Mobile email optimisation factors you should consider

More and more emails are being delivered to mobile inboxes, which is why mobile email optimisation and location segmentation are so important in modern email marketing.

I recently wrote an article listing three mobile email marketing best practices, and wanted to follow it up with a couple of optimisation factors which should be considered when designing and developing an email for your mobile audience.

Understanding and considering the audience

Before starting mobile email optimisation it’s important to do some research into what proportion of your audience will appreciate and engage with mobile emails.

Once you’ve determined that mobile email marketing is something you should be doing, there’s the process of making your emails compelling enough to be opened by busy mobile users. It’s likely that the mobile audience are undertaking other tasks or skimming through emails which is why it’s so important to optimise your subject line for mobile.

Some users triage their email on their mobile (removing the junk) and flagging others to view on desktops. It’s recommended that emails meant for the mobile audience focus on a single promotion and are short and to the point. Daily deals or last minute travel information are great examples of this.

Segmenting lists based on mobile attributes

Getting opt-ins has always been a tricky business, but mobile opens up a few new clever features in the form of mobile advertising. According to, ‘Paper Hat Press’ used mobile ads in free iPhone and Android apps resulting on an additional 13,000 new recipients in the space of just one month.

Using mobile attributes allows email marketers to target users based on attributes such as location, device type and local time or currency. As an example, a cocktail bar could send out a timely promotional email (6.30pm on a Saturday evening) with a link to directions from a users current location.

Take advantage of device mail client functionality

Apple’s mobile mail client can render HTML5 content, meaning it’s possible to embed video directly into the email body. According to a recent survey by the Direct Marketing Association marketers can triple their open rates by including video within their email.

However, be cautious of including HTML5 in your emails, as not all email clients will render either in the same way or at all.

Always perform inbox inspections during the testing phase

Taking advantage of device specific functionality is great, but if you’re targeting a range of mobile devices (like most do) then it’s paramount to run inbox inspections to make sure that your email works on all, not just those that are most popular, devices.

In most cases there’s no reason to create seperate mobile and desktop versions of the same email, providing it’s responsive. Similarly, there’s no reason to create emails for different mobile devices. So making sure that your email works across the board has never been more important.

Don’t forget tablet devices

Finally, don’t forget tablet devices. Tablet’s are marketed as the ‘desktop replacement’, but the two shouldn’t be grouped together when it comes to email marketing. The iPad has the largest market share of any tablet device as of June 2013 and a recent Return Path study revealed a 15% increase in open rates from the device.

John Alexander Rowley

An enthusiastic digital marketing professional passionately dedicated to increasing the online presence of businesses and individuals in order to improve engagement and ROI.

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