How To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns for Mobile Devices

How To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns for Mobile Devices


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These days, the majority of us use our mobile device to read the news, chat with friends, control the temperature in our house, and of course - read email. You’re probably creating email marketing plans on your laptop or desktop computer, but it’s essential that you keep mobile users in mind when creating your email.

Mobile Optimization could be the difference between getting results from your email marketing, and wasting precious time and energy.

1. Use Responsive Design

First, make sure that your email marketing platform includes responsive design as a feature. This is fairly standard these days because it is vital to the success of your email marketing efforts. Your email must look good on desktop, but also be responsive so that it formats correctly on a variety of screen sizes.

If you have to make a design choice that prioritizes one type of screen over another - you should prioritize mobile. All text and images should be visible on the width of a mobile screen. The vast majority of your readers will be on their phones or tablets, and you don’t want to make them work hard just to read and understand your message.

Making your readers life more difficult will cut your chances of success down significantly.

2. Write Your Subject Line With Mobile Inboxes in Mind

Aside from a responsive design, when it comes to mobile-optimization, the devil is in the details.

The first way to do this is with your subject line. The viewable space on a mobile device is often smaller than a desktop screen. Character count limits vary across different email client, but a good rule of thumb for subject line length is about 40-50 characters.

There are tools online to help you view what your subject line would look like on various devices. We use Zurb! Make sure that your subject line doesn’t get cut off to where it doesn’t make sense or could be read as inappropriate.

You can also split test different subject lines to see what is working best. For example, you can send one subject line with emojis, and one without. Or you can do one subject line that is shorter than the other. Email marketing software provides you with the ability to perform these tests and analyze the results.


3. Make Your Sender Name Clear & Personal

The subject line isn’t the only thing you need to worry about when optimizing your email for mobile. You also need to ensure that your sender name looks good in the inbox.

For example, if I have my sender name as or 'Sales', recipients may not open the email as it’s from an impersonal email address or name, and may be wider than the viewable window. Try something like “Joe at Joe’s Coffee” or simply the name of your company.

You don’t want your recipients not to know who the email is coming from, as they be skeptical and avoid opening it. If they know it’s from a trusted sender, they’re more likely to open the email.

4. Don’t Forget The Preview Text

The last thing you should optimize your mobile-friendly email for is the preview text. Preview text is what appears under the subject line. This gives the sender an opportunity to provide the recipient with more insight into what is in the email before they open the email.

The same principles that we talked about with subject lines apply to the preview text. You want to write your preview text so that it appears within the viewable inbox window, and doesn’t cut in a way that is ineffective or confusing.

5. Preview & Test Your Emails

All of the practices above will become second nature as you get used to creating your email campaigns with mobile users in mind. However, you should always make sure to check your work as you go using the preview function of your email platform, and services like Zurb. When you send a test email of your campaign for proofreading and approval, remember to open it up on your phone and tablet to double check that everything looks good!

With these mobile-optimization best practices, your email marketing campaigns are ready for any size screen! Be sure to take a look at our tips on How to Increase Email Open Rates, and How to Increase Email Click Rates.

If you need a digital marketing strategy that uses email marketing to get you results, feel free to contact us for a free strategy consultation!