It’s Time to Mobilize: 5 Tips for Designing Email for Mobile


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Mobile Phone EmailYou’ve seen the headlines.  The smartphone market is growing by leaps and bounds with some predicting that mobile web usage will exceed the traditional web within just a few years.  There is no channel where mobile matters more than email.  Return Path predicts that by the end of 2012 more email will be read on mobile devices that via traditional browsers or computers.  If you send email it is imperative that you provide a compelling experience on mobile phones. 

Here some quick tips to consider:

  1. Slim down.  By this we mean the overall width of your HTML email.  Most email templates are designed for a standard desktop with a set HTML width of about 600 pixels.  This is too wide for most phones – and could result in performance killing horizontal scrolling.
  2. Clean tags.  If you’re using CSS go back to basic HTML and make sure to take advantage of the ALT tag for all your images.  Some mobile email readers won’t automatically download images when the email is opened so you need to be ready.
  3. Friendly from.  Make sure your from line is instantly recognizable with your brand name and not some generic email address or department name.  We talked about the importance of a friendly from line in our recent post on open rates.
  4. Easy to share.  A simple call-to-action with a relevant offer combined with easy sharing features are important.  Make sure your action buttons are large enough for a user to easily tap to convert.
  5. Safe landing.  You’ve put all this effort into optimizing your email for mobile so don’t ruin it by sending your subscribers to a landing page that is not mobile-ready.  Your landing page should look as good (or better) on a phone that it does on a standard browser.  This means following some of the same rules above regarding page width plus keeping the content brief and easy to digest for subscribers on the go.

With SendGrid’s transactional email template engine, users can create custom email templates and preview the layout on mobile and desktop to ensure your email fits these criteria.

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Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

Carly Brantz on Twitter

One thought on “It’s Time to Mobilize: 5 Tips for Designing Email for Mobile

  1. Thanks for this post, it was really useful! We’re just in process of optimizing our site to mobile – users as well, this really helped with e-mailing. Even though many seem self explanatory, it’s so easy to forget something from the “checklist” . Thanks again!

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