Best practices for designing mobile email templates

“45% of 2015 email opens occurred on a mobile device.” (1) This number will only continue to grow, so it’s critical that all email campaigns moving forward are optimised for viewing on a mobile device. The key to designing for mobile is all about convenience. Every decision you make while designing an email should focus on making it easy for the reader to absorb the information within it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Consider these 5 aspects to ensure your are designing best practice mobile email templates:

  1. Mobile screens are small.
    Their small size is the very aspect that makes it so convenient for users to carry a phone at all times, so think of it as a blessing instead of as a curse. To accommodate the smaller screen size you should limit the number of elements you use so there is more room for what is really important:
    – Small images – Be mindful that any images you do choose to keep are the smallest file size possible (for various load times) and that they maintain their meaning at a reduced size.
    – Short, snappy content – Your email content is the true priority, so emphasize the content. To do this you can increase the font size so it is easier to read, and shorten the overall length of your email so it is more likely to get read to the end.
    – Clickable call-to-action (CTA) buttons –
    On a similar note, any links or CTA buttons should be “finger friendly”, meaning there should be enough white space around these elements that they can be successfully clicked on with a large finger.
  2. People on their phones are often easily distracted and have shorter attention spans.
    Since mobile devices are often being used in distracting situations while the user is multitasking or on-the-go, modify your emails to account for this. Make your content scannable by using shorter sentences and bold words to highlight the important takeaways. This ensures your key points are easy to digest. It’s also mobility best practice to include CTAs at multiple points throughout the email – at the beginning, middle, and end – so customers don’t have to scroll too much to take action.
  3. Subject lines are still critical
    Email subject lines are always important. They often determine whether recipients will open the email at all. With mobile, even fewer characters are displayed in the preview so shorter subject lines are key. Shorter subject lines (4 – 15 characters) achieved higher open rates in a study by MailerMailer. (2)
  4. Responsive templates are the way to go
    The most efficient way to ensure your emails are optimised for mobile is to use responsive templates. It’s helpful to pre-build a small range of different templates. This way you don’t have to wait for a new email design to launch your campaign. Responsive design is the best way to accommodate changing screen sizes because it dynamically determines what gets displayed based on the size of the screen being used. This prevents templates from becoming obsolete as new devices with different size screens emerge.
  5. Better, faster, stronger Think strategically about mobile users. They are viewing your emails from a smaller screen on a portable device as they go about their day. If they were sitting at their desk with plenty of time to spare, they are more likely to be on their computer not their phone. So, planning emails for the time-poor, easily distracted mobile user is the best approach. By accommodating the unique needs of mobile users, you can ensure your emails will remain relevant to an audience that expects it.

If you would like to know more about designing best practice mobile email templates contact us today.


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