Ensure your emails are optimised for smartphones


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I want to share with you an article on email marketing, which I found quite useful.

Author: Michael Bairstow, Pure360

Ensuring email marketing campaigns are optimised for smartphones is becoming increasingly important. By Michael Bairstow, Pure360

According to Gartner’s, in 2008 some 30 million smartphones were sold. It's reckoning for 2011 is that this figure will be in excess of 300 million. Moreover it has also been reported that; 53 per cent of users check email several times per day, 29 per cent of users check email throughout the day and 66 per cent check at least once a day.

Over the years, email marketers have had to make accommodations to the changing habits and demands of email recipients and the technology, both the software and hardware used to receive emails, the extraordinary rapid adoption of the smartphone has created new challenges. To enable marketers to cope with this climate, ESPs have devised new tools, one of the most exciting being the facility to identify which platform and email client is being used to view the email. This will provide the marketer with new statistics about the extent of smartphone use.

Tips for emailing to smartphones

Once these tools are deployed and you are obtaining results on the numbers of your subscribers utilising mobile platforms, you could consider redesigning messages to better cater for sending to mobile devices.

All iOS and Android phones, and the later models of BlackBerry, are very capable of rendering HTML code, however there are some general hints and tips to bear in mind when redesigning a message aimed at mobile platforms.

The from address

Whatever the actual from address being used, ensure that the 'descriptor,’ the word or phrase used at the far left of the address, is clear and distinctive. Read on a mobile email list this descriptor will be prominent e.g. The Linen [email protected] never, never [email protected].

The subject line

Strong relevant subject lines are a key to gaining opens when sending to mobiles, ensure the important words are at the beginning, and the line as a whole intrigues and excites enough to trigger further interest.

The pre-header

Use fewer functional pre-headers, that is, get rid of the 'click here to unsubscribe' or 'click to view in a browser'. Use engaging, mini marketing messages or short calls to action, connect them in substance with the subject line using them as a continuation of the punchy, strong message contained therein.

Email width

For a traditional email client width generally should not exceed 650 pixels. Most mobiles have a viewing area of half that. If you are going to stick to 300-350 pixels then your design will need to be radically changed, especially rethinking the number of images to be used. Even if you choose to exceed this width you will still need to bear many of the following points in mind.

Design and structure

As well as width considerations you should also be conscious of length, keep it short, people don't like scrolling down on a mobile; nor on any other platform
Certainly put a header image in the email but keep images to a minimum they take up space; increasing length
CTAs are vital to emails so to give them more impact in a mobile screen by presenting them it bold text surrounding by white space and/or short bullet points, double spacing is also useful
Keep the salient information in the email to the top, CTAs especially
Keep the lines in a plain text version short certainly less than 70 characters
Also bear in mind that an email designed with flair for mobiles can still look good when forwarded to a desk or lap top, like a digital business card

If you don't have the design or staff resources, consider a ‘one size fits all’ alternative. Many of the disciplines of designing for mobile, brevity, great subject lines, tempting pre-headers apply just as much to other platforms.


Before you redesign for a mobile you have to establish what proportion of your audience is viewing via a mobile platform. The tools provide by your ESP will enable you to do this and download a relevant list. It will be the marketers’ decision whether to devote resources to redesigning and broadcasting a separate message this will hinge on the numbers using mobile platforms.

Research from the US suggests over 80% of respondents say they regularly use mobiles to open email. So, use the stats, work out the value of designing for mobile, and if you think you can increase your ROI, then go for it.

You can find much more articles on different kind of business marketing, including direct, international, integrated, email and mobile marketing at B2B Marketing | The Business to Business Marketing Resource