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Mobile email design – what does it really mean for you?

Mobile email usage is skyrocketing.

Up to 43% of email is now first opened on a mobile device so clearly it is here to stay and shouldn’t be ignored.

But what exactly should you do about it?

When it comes to your email designs, you have 3 options.

1. Do nothing and just keep doing what you’re doing.
2. Tweak your email design to make it more mobile friendly.
3. Invest in a new responsive email design that looks great on all devices.

To determine the best option for you let’s first consider a couple of key questions.

What devices are your audience using to read your emails?

This is really important to know as your audience is the best guide when it comes to your email marketing strategy.

Finding out which devices people read your emails on is now really easy to do in Vision6. Just check out the Device Split in the new reports.

Devices Report

If the number of people reading your email on mobile devices is low then you probably don’t need to change anything with your current email design – at least for now anyway. Just remember that more and more people are reading their email on mobile devices so keep an eye on your Device Split with future campaigns.

On the other hand, if the mobile number is high (or is showing signs of an upwards trend) then some further action is probably required.

What that action is can be determined by looking at this next question.

How mobile friendly is your current email design?

To find out, you could round up a group of your friends with different mobile devices and send them a copy of your email. But this is the old school way to do it and I don’t know about you… but I don’t have that many friends!

Thankfully though there is a better way. Simply use the Email Testing tool in Vision6 and you’ll be able to quickly see how your email looks on different mobile devices.

Email Testing

Pay close attention to the previews of your email on the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Is the text too small and difficult to read? Do you need to scroll sideways in order to see the main offer and call to action? Are the links grouped too closely together so that the reader can’t easily touch them?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes” then a redesign is probably a good idea. At the very least you should tweak your email design to make it mobile friendly.

Here’s a few basic tips for designing mobile friendly emails.

  • Use less words and write in a large, clear font. Aim for font size around 14pt for body text and 30pt for headlines.
  • Have a strong call to action. There’s not much space available on mobile devices so be sure to tell people what you want them to do in a way that’s both clear and concise.
  • Use the subject line and preheader to summarise your message. This means that readers will at least get an idea on what your email is about even if they can’t view it properly on their mobile device.
  • Don’t crowd your links. Use large clickable areas of around 44 x 44 pixels and add padding of about 10 pixels to cater for clumsy fingers.
  • Stick to a single column layout. This helps keep your email looking clear and simple when scaled down to fit on the small screen.

The thing to remember when designing emails for mobile is that it shouldn’t be at the exclusion of other devices. So if you’re looking for an email design that looks great when read on all devices then I recommend you consider a responsive email design.

What is responsive email design?

By using responsive email design you can change the look and style of your email depending on the device people view it on. This is done with CSS and Media Queries. It’s a bit geeky but if you are interested in reading more, here are some good resources to get you started.

So if you have the budget or an-house designer, a responsive design is an excellent way to optimise your email for mobile.

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