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5 Simple Steps for Creating Mobile Optimized Emails

Melissa Mcconnell
Marketing Advisor

Mobile is big right now. Like, really big! That’s probably something you already know. But, did you know that, according to Litmus, over 50% of email opens are on mobile devices? In fact, they found that Apple iPhone accounts for nearly 30% of the email client market share. Meaning, more people are opening and viewing emails on their mobile devices.

As you can see, optimizing your emails for mobile is blatantly necessary. So that begs the question - how optimized are your emails for mobile? If your answer is, “not very much”, or “it could be better”, or “I don’t know”, then keep reading for some useful tips. Regardless of device and responsive design techniques, there are some pretty simple steps you can take to make your emails more optimized for mobile:

Step 1: Set a goal

As with any marketing objective (or anything in life really), if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know how to get there? So, the first step to creating mobile optimized emails is to set a goal. Do this by outlining these five objectives for your email campaign. The key here is to determine what is critical for the mobile message.

  • Identify what you want to say
  • Identify what you want the user to do
  • Determine what is critical to the message
  • Determine the content hierarchy
  • Define what success means

Step 2: Make the call to action easy

The last thing you want to do with your emails is make the call to action complicated or confusing. Nor should you make it difficult to take the intended action. Here are some tips for keeping it easy:                  

  • Use clear, direct language
  • Use large, bold button treatments
  • Use standalone text links
  • Allow enough padding so users can click
  • Ensure the landing page supports the desired action


Step 3: Make the message clear

What your reader does NOT want to see in their mobile inbox is an email with huge blocks of small, unreadable text. This is a major mobile email turnoff. In fact, it’s a basic email marketing no-no in general. You want to make sure that your message is clear within the first three seconds of reading it. Follow these guidelines and you will reap the benefits of clearer messages:

  • Get to the point
  • Avoid big blocks of text
  • Use subheads, dividers, and rules
  • Use lists with numbers, bullets, or icons
  • Make the text legible and easy to read

Step 4: Make the layout usable

If it’s not usable, then it’s not useful. Keep the customer’s end-user experience in mind and let your content, goals, and calls to action dictate the email’s layout. Make sure that all of the elements are easy to view, read, and click. Start implementing these best practices to help create more usable layouts:

  • Use a grid to plan the message structure
  • Create reusable content areas
  • Avoid using more columns than you need
  • Avoid using more elements than you need
  • Left align when possible


Step 5: Make the images work

Images could make or break the success of your email campaign. They are a critical aspect of a marketer’s ability to effectively execute visual storytelling. Our brains love images – they process images 60,000 times faster than text. And 90% of all data that the brain processes is visual, making it important to have images that support your email text. Here are some tips that will help ensure your images work in the mobile world:

  • Use system text and html elements when possible
  • Keep file weight in mind – each image adds to it
  • Plan how images will be sliced on the mobile screen
  • Keep image scaling at 75% or above
  • Use text to support image content

In today’s mobile empowered world, there is no better time than now to start creating or refreshing your mobile email strategy. In fact, I would say it’s critical.

If you are just getting started with mobile email, or want to update your current mobile program, request the Optimizing Email for a Mobile World Facilitated Discussion with a marketing advisor today! Also, check out our full menu of Facilitated Discussions that are available at no cost to Oracle Marketing Cloud Customers.

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