10 Tips for Creating Mobile Friendly Emails

December 4, 2014 Appirio

By Eric Pontides


In 2002, when I first started working on email marketing projects, I can remember having conversations about what emails looked like in the preview pane of Outlook and whether we should use text links or buttons. Oh, how times have changed. Today we still tackle similar issues with email but now we have the added dimension of mobile devices.

Emails and Mobile Devices

Here are some important statistics that your business needs to be aware of:

  • As of January 2014, 58% of mobile phone users in the US have a Smartphone (iPhone/Blackberry/Android) Pew Research – January – 2014
  • Organizations have seen between 40% to 60% of their emails being opened on a Smartphone

If you look at those two stats alone, it will become clear that the beautiful graphic rich emails we’ve become accustomed to creating might not be as impactful as they once were. Smartphones have smaller screens and are operated by swiping and pinching, but our emails are designed for a mouse and monitor. Big difference right? Don’t despair, this does not mean going back to text emails (although, you should test to see if text emails perform better). But it does mean taking some steps to make the user experience a little better.

10 Tips for Creating Mobile Friendly Emails

When you are laying out emails, it’s important to remember that most Smartphones are operated by swiping and pinching.

These tips will help you create more mobile friendly emails:

  1. Use more text than images if possible
  2. Try a smaller width of 320 pixels instead of 640 pixels
  3. Make the call to actions more prominent
  4. Talk to your ESP about what they are seeing or tools they have to help with email in mobile devices
  5. Don’t bunch links together
  6. Provide a link to see a mobile version of the email if possible
  7. Make sure you test on Smartphones before you send anything to your customers
  8. Ask your customers if they prefer to receive a mobile version of your messages and log that data to use in upcoming mailings
  9. If you have a mobile version of your website make sure traffic from Smartphones is diverted to that platform since a great looking email will not make up for a bad web experience.
  10. Look for designers that have responsive design expertise. But remember responsive design is labor intensive and does not work on all devices.

If you take some or all of the steps above, not only will it create a better customer experience, you can also boost your email marketing results.

Remember: having people on your email list is vital to your business. You work hard to get them on your list and open your emails. When 40% to 60% of your list may be using a mobile device to open your emails, be sure that they can read those emails and take action.


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