Mobile devices have completely changed the way we interact and find information. No longer do people spend so much time on their computer, because mobile devices have developed in such a way that everything one needs can be searched via a mobile device.
Furthermore, the development of numerous apps for instant messages has introduced this as a new way of communication. This complete domination of mobile has taken us all aback, as the statistics surged in the past few years, so much that the mobile market share has taken over in the total internet traffic.
In such a reality, it is important to evaluate the influence of email mobile marketing. Some predictions estimated that the power of the email as the number one way to reach online user will slowly decline, with social media taking over. However, these predictions did not realize. Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools to reach online customers. In fact, having a mobile device has made emails even closer to the people, with email open rates via mobile growing.
“Mobile represents 55% of email opens. Apple iPhone holds the top spot with 33.84% of all opens, with Gmail coming in a distant second at 17.63%.”
Since mobile aspect is something that has become an essential part of email marketing, it is crucial to explore how this affects ways you think about traditional email campaign design and monitoring.
The process of adapting to this mobile reality is called mobile optimization, and it first started with web optimization, which meant that web owners had to change their website design in such a way that it becomes easily accessible via mobile devices. Even though at one point it was a recommendation for improving the website performance, mobile optimization is now a requirement, with Google taking this as one of the ranking factors.
When it comes to email, the situation is just the same. A mobile-optimized email is a necessary part of your campaign. You have to have in mind the following. The subscribers use a certain app for email opening on their mobile devices. Instead of a browser they use on a computer, on mobile devices, having an app has become a more comfortable way to check emails.
When you think about how to optimize your email to increase conversions and email deliverability, it is important to consider mobile optimization as one of the key factors that have become an essential part of each email marketing campaign.
Mobile-friendly email design is a design that is easily accessible via mobile devices. Some emails are coded in such a way that they are not displayed properly on mobile devices. This means that the email width is the same as on the desktop, with the text so tiny that it is impossible to read it.
320px width is often recommended for mobile devices as it is the width of a phone screen in portrait orientation. Keeping your email width anywhere under 600px is a great way to make sure that the email is properly displayed on mobile devices, with no need to zoom in.
Therefore, you need to allow email width adjusting based on the size it is displayed on. This way, your email adapts to a specific device. Mobile users will see an email that is optimized for a mobile device with a friendly design, and desktop users will see a version of the email that is adapted to the desktop. Font size should also be something that you need to think about when optimizing an email for mobile devices.
While multi-column design might be a nice way to organize a couple of segments in your email campaign, you should avoid using it for mobile emails. To make sure your email is mobile-friendly, switch to a single-column design, where each segment would follow the other.
Since single-column design is recommended, you should always include the most important things at the top. For example, images or catchy titles are usually the first things the recipient will see once the email is opened. Single column design helps you with three important goals:
- You highlight the important things first
- You make sure that the recipient does not miss the offer
- Your email looks better and is well-organized when opened via mobile devices
Loading time has a huge influence on the open rate, and eventually on conversions, and images are precisely the element that can increase the time needed to load an email. Additionally, a lot of mobile users use 3G or even slower connection, which means the loading time can be prolonged.
The ideal solution would be to use coding to allow smaller image loading for mobile devices and larger ones for a desktop.
Since some ISPs automatically disable loading of images, it is always recommended that the image has ALT attribute. This way, the text will be loaded if the image is not, and it could provide more information about the image.
Besides the size of the image, the content of the image also matters. Even if you perfectly optimize the image, and it loads pretty fast, you might fail at this email marketing strategy, simply because the recipients cannot see the tiny details on the image. Therefore, you should always go for larger details, objects, etc. If you absolutely need a specific image, but you are not sure about how it will look like, run a test campaign to see the mail on your phone. Additionally, some email marketing tools offer a preview of the email while you are designing it, which could also be helpful.
Seeing a familiar name in their inbox, the recipients are much more prone to click and open the email. It is best that this field of the email contains your brand name. Apart from the click, this kind of tactics has a positive influence on brand awareness.
When you think about a subject line in terms of mobile, all of the best practices regarding writing a subject line (Chapter 6) are still valid. However, what you need to pay attention is the subject line length. Desktop inbox displays approximately 60 characters, but when it comes to mobile users the number of characters shown in the preview is between 25 and 30.
This means that if your audience is more prone to use a mobile device to check their email, make sure you keep the subject line short. In this case, you would need to use the keywords in the front to make sure they are seen as an inbox preview, even if the rest of the subject line gets cut off.
This is the text below the subject line, which displays a preview of the email body. Although it is in a lighter color than the sender’s name and the subject line, making it less obvious, some users still read it. Therefore, take this extra line of text to indicate more about your email, to give a sort of a context to your message and eventually increase the chances of recipients opening their email.
When you master the best practices of designing a CTA for your email campaign, regardless if you choose an image CTA or a link, make sure the CTA is:
- Clearly noticeable even on the small screen of a mobile device. It is best to feature the CTA near the top of the email to ensure most recipients see it.
- Big enough for people to tap on it.
- Isolated in a way that there is enough plain space around it so that one can easily tap on it without accidentally tapping on a different link.
When you think about mobile email design, it is best to optimize each and every aspect of those that influence open rates and conversions with mobile users in mind. When you constantly think about mobile users and the way certain email parts would look to them, you are going to discover an approach and strategy that is customized based on your business. As always, the best way to find new approaches and improve the existing tactics is to conduct A/B testing.
In general, there are a couple of practical guidelines to have in mind when it comes to mobile-friendly design.
“Minimum font size of 16px—Apple recommends 17-22px, Google recommends 18-22px. (We’ve found 16px Georgia to be nice and readable.)
Call-to-action touch targets, such as buttons, should be at least 46px squared (Apple recommends 44px squared, Google recommends 48px squared—we’re splitting the difference).
Avoid clustering several links together in your copy. It makes individual links very difficult to access.”
Have in mind that reader’s experience is your top priority with email design. All of the recommendations above are designed with one goal – think about the recipients. How do they see the email? Why will they decide to click on the CTA? What might stop them?
Just as much as the user experience is an important part of web design and optimization, thinking about the readers will help you create a better email. To make sure you are on the right track, try conducting a survey, or an A/B testing campaign. The feedback from your own readership can tell you a lot about your email campaign, including the ways you can improve it.
Your job of mobile optimization is not finished once the email is perfectly accessible and optimized for mobile devices. Since email invites the recipients to do a certain action, encouraging them to click on the CTA, you need to make sure the page they land on is also optimized.
When it comes landing page optimization for mobile devices, follow these guidelines:
- Responsive design is necessary for the page to load properly.
- Avoid using large images that might prolong the loading time.
- Make sure the CTA is near the top of the page.
- Make your phone number clickable, so that mobile visitors can contact you directly from the landing page.
- If you are using a form, leave only the necessary fields, as mobile users are less likely to fill them all.
- When possible, use login with social media option instead of a form.
- Cut back as much of the text as you can.
- Use HTML for typography instead of images with text, as HTML loads faster, which is important for slow connections.
The statistics about your campaigns show a lot of details about the approach and strategy, and mobile email marketing is no exception. The best way to evaluate the influence of mobile on your email marketing is to analyze its performance.
If you are using Google Analytics, take a look at the option Mobile, under Audience. The Overview shows the comparison of traffic between desktop, mobile, and tablet. Besides the number of sessions for each device, you can also compare bounce rate, average session duration, and conversions.
For example, if you notice a high bounce rate on mobile in comparison to desktop, this could be an indicator of a poor mobile optimization. This way you could also compare goal completion rate, pages, and sessions, etc. The data about the devices used to access your website is the second option available under Mobile.
In relation to an email campaign, the data needs to be segmented so that you only isolate the traffic originating from the email campaign. This can be done in two ways:
- Adding a secondary dimension: Source/Medium
- Adding a new segment which will isolate email as a traffic source and mobile as device category.
You will add an additional filter to include traffic from emails only:
When it comes to how mobile marketing influences the online businesses, this mainly depends on the type of industry. Some businesses report a significant percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices, including email traffic, while other businesses state that their traffic is still mainly from desktop.
Either way, everyone has to agree that mobile marketing is a trend that is slowly, but surely, taking over. Mobile, in general, has a major impact on how people communicate, exchange information, etc. so the influence it has and will have on online marketing is undeniable.
The first and the most important thing in the process of adapting to mobile marketing is the responsive web design. Regardless if your audience is coming from the email campaign or paid advertising, your website has to be optimized according to best recommendations to be able to respond to mobile search queries.
Besides mobile optimization of the email campaign, which is important when it comes to reaching mobile users, this also affects websites. Your website needs to be prepared for the visits coming from mobile devices, which is done with a mobile-friendly design.
A mobile-friendly website:
- Uses a responsive template which adapts to the display based on the device
- Loads fast
- Is easy to navigate
You have to be aware of the fact that not all visitors are the same. Those coming from email are either your previous customers or those who are very interested in your business, which is why they have subscribed to receive updates from you in the first place. Therefore, they already have a clear picture of what you do, which is why they are not like first-time visitors. This means that both content and the way you address them should be adjusted to them.
Let personalization be your most powerful tool, to establish a connection with the subscribers in a way that they keep opening your emails and keep clicking that CTA. Gradually, you will build trust in your brand, and you as a sender will increase your credibility. Try to predict things like:
- The time they will need your product or services
- The way they interact with promotional emails
- The way they interact with newsletter emails
- The way they respond to personalization and localization
Even though this is only a prediction based on certain patterns or previous behavior, and you do not have a way of really knowing the results upfront, it is a good strategy to help you understand mobile users and eventually optimized your emails having their experience in mind.
When you send an email about your latest blog article, or an article in general that would be useful to the recipient based on the data from the online form, you invite them to click and read that article. However, a lot of those who click on the link will check out the article and then leave. To make sure you reduce the bounce rate and you take advantage of those visits, try using different strategies to prevent these one-click visits.
The strategies can include:
- Adding related article
- Adding internal links in the text
- Using slides instead of the plain text
These are some ideas to help you take advantage of mobile traffic on your website, but always have in mind that you first need to generate this traffic with catchy, optimized email.
All of the suggestions above will help you design the email that is quickly loaded and properly displayed on mobile devices. After all, having in mind the share of mobile traffic in the total internet traffic, it is safe to say that mobile is here to stay and grow. As a business that wants to grow as well, you need to embrace this trend and use it to your advantage.