.

Also, some email clients don’t allow images or block them by default, hence, you need to plan for that situation. Do this by making sure your mobile friendly emails will still make sense without images. For example, one could use images to support the text copy but avoid adding background information such as alternative (alt) or title texts. You can even do without images altogether depending on the industry, email campaign, and target audience.

Mobile Friendly Emails Can Improve Engagement and Sales

When we look at consumer behavior, the importance of sending mobile friendly emails is clear. You need to reach all your target audience and many are using mobile devices. Mobile friendly emails improve engagement and increase the potential that your campaign will succeed. The tips we’ve shared here can help you generate mobile friendly emails for your business needs.

Think about how you would feel if an email doesn’t display correctly on your device. Most of us would delete the email. The recipient shouldn’t have to spend extra time squinting to read small text or deciphering your message. If you want more people to take action on your offers, you need to send mobile friendly communications.

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