The Basics of Mobile-Optimized Email

Email marketers must have a mobile-first mentality if they want their campaigns to have a chance at success. After all, mobile open rates continue to outpace that of desktops, likely because consumers are rarely more than an arm's length away from their smartphones.

Even though a consumer opens an email on his or her mobile device, however, doesn't mean they will convert. What's more, consumers are less likely to convert if the message they open is not optimized for the small screen. This is why marketers must design their email campaigns with mobile top of mind. For help getting started, check out the five basics of mobile-optimized email below:

Responsive Design

The best way to ensure that an email campaign is optimized for mobile is by using responsive design, as the message will render properly regardless of what type of device that the consumer opens the email message on (tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop, etc.). In fact, a 2015 report from Yesmail suggests that responsive design is paying off, with mobile email conversion rates jumping 70 percent year-over-year. 

Fortunately, many email marketing services offer responsive templates nowadays, including GetResponse, Campaign Monitor and Constant Contact.

Increase Font Size

Mobile screens come in a variety of sizes, but none of them are as big as the screen of a desktop. Because of this, marketers should increase the size of copy to at least 14 points. In addition, the email copy should remain brief, to make it easier for consumers to read while on the go.

Finger-Friendly CTAs

In addition to increasing font size, marketers should make sure that their call-to-actions (CTAs) are large enough for people to touch with their fingers without accidentally hitting a different CTA. This means that CTAs must not only be larger and finger friendly, but they should also be spaced further apart to avoid accidental clicks.

Short Subject Lines

Subject lines always have impact on open rates, but now marketers must also take mobile into consideration when crafting this short description. With mobile, marketers should try to keep subject lines as short as possible, as mobile users don't see as many words in the subject line as desktop users. Moreover, a recent study by Retention Science reveals that subject lines with 6-10 words rank highest for open rates, followed by subject lines with 0-5 words. When subject lines reach the 11 to 15-word range, however, open rates tend to fall.

Consider Real-Time Tech

Last but not least, marketers should consider going real-time with their email campaigns. Since mobile enables consumers to open up their email at any time of the day, marketers should leverage real-time technology to deliver more personalized and relevant messages to their subscribers.

MovableInk, for instance, enables marketers to deliver live content so that messages are always relevant and offers are never expired when the consumer hits open. Conversely, RealTime Email by Liveclicker offers similar functionality, enabling marketers to deliver content that responds to each subscriber's personal context in real-time.