Mobile Marketing Emails That Work

Do you feel confident that even if your marketing emails don’t display properly on mobile devices, they’re so compelling that your prospects save them to open later on a desktop? Unfortunately, a recent report assessing a whopping 1 billion business marketing emails debunked that myth. The study found that if recipients don’t immediately act on an email when they open it, just 2 percent of recipients will save it for later.

Here’s what else the study found:

  • Click-to-open rates (CTO), or the ratio of unique clicks on links in an email as a percentage of unique opens of that email, are still highest on desktops; however, CTO rates on tablets are growing and already surpassing those on phones.
  • In 2013, several industries reached a “tipping point” where more than half of marketing emails were opened on a mobile device. Hospitality (54.48 percent), consumer services (54.76 percent) and financial services (51.6 percent) led the pack; retail is approaching the tipping point, at 49.2 percent.
  • People are least likely to open emails on a mobile device during business hours. Mobile opens most commonly happen in the early morning, the evening and late at night.
  • B2B marketing emails have the lowest mobile CTO rates. The study notes that these are more likely to be complicated purchases and that recipients are more apt to deal with them during business hours when they’re in front of their desktop or laptop computers.

How can you make sure your marketing emails work well on mobile devices? Take these 5 steps:

  1. Start by using your email analytics tools. Know what types of devices and what platforms your recipients are most likely to use, when they typically open emails, and what your open rates, CTO and conversion rates are on mobile devices as compared to desktops.
  2. Use responsive design to make sure your emails show up properly no matter what device the user owns.
  3. Regardless of device, simplicity is the direction that websites and emails are going in—so your email copy should be to-the-point, your fonts should be clearly readable, and any clickable buttons or links should be large enough to be easily clicked on a tiny smartphone.
  4. By knowing the devices commonly used, you can design emails for those devices. If you’re not sure what devices the audience uses, responsive design is a good option. This ensures your emails render properly based on the user’s device.
  5. Last, but not least, make sure any links or buttons you include take users to Web pages also designed for mobile use. You don’t want to get someone to the order page, only to have them give up in frustration because they can’t fill out the form on their phone.

Want more assistance growing your business online? Join the Small Business Forum for free access to our library of ebooks, the latest industry news and support from other business owners, entrepreneurs and working professionals. Join a Group to ask questions, share your opinions and grow your network! Visit to learn about our full range of affordable website design and online marketing services.


Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.