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5 tips for mobile friendly email design that sells

Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to your email marketing templates.

mCommerce: That’s mobile and tablet commerce to you and me.

mCommerce is not just on the rise, it’s transforming the spending habits of a generation. As an eCommerce manager it’s vital to understand this rapidly growing window of marketing opportunity.

Tablet and smartphone use in the world is not just rising, it’s rocketing.

  • 327.28 million: Number of tablet users predicted to be on the planet by end December 2013 – 905 million forecast by end 2017
  • 1.4 billion: Number of smartphone users predicted to be on the planet by end December 2013 – an annual growth rate of 44%

Mobile and tablet commerce (mCommerce) now accounts for a significant portion of the UK’s retail market, according to 2013 forecast figures by eMarketer.

  • £383.1 billion – UK’s total retail market.
  • £44.06 billion – UK’s eCommerce sales (that’s 11% of the UK’s total retail market).
  • £6.61 billion – UK’s mCommerce sales (that’s 15% of the UK’s total ecommerce market).

mCommerce is growing at a dizzying pace.

  • 15.4%: The percentage of online sales that were undertaken as mCommerce in the last quarter of 2012 in the UK.
  • 23%: The percentage of online sales that were undertaken as mCommerce in the second quarter of 2013 in the UK.
  • 25%: The percentage of companies who optimise email for mobile devices (although 45% say they are planning to do so).
  • 23%: The percentage of companies who state that over 30% of their emails are now read on mobile devices (compared to just 9% on 2012).

You’ve seen the stats, but how can you make them count?

Here are our 5 tips for mobile friendly email design that sells:

Tip 1

Short subject lines sell

Your subject line can make all the difference. Research suggests that a 20 word subject line can deliver a massive 115% uplift in open rates and 85% uplift in clicks.

Then, consider that 43% (and rising) of email is now opened by a mobile device, and that character count drops significantly to between 20 and 30 characters due to the smaller screen size.

Think of your subject line as a thirty character sales pitch, and make it creative, interesting, intriguing, cheeky, exciting, fun, innovative… whatever works for you. But above all, make those thirty characters count!

Tip 2

Innovative design

You’ve lured them in with your subject line, now keep them with your content. Remember, there are some fantastic email marketing templates out there to give you a hand.

Avoid having too many visual elements that confuse, avoid multiple column layouts, use bold, easy to navigate design, and understand that your email is ultimately going to be compressed to fit onto a credit card sized screen.

“It’s all about maximum impact, minimum space, and about creating a next-generation interactive experience.”

Tip 3

Slash the word count, love the buttons

If your email is too wordy and your font size is too small, you’re going to lose your audience pretty quickly. Ideally, use a minimum of 13 pixel font size (with larger headings). Choose your words wisely.

Give ‘call to action’ buttons prominent positioning on your page to encourage your readers to engage with your email.

Tip 4

Know your medium

The 320-pixel iPhone width is considered standard for smartphone screens, so you might want to design your mail to a width of 640 pixels to allow for exact scaling.

Also, be wary of overusing embedded images, unless you want your readers to see lots of large white empty spaces upon receipt (most email providers such as Hotmail and Yahoo block images by default).

Never group links too closely together. This is a real turn-off for users who are trying to navigate quickly through your page and come up against the old ‘sausage fingers’ frustrations.

If in doubt, use a professional email service provider or email marketing template.

Tip 5

Don’t think ‘marketing email’, think fun, interactive and engaging.

When designing for mCommerce, think like your audience. People engage with their mobile devices in a very different way from their work computers, often in their own time and as a non-work tool.

Make it easy for readers to share your messaging via social media, and understand that they will probably scan your content on the move in much the same way they do with social media sites (more than 60 per cent of FB and Twitter users access those services using a mobile device).

Grab their attention quickly, and make it easy for them to interact with what you have to say.








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