3 Steps to Maximize Your Mobile Email Marketing Is email marketing dead?

By Cynthia Johnson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Is email marketing dead?

The consensus among business leaders and so-called cutting-edge marketers who've gone all in on social media, YouTube videos, podcasting, and other forms of digital communication would be, "yes."

However, that is not the case.

In reality, the humble email hasn't gone anywhere. Quite the opposite in fact.

Smartphone habits of consumers indicate that reading email comes second only to making phone calls. Moreover, email is still responsible for at least twice as many online conversions than social media.

The confluence of email and mobile is especially noteworthy. As early as 2013, GetResponse discovered that "42 percent of subscribers delete emails that don't display correctly on mobile phones."

This means that to leverage the awesome power of email, you must get mobile. Here's a simple three-step guide to get you started.

1. The Layout

Mobile responsiveness isn't just about changing the size and dimensions of your content to fit a smaller screen. It is also about reinforcing your brand strategy in order to enhance brand awareness.

Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Local News

Mobile users are notorious for skimming emails, so utilize attention-grabbing images and copy. Don't waste valuable "mobile" real estate on pointless distractions. Naturally, your responsive email strategy must be executed with your audience in mind. However, here are some proven best practices that deliver effective results:

  • Use single-column layouts that expand to multiple columns on desktops.
  • Provide plenty of white space.
  • Place your most important information above the scroll.
  • Space out your links.
  • Keep the header clean and avoid the first line of your email being something like, "Having trouble viewing this email. Click here to view in your browser."
  • Optimize for image blocking by using compelling alt text and by testing plain text emails.
  • Use web-safe fonts and a text size of at least 12 px
  • Make your CTAs "clear, big and simple to click." In other words, avoid what's called "fat finger" syndrome.

2. The Copy

Balancing your gorgeous design layout with compelling copy is the second step in creating responsive emails. The keys here are brevity – keep it short – and paying very close attention to the "only three lines that matter": the "from" field, the subject line, and the first line of text.

Why? Because on a mobile device, those are the only three lines most subscribers will see.

A) The "From" Field

Unless you run a world-renowned brand, include the name of a real person in the "From" field. And, make sure the email address actually works so you can respond to complaints, questions, or recommendations.

B) The Subject Line

The most alluring email will be for nothing if the subject line doesn't get your subscriber to open it. Research indicates that, on mobile, subject lines between six to 10 words that include the recipient's first name and – most intriguingly – also include a movie title or song lyric have the highest open rates.

C) The Copy

Don't waste your readers' time with bland and banal copy. Pack a punch into your first line of text, not only because it should lead your audience into the rest of the email, but also because mobile devices display the first line below the subject line within inbox previews (see above).

Tighten your writing by eliminating unnecessary words. Use short paragraphs, lots of line breaks, and subheads to create a skimmable reading experience.

Related: 4 Habits of a Super-Connector

D) Call to Action (CTA)

Email exists for one reason: to get a response. Normally that response will be a simple click. To drive clicks, CTAs must be specific, stand out from the rest of the copy, communicate urgency, and offer clear value.

For maximum clarity, limit each email to one (and only one) CTA. Lastly, be sure the page your sending your traffic to is also optimized for mobile viewing.

3. The Code

If you already have an in-house IT team, good for you! If not, but you do have a basic understanding of coding, you can take advantage of the numerous online templates to implement mobile email yourself.

Litmus, for instance, outlines three core components of a responsive design that converts:

  • Query: Defines which CSS Style to use based on screen size.
  • Styles: Based on the query above, a pre-determined style is activated.
  • The HTML: Must mirror the elements specified in each CSS Style in order to take effect.

However, if the mere mention of coding makes you break out in hives, fear not. Any email provider worth your time will allow you to create mobile-friendly emails without any technical hassles. Just be sure the provider's "responsive templates" do more than simply resize your text. For instance, you should be able to preview your email across multiple devices before sending.

Get Mobile … Now

More than half of emails (53 percent) are now opened on mobile devices, and that number is going nowhere but up. By combining the right layout, the right copy, and the right code, the benefits are impossible to ignore. Get mobile … now.

Related: How to Network When You're an Introvert

Wavy Line
Cynthia Johnson

Co-founder and CEO of Bell + Ivy, marketer, speaker and author

Cynthia Johnson is co-founder and CEO of Bell + Ivy. She is a marketer, speaker and author.

Editor's Pick

A Leader's Most Powerful Tool Is Executive Capital. Here's What It Is — and How to Earn It.
One Man's Casual Side Hustle Became an International Phenomenon — And It's on Track to See $15 Million in Revenue This Year
3 Reasons to Keep Posting on LinkedIn, Even If Nobody Is Engaging With You
Why a Strong Chief Financial Officer Is Crucial for Your Franchise — and What to Look for When Hiring One

Related Topics

Business News

More Americans Are Retiring Abroad, Without a Massive Nest Egg — Here's How They Made the Leap

About 450,000 people received their social security benefits outside the U.S. at the end of 2021, up from 307,000 in 2008, according to the Social Security Administration.

Business News

7 of the 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in the U.S. Are in One State

A new report by U.S. News found that San Diego is the most expensive city to live in for 2023-2024, followed by Los Angeles. New York City didn't even rank in the top 10.

Business News

'The Mattresses Are As Thick as The Width of a Hand.' And 5 Other Things to Know About Elizabeth Holmes' Prison.

Inside the walls of Federal Prison Camp Bryan, Texas, where the fallen Silicon Valley star is serving an 11-year sentence.

Business News

Woman Ties the Knot at White Castle Almost 30 Years After the Chain Gave Her Free Food as a Homeless Teen

Jamie West was just 12 years old when she ran away from the foster care system.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.