It’s pretty much a no-brainer that you need to be optimizing your emails for mobile. Your subscribers are just as likely to be opening up your emails on their mobile devices as they are on their desktops — and perhaps even more so. While mobile optimization used to be just one more thing that you could do to boost your email performance, it’s a necessity today. 

Optimizing for mobile needs to be as basic a part of your email marketing strategy as segmenting your contact list and taking steps to avoid the spam folder. This post will cover some basics that will help you pull it off so you can feel confident that your email is mobile-ready before you ever press send.

Why Mobile-Optimization is Important

In 2019, mobile opens accounted for 46 percent of all email opens. And with nearly 1.7 billion users checking emails on their mobile devices, that’s a huge percentage of your potential subscribers who are using their smartphones to read your messages.

Recent trends show us that mobile open rates are only likely to increase. Since 2011, they’ve grown by more than 100 percent, with pretty consistent growth year after year. If your emails aren’t optimized for mobile, you’re definitely not reaching your full potential in terms of conversion rates and ROI, and you’re probably losing a fair share of leads as well.

Everyone has their practices for triaging the emails that come into their inbox and deciding what to keep and delete. If they’re doing it from a mobile device, what’s the incentive to hold on to a message that isn’t formatted for appeal or information? Email users have limited time to devote to their inboxes, and they’re not going to waste it on messages that don’t meet their expectations. If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re giving plenty of your readers a reason to delete your message without opening it — and who wants to do that?

The Basics of Creating Mobile-Friendly Emails

Mobile optimization doesn’t happen by accident. You’ll want to take eight actions to ensure that your emails are just as likely to convert on a mobile device as they are on a desktop.

1. Use Marketing Automation Software

Marketing automation creates a ton of efficiencies. It helps your sales team organize and accomplish tasks and customer information, and it assists with your marketing efforts. An effective marketing automation tool enables clean, on-brand email marketing so you can create drip campaigns, newsletters, and special promo messages to move your leads down the funnel. Another great feature of these tools is that the emails you create are automatically mobile-optimized, taking a lot of the heavy lifting off your shoulders. 

2. Review Subject Line Length

Shorter is better when it comes to email subject lines, especially when you’re optimizing for mobile. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all length that works for all devices and mobile email browsers, aim for somewhere between 41 and 50 characters.

3. Create Concise Preview Text

Your preview text (also called pre-header text) is that snippet of text that appears after your subject line in an inbox — and you’d be remiss to neglect it. Make sure the copy is compelling enough to drive more interest to your message, and just like with your subject line, keep it short and put the most important info right at the front.

4. Pay Mind to Body Copy Length

Once again, short and sweet is the way to go. Your body copy should be clear and engaging, providing just enough information to inspire a click. This is especially important with mobile opens since the condensed screen already makes your copy appear longer than it really is. Break it up too for readability, working in bullet points and paragraph breaks as needed, so it’s more appealing than just a bunch of text on the page.

5. Don’t Make It All About the Images

Images are a great addition to emails, but things can get tricky on mobile. Your subscribers may have images blocked by default on their mobile email app, or they may be scrolling through their phone where the service isn’t strong enough to display images. Always check how (and if) images are displaying on mobile emails, and just in case, don’t make your messages all about the visuals.

6. Ensure Your CTA Is Easy to Find

Many users check mobile emails on the go, so you don’t have a lot of time to direct an action. Your CTA should be clear from the get-go. Tie it into your subject line and the top of your copy, so readers acknowledge it (and hopefully act on it) before moving on to something else.

7. Test, Test, Test

Before sending, test your email to see how it shows up on different desktop and mobile platforms. Again, many email automation tools will easily let you do this, so there’s no time like the present to invest in one.

8. Use Mobile-Friendly Templates

Another benefit of email marketing automation tools is that they offer mobile-friendly templates that take the guesswork out of formatting your messages for mobile users. Quickly adapt your desktop-designed email for mobile without making HTML changes yourself, and get confidence that your email is good to go.

Meet your subscribers where they are. From subjects to CTA buttons and everything in between, follow the tips above to optimize for mobile and get higher open rates and engagement from your mobile users.