Optimising the Design of your Email for Conversion

Emails and newsletters with a design that is not optimised for mobile – don’t let that be your company’s email newsletter, blog or other marketing communication or it will hurt your conversion!

Like scenario in this event, you’re eager to read the content so spend time-pinching at the screen and attempting to click links but eventually give up in frustration.

Let us feed you some statistics and numbers first so we can back up our suggestions for optimising your email campaigns for conversion. Sink your teeth into these telling stats around mobile & email.

Email opens:

  • Litmus reports 51% of email is now opened on a mobile device – “Email Analytics” (Jan 2014). This varies by industry and audience, however.
  • In general: for a given industry, a mobile email will account for 15-65% of email opens depending on your audience, product & email type” – eMailmonday  “the Ultimate mobile email stats” (2014).

Reading emails:

  • 61% of consumers read at least some of their emails on a mobile device – Yesmail “Email Compass: The Mobile Effect” (2013).
  • 30% of consumers read all of their email on a mobile device – “Email Compass: The Mobile Effect” (2013)

Email design:

  • Only 11.84% of newsletters use responsive design techniques to optimise their layouts for mobile devices. – Equinux (June 2013)

Email popularity:

  • Email is the number one most popular activity on a smartphone, 78% of 18-44 year olds check email on their mobile phone. This is ahead of web browsing & Facebook. IDC and Facebook – “Always Connected” (2013)

With the unstoppable nature of both mobile phones and email marketing, a clear strategy is a great way to start with to integrate your marketing for mobiles.

This along with the following tips should give you an effective end result that will hopefully lead to better conversions for your strategy.

1.  Short & punchy subject lines

You must bare in mind that users checking their inbox from a mobile phone will see less of a subject line compared to viewing via desktop – usually only about 5 words or roughly 45 characters. Make sure those first 5 words are enough to draw in the reader and make them want to read your email.

2.  Adequate space around your links

Don’t put links too close together, mobile users will get frustrated that they can’t click on the correct one. They need to be spaced far enough apart so they can be easily clicked in a small space.

As a general rule, 44 x 44 pixels is usually wide enough for any buttons or links to be clicked by a thumb but include space around that so that people don’t accidentally click the wrong button.

3.  Use alt tags in email too

Some email clients automatically block images so use alt tags so readers know what the image is even if it is blocked.

4.  Concise messaging with headlines

Make your content easy to grasp for someone who may be scanning for something interesting or relevant. Mobile users are most often on the go and spend less time reading and digesting the information than desktop users.

An option to keep emails lean is to use ‘progressive disclosure’ – displaying a small snippet of text and have the option for the user to ‘read more’ if they are interested in a particular topic or story.

5.  Make sure your email is responsive

To avoid emails that don’t display well, give yourself a head start by using a responsive email template. Otherwise you should definitely pay someone to design a responsive campaign for you. This little investment may go a long way in terms of maximising conversions.

6.  Mobile specific call to actions

As well as regular CTA’s, take advantage of the mobile by using call to actions designed specifically for mobile users. Utilise ‘Click to Call’ buttons to make it super easy for a user on a mobile phone to call you for information on a certain product or service.

‘Download App’ is another great CTA for mobile email readers who are already using their phone.

Ensure important CTA’s, whether mobile specific or not, are towards the beginning of your email (preferably the first 100 pixels) so you can maximise conversions, this way it will definitely be seen as some users may not scroll down your email.

7.  Optimise landing pages & shopping carts for mobile

There is no sense succeeding in getting someone to click on your call to action if the page they are taken to is not optimised for mobile. If your website is not responsive and you have no mobile version, you can create individual mobile landing pages.

Unbounce and leadpages are excellent landing page services you can use.

8.  Triggered email

Triggered emails are a great tactic for both desktop and mobile. These are sent when a user performs a certain action like purchases, viewing a product page or abandoning a shopping cart.

Triggered emails are highly relevant to the customer and are therefore much more likely to convert.

9.  Unsubscribe buttons

Include unsubscribe functionality the same as you would for regular marketing emails as mobile messages are subject to the same types of regulations.

10.  Test for mobile

Finally, test for mobile! Especially if you have a large or important campaign going out or have recently changed your design or template. There are several tools that allow you to test and preview your emails before sending. You could try Litmus, PreviewMyEmail or Campaign Monitor.

Some email clients such as Mailchimp allow you to create responsive emails and then test / preview your campaign before sending.

We hope this has provided you with some insight and inspiration for optimising your email marketing efforts for mobile. Keep in mind, depending on your industry, mobile users may well comprise the majority of your readers!

Leave a comment if you found this helpful or have other tips for optimisation.

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