There’s no doubt about it: these days, your messages are most likely going to be opened on a mobile device. The trend has been heading in that direction for quite a while, and it was confirmed in a study conducted by Return Path last summer of 27 billion email opens. As Email Marketing Daily reported: “Fifty-five percent of emails analyzed during the study period were opened on a mobile device — an increase from 29% identified in a similar study in 2012.” Other studies have indicated the percentage is even higher.
Are your messages ready for easy and engaging mobile consumption? Here are eight tips to make sure of that:
1. Keep your subject line short
“The subject line is the driving factor for email opens,” writes Kevin George at Email Monks. “It is, therefore, necessary to optimize your email subject lines for mobile devices. According to a survey report by ReturnPath, a typical desktop subject line displays around 60 characters, while mobile devices show only 25-30 characters. Make the subject line short, crisp and compelling in order to convince the users to open it.”
2. Create compelling preheader text
“Traditional email marketing best practices would say that your subject header is one of the most important elements of any email. And while subject lines still matter on mobile, even more attention should be paid to the preheader text,” according to Mailgen. “Make sure you’re capitalizing on this real estate by using it to highlight important or eye-catching information.”
3. Optimize the “from” name
“The ‘from’ name is one of the most prominently displayed elements of your campaign when viewed on mobile devices,” according to Campaign Monitor. “On most devices, it’s displayed with a larger text and heavier font to help people quickly identify who the email is from. Given its prominence, it’s probably not surprising that 68% of Americans say they base their decision to open an email on the ‘from’ name. So how do you optimize this critical part of your campaigns? The key is matching it up with your audience’s expectations.” The key doing that: Don’t put off recipients with an unfamiliar name or a generic “donotreply@” address.
4. Use a responsive template
“If you’re using a predesigned template from your email service provider, make sure it’s responsive,” writes Janine Popick at Inc. “Responsive email templates are designed to automatically fit the screen on which they’re being viewed, so your email will look the way it should whether on a smartphone, tablet, or a PC. If you use a responsive template, you don’t have to worry about your email rendering incorrectly.”
5. Make sure your CTA stands out
“Since more traffic comes from mobile than ever before, your site’s mobile performance should be a top priority,” advises Ramona Sukhraj at Impact. “A bigger CTA button or banner will definitely stand out more, but don’t go overboard. Having too large of a CTA can risk getting lost due to banner blindness. Whatever size you use, make sure that it is big enough to read, but also to see and click on mobile. Apple recommends a minimum size of 44 x 44 pixels for anything clickable.”
6. Use data + context to “meet the customer in the moment”
Contextual messages and mobile devices are a match made in marketing heaven — the combination of real-time information that updates based on user location is a potent force indeed. As we wrote: “There are a lot of different ways that marketers use contextual marketing, whether it’s using live polls with results that update in real-time, advanced personalization techniques that display customer data in a unique and engaging way or automating email content by automatically pulling in products or content from a company’s website.”
7. Write with the “three-second reader” in mind
“Nearly half of your mobile readers will spend three seconds or less with your email,” writes Ana Hoffman at the Traffic Generation Café. “Make the most of the 3 seconds you have: keep ’em short ‘n sweet. The shorter the copy, the easier it is for people to scroll on mobile. A few things you can do to keep your emails short: be direct; get rid of long paragraphs; use bullet points; limit graphics; get rid of extra words.”
8. Don’t forget to view it before you send it
“Most email service providers have the option to let you see what your email looks like on a mobile device like a smartphone versus the standard desktop view,” writes Liz Froment at Small Business Bonfire. “So, if you aren’t checking out what your emails look like this way, you really don’t have much of an excuse. It’s a super-quick and easy way to see exactly what your email is going to look like and make the necessary adjustments before going live.