10 steps to the perfect mobile email marketing

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Email is one of the main marketing channels through mobile – because more people read their emails on their phones than they do on the PCs. Fact. But getting it to work isn’t a given.

Here are 10 steps to making your marketing emails work on mobile.

Step 1) Design for many devices

The first thing is to consider what it’ll look like on a small mobile screen. Then think how that will also look on a larger tablet screen, and how that may look if either screen is tilted 90 degrees. Finally, think about how all this may also work viewed ‘the old fashioned way’ on a PC.

Step 2) Design for your customers’ experience

Within reason, make the message scroll and don’t worry about things being ‘below the fold’, or the whole message not being viewable in one hit. Buttons are also vital as you want them to click through and engage with you, so when designing your emails make any buttons tappable for people with larger fingers and smaller phones.

Step 3) Sort your ‘from’ name

The first thing any mobile recipient of your email marketing is going to see is your name and/or company name. This is the make or break part of the deal: if the consumer recognizes it and it makes sense then they’re likely to read on. And make it clear: [email protected] isn’t going to cut it. Get this bit wrong and they’ll simply ignore or delete – or, worse still, it’ll be condemned to spam.

Step 4) Get busy with the subject line

The subject line is absolutely crucial when it comes to mobile. It has to combine all the right information so the reader knows what the email is about, as well as showcasing what’s in the email and preferably being so compelling that it’ll inspire the subscriber to open.

Step 5) Conjure up a Call-to-action (CTA)

As with all email marketing you must ensure that calls-to-action are big, bold and stand out. With a smartphone – and to some extent a tablet – real estate is at a premium, so make sure you use it wisely. The calls-to-action probably needs to be more prominent than your contact details. Equally, think about how to make buttons and links tappable by big fingers on tiny screens.

Step 6) Clear for Landing on a Mobile Page

If your mobile-optimized email has done its job then customers have clicked through to your site. But is your site mobile-friendly? It may ‘work’ on a mobile, but is it optimized for mobile? People interact with sites very differently on mobile devices than they do on their laptop or desktop, so look at designing specific mobile landing pages for these users. For instance, dotmailer’s landing page tool, along with EasyEditor, lets you create mobile-responsive pages in minutes. No HTML knowledge needed.

Step 7) Short Headlines

Headlines should be short – very short. In fact, four words or less is ideal. Once you think you’re done with writing your landing page copy, go back and edit it down, cutting out every single word that doesn’t need to be there. You could take this one step further by asking if you even need copy on your mobile landing page as some businesses are having success with landing pages that are primarily image-driven.

Step 8) Mobile landing page structure

But remember, keep images small – in terms of file size at least. Public wifi and mobile networks are often slow and data costs the user money. You want your landing page to download rapidly and look good. Make sure that everything your customers need to perform an action can be seen instantly on the page. Think about your mobile landing pages from your customers’ perspective.

Step 9) Mobile landing page CTAs

Calls to action must be strong, clear and immediate. Ideally, your call-to action should be one of the first page elements a user sees. However, just because it’s visible doesn’t mean it’s easy to use. So if your primary purpose is lead generation, don’t ask prospective customers to complete a lengthy web form.

Also make links, phone numbers and anything else that could lead customers to you clickable and working from the email and the landing page.

Step 10) Loading time

When it comes to mobile landing pages, every second counts. The longer your customers have to wait for a page to load, the more likely they are to give up and go elsewhere.


  • Flash
  • Any plugins that take forever to load or may be incompatible with your customers’ devices
  • PNG-24 images


  • HTML5 and jQuery to improve page load times
  • CSS image sprites
  • JPEG images.


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