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For Successful Email Marketing,Think Mobile First

email marketing

You know your business website needs to be mobile-friendly. But do you ever think about how important it is for your email marketing messages to be mobile-friendly, too? Almost nine in 10 (86 percent) of emails are now opened on mobile devices, reports a new study—which also found that mobile click-to-open rates surpass those on desktop. How can you make sure your email marketing messages pass muster with mobile users? Here are 6 rules to follow.

  1. Make sure your email marketing messages are relevant to the user. Email is a part of every customer’s life, which is what makes it so valuable as a marketing channel. However, because most customers interact with their email every day, they’re quick to delete messages that are just cluttering up their inbox–especially on a mobile device. Segment your email marketing subscriber list and target different messages to different types of subscribers based on their interests, purchasing habits and demographics.
  1. Incorporate mobile behavioral data. In addition to segmenting your list, you can achieve even greater success by pulling in contextual data. Use the information you have about opens and clicks to determine when customers are most likely to engage with emails, and send them at those times.
  1. Design for the small screen. When developing email marketing messages, think small screen first. A mobile-friendly email will be just as effective on a desktop computer, but an email developed for the desktop won’t translate effectively on a mobile device. Make sure images or graphics are mobile-friendly; use plenty of white space around buttons or links so they are easy to click; add a click-to-call option for your phone number. (And don’t forget to make sure the landing pages links they go to are mobile-friendly.)
  1. Understand how customers use mobile email. Many customers weed through their emails on a smartphone, saving interesting-looking emails to read later on their computers. That means you don’t need to keep mobile email super-short, but you do need to put the most important content up top. Subject lines also matter with mobile emails. Since they can make the difference in whether your email is deleted or saved, make them short enough to fit on the preview screen of a variety of smartphones.
  1. Test and re-test. Always test your marketing emails to see how they render on a wide variety of mobile devices. Just because they look good on one smartphone doesn’t mean they will look the same on others.
  1. Don’t deluge customers with messages. Even if you are sending relevant email marketing messages, it’s easy for customers to feel overloaded if they’re also subscribing to receive text messages from you and following you on social media. Customers may unsubscribe from your lists or stop following you if they feel like they’re getting too many marketing messages. To avoid this problem, look for email marketing tools that can track and limit how many messages you send to an individual user based on users’ past behavior and other factors.

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Author information

Karen Axelton

Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at