We’ve been writing a lot about the trend toward mobile these past few weeks for good reason: the number of people opening their email on mobile devices is increasing all the time. So when you send a marketing email it’s important to keep in mind the percentage of your recipients who will be opening your transmission on-the-go via their cell phones.

Of course this means you should consider using a mobile-optimized email template when designing your email, but there are other considerations to make when taking into account your mobile audience. Here are 5 ways you can mobile-optimize your emails that don’t have anything to do with responsive or scalable design.

Keep it short.

Sure, the “less is more philosophy” can apply to design, but it applies to content as well. People reading email on mobile don’t have the time to scroll through a long email loaded with links and extra bits of information (and probably don’t want to on a smaller screen). So keep your email short. Limit the amount of information you share and make a singular call to action. Essentially your email should read, “There’s one reason we’re contacting you today, and that reason is we want you to ___________.”

Make your call to action mobile-friendly.

Consider whether your call to action is something recipients can easily do from their mobile device. This doesn’t mean you can only include a call to action that can be performed on a mobile phone, but when thinking about what action you want your email recipients to take, think about how you can make that easier to do from a handheld device, from including a link to purchase an app to including an actual phone number.

Include phone numbers.

You may be inclined to leave your phone number off your email because, let’s face it, not a lot of people are picking up the phone and actually calling people anymore. But are they? Consider that from a mobile phone it may be easier to make a phone call than it is to send an email or visit a website that isn’t optimized for mobile, especially when it comes to simple purchasing actions like buying tickets. If you can, consider including a phone number in your call to action.

Link to a mobile-optimized website.

Where possible, link to mobile-optimized websites and landing pages from within your email so people who wish to respond can do so easily from their phones, especially if you’re asking them to fill out a form or make a purchase.

Segment and personalize.

People are potentially more trigger happy with the delete button on their mobile devices, so segmenting messages so they’re personal and relevant to a niche audience can help give you a leg up in the inbox. Personalized subject lines can also help your email stand out in crowded mobile inboxes. The more relevant information is to the recipient the more likely they’ll be to hold on to your email until they have time to respond… if they can’t do so from their mobile device.


Bonus: No matter what you do, don’t include a QR code in your email. It’s impossible to scan a QR code within an email client from a mobile device, so whatever your QR code links to will be ultimately lost. Include only regular hyperlinks in email, please!


photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Katherine is the Community Manager at Signal.

Posted in Email Marketing, Tips, Trends and Best Practices