How To Ensure You’re Email Marketing Is Effective On iOS And Mobile Devices (i.e. Why You Should Send “Mobile Responsive” Emails To Your List)

Audience Building Strategies for Content Businesses

Audience Building Strategies for Content BusinessesWelcome to the Marketing Show Podcast.

“Mobile” is set to become one of the biggest marketing buzzwords of the year – and with good reason.

Depending on where you get your data, as many as a third to a half of all emails are now opened and read on mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers. Clearly, this is a growing trend all email marketers need to consider.

Ignore mobile at your peril.

In the shortest episode of our podcast so far, Clay and Andy lay down some super-simple tips you can apply right now to make sure your emails are still performing effectively when viewed on mobile devices.

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Clay: WITNESS labs reports that the Apple iphone accounts for 24% of email opens that the Android device accounts for 7% of email opens, and that the ipad accounts for 11% totaling over one-third of email opens coming from mobile devices.

Hi, my name is Clay Collins.

I’m joined with our head coach, Andy Fossett, and today, we want to talk about optimizing your emails for mobile devices.

So Andy, what is the number one thing that people can do to ensure that their emails are mobile compatible?

Andy: Well, the number one thing is to remember that people are looking at this on a small screen and probably while they’re doing other stuff, so if your call-to-action is a link, if the thing you want them to do from the email is a link, you just want to put that link top, front, and center up high enough that is above the fold that as soon as they open your email, they can see that link, they know what to do, they click on it, and they go where you want them to go.

Clay: Exactly. Above the fold takes on a whole different meaning when we’re talking about a very small screen. I would say my second tip is to ensure that the subject line is compelling even when it’s shortened on a mobile screen.

So it’s very easy to do. I know everyone is talking about creating mobile apps and mobile websites. Those things are relatively difficult to do compared to what needs to be done to optimize an email from mobile device.

Here’s what you need to do:

Prepare your email. Hit send. Have it sent to your iphone, for example, and make sure that the message that you need to send in the subject line is fully communicated with the amount of screen real estate available.

The entire subject line doesn’t need to fit, but enough of the subject line needs to be readable for folks to get the gist of what you’re saying.

Then go ahead, click on the email, open it up, and ensure that the action item you want folks to take, right, if you are sending people to a webpage, make sure that the call-to-action in the link to that webpage is visible when that email is opened on your iphone, or your ipad, or whatever you’re using.

Use the smallest screen that you have access to. So for most people, this could be an iphone or an Android phone.

Well, do you have to say about this Andy? I really can’t think of anything. This is pretty much the gist of it.

Andy: Yeah, I mean there’s not a lot much more. I mean you could just say, you know, definitely check it like you said.

Definitely send it to yourself and check on the smallest device you have, and when you do, you know, make sure that you see the link.

Make sure that if you do have any images at all on your email that they’re not loading slowly, you know.

Just check that there’s more left to load quickly, and then, you know, click your link and make sure that the landing page looks good on mobile too.

Clay: Absolutely, absolutely.

All right. Well, my name is Clay Collins.

I’m joined by Andy Fossett.

Thank you so much for listening to The Marketing Show podcast, and the next time you send out an email, if you’re list is like most people’s, about 30% of folks are opening that on a mobile device.

Just go ahead and send it to your mobile device beforehand and make sure everything checks out beforehand.

Thank you so much for listening.

  • Hey guys is your show on Stitcher? I’ve just moved over to Android (perhaps not the smartest move) the podcasting apps are horrible. Stitcher is ok but I couldn’t see you guys on there.

    • Not right now. It seems to be getting some traction though, so we might add it. Would using Stitcher make it easier for you to find and use the podcast?

      Cheers, Dan.

      • It’s pretty much the only way I can listen to it. Android sucks massive balls. It’s very easy to add, just sign up and submit it – done.

  • Hi guys – something you missed on this is about image width for mobiles. You talked about image size (for download speed) but FAR more important is the width of any images you use.

    What the iPhone does is normally it expands emails so that the text is a readable size. But when you include an image that’s more than about 320px wide that takes precedence and it shrinks everything so that the image fits on the screen.

    What that means is that usually the text is shrunk to unreadable size. You have to zoom in to read it – but it doesn’t auto-wrap the text when zoomed in so you have to scroll left and right to read. Almost impossible.

    Also, the habit a lot of internet marketers have got into with emails of putting hard line breaks after 56 or so characters really screws up formatting on mobile. 56 is actually too long for many mobiles – so you end up with each line of their email taking up one and a half lines on a mobile screen. Looks very strange. not as bad as if you have a wide image, but not great.

    If you want narrow emails on a desktop and for the email to format correctly on a mobile device you should use an html table with a fixed pixel width to control the with on the desktop rather than a hard line break. The mobile can cope with that fine and will correctly wrap around.

    It’s also worth considering upping the font size and line heights in your emails – especially if you target an older (=more senior/more money in b2b) audience.


    • Good points, Ian – that’s why we recommend testing and looking at it from the POV of your clients/leads. Taking that extra step is how you find all the details of your own email style that we might not have addressed.

      Thanks for the tips on image size and line width too.