Design marketing emails with mobile in mind

Marketers looking to boost the success of email marketing campaigns need to understand how people are reading their messages. With the proliferation of mobile technology and network access, people are checking their emails on their way to work, while doing errands – essentially throughout the day. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 435 million units in the second quarter of 2013 – an increase of 3.6 percent from the same period last year. Worldwide smartphone sales have reached 225 million units – up 46.5 percent from the same time last year. Most of these sales were for smartphones as the need to be connected increases and the affordability of smart technology improves. 

"Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. 

Smartphone usage is at an all-time high, and so it the number of people who are reading email on a mobile device. According to a study by Litmus, 43 percent of email is now opened on a mobile device – that's a 138 percent increase since 2010. Experts at the research firm are also confident that this growth is going to continue in the next few years. 

Improve an email marketing campaign with these simple tips:

1) Use concise language. Email recipients typically like to know what the message contains before opening it. Use a concise, strongly descriptive subject line to tell the recipient what is in the email. This will improve the open rate because, generally, people feel more comfortable opening emails from trusted sources that are honest about what is contained in a message. 

2) Use clear fonts. Because mobile devices have smaller screens than traditional laptops or desktop computers, it is important to ensure that the fonts used in an email are clear. Marketing Profs recommends using at least a 14-point font for the body of a message – it's also important to note that Apple automatically resizes fonts to a minimum 13-point font for the body of a message and 20-point font for headings. 

3) Use simple designs. As screen resolutions have not become standardized in the smartphone world, it is important that an email that looks great on a desktop does not look clutters or confusing on a mobile device. Consider making the design of the email a single column track so that it is easy for the person to just scroll up and down to get to the information they want to see. Use responsive design elements that take advantage of the small screen of a mobile device to really highlight the true message of the email. 

4) Use engaging terms. Emails that use the right combination of terms are more likely to get opened. When a person is scrolling through his or her email searching for something interesting to read or trying to delete the spam, make sure your message stands out. Once the individual has clicked on the message, it has to fulfill that promise of quality content and service to keep the person engaged.

5) Use a strong linking strategy. Often the point of an email marketing campaign is to increase lead generation and sales. As a result, it is important that the hyperlinks in an email are easy to identify on a mobile device. If the recipient of the email is interested enough in the product or service being described, he or she will most likely want to follow a link to learn more. Make sure they know where to click and a new window opens up with the right information. 

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