Optimising emails for mobile

6th September 2011 By Sam Burrows in Email design

With now almost one mobile phone for every two humans on Earth, it's no wonder our pocket rockets are quickly becoming one of the most accessible ways of contact. It's because of this shift from desktop to handheld that we now have to re-evaluate the way we design for this new generation of users.

Email is a prime example of this. Although best practices still apply, the ways people interact with emails have changed. Here are a few pointers you can implement to make your email a more enjoyable process to view on a mobile device.

Subject lines – Keep them short. With screens being much smaller, recipients cannot view long subject lines. Make sure you don't exceed 10 words.

Just include the essentials – don't overload your recipients. We live in a world where people's attention spans are very short. Use your email as a portal to your website where you can give them additional information.

Calls to action – make them chunkier. Touch screens are becoming more of a standard feature for mobiles and we don't want our fingers getting in the way of links.

Single column- keep your emails thin. Smartphone screen widths are between the 300 – 400px wide. Try keeping to single columns to avoid only having very few words on each line.

Keep images small. When out of range of Wi-Fi, if you are lucky you will access 3G. If not, any large images will take an age to download on a mobile device and you are sure to lose you recipient's attention. Spend some time optimising images for mobile to keep them interested.

And finally…

Be social! This doesn't just apply to email-to-mobile, it applies to email marketing as a whole. Email marketing should be just one part of your overall marketing strategy. If you integrate it with social media as well as other things, the rewards can be much bigger.

Sam Burrows
About the Author

Sam Burrows

Sam is the lead designer for little green plane. A key driving force within the design team, he ensures any email templates and landing pages designed for you are fresh and engaging, whilst adhering to best practice guidelines and your existing brand collateral.