8 tips to make your email mobile friendly

Little did we realise ten years ago the impact mobile phones would have on communication today. Mobile email was barely a blip on our radars back then. According to Litmus, 55% of emails today are opened on a mobile device. That number is up 500% from 2010. Phones today are used are used for taking pictures, posting status updates, browsing the internet as well as viewing and reacting to emails. It is as if you have constant access to a computer and it fits in your pocket.

Many people may now start their day with a smartphone alarm to wake them up followed by a quick check of messages and social media while still in bed. Then another check while eating breakfast and again while waiting in line to get a coffee on the way to work. All this can happen before even turning on a computer. So how do the emails you send to clients look when viewed on a mobile device?

Are you creating emails that are mobile friendly?

Emails are both a way to send a message as well as strengthen your brand. How you use colour, font or organise elements on a page as well as the language will dictate how your brand is perceived.

Points to keep in mind

1. Shorten the subject line

Less screen size means that the email preview pane on a mobile device will only show a small amount of text. It can be around 33 and 44 characters depending on the device. Create an engaging subject line that clues recipients into what this email is about in as few words as possible.

2. Less is more

Emails might be read ‘on the go’ and therefore need to concise to ensure the message is understood especially is a response is required. Use short blocks of text to make your points.

3. Watch your formatting

Be careful if cutting and pasting into your message as the associated formatting styles will get copied along with the text and may not show until the message is sent. You can use shortcuts – Mac: Shift-Option-Cmd + V or Windows: CTRL+SHIFT+V to paste without formatting or with whatever format the pasted text is placed into. An alternative method is use TextEdit on a Mac or Notepad on a Windows computer to strip the formattingt

Do you still include “Sent from my iPhone” at the bottom of your messages?

Your email signature is as important as any other part of your business identity. Is is the equivalent of your printed business cards – small, simple, but no-less essential to your brand. Using a badly designed email signature is equal to writing your details on a scrap of paper and handing it to a client. It will get the job done, but what will the recipient think of such an obvious lack of professionalism? What are you conveying about your business with your email signature?

Points to keep in mind

4. Design for the small window

Other than considering the amount of body text in your messages, the main element to keep in mind when considering the screen size is the design of an email signature. The most common mobile email readers are in a range of 320 pixels. iPhones allow for a 300-pixel width when held vertically and a 480-pixel width in landscape format. iPhones also resize emails to fit the screen, but many other smart phones don’t, so it makes sense to design for the lowest common denominator. The benefit is not only that you ensure the recipient sees as much of your email as possible, but also that it limits the aggravation of scrolling side to side when viewing on a mobile device.

5. Using images

Image to text ratio is another factor to contend with when dealing with spam filters, so a 60/40 text to image ratio should be maintained for best results. Image file sizes need to be considered because a mobile device will not load images as fast as a desktop or laptop. Try to keep the size of each image at 20k or less.

6. Avoid using PNG images

Lotus Notes does not support PNG image formats. Use a format such as JPG or GIF instead.

7. Avoid using image maps

Hotmail will not recognise image maps.

8. Links

Don’t crowd your links. Too many together are hard to click on so put text links on individual rows to cater for clumsy fingers.

Did you know…

The iPhone is the most popular platform in the mobile email space (60%) followed by Apple iPad (21%) and Google Android (18%) Litmus “Email Analytics” (March 2016)

By 2018 80% of email users are expected to access their email accounts via a mobile device. – The Radicati Group“Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018”


Ninety seven percent of emails are only opened once, so that means one chance to impress.  How do you measure up? Are your emails designed to work well for today’s mobile consumer?

Caroline Siassios

About Caroline Siassios

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