6 ways to optimise your emails for mobile

Posted under Email
6 ways to optimise your emails for mobileBefore writing this blog post I looked through my mobile inbox to find some good examples of email optimised for mobile to share with you, I was really surprised at how difficult I found it to do!

So many companies are still sending out email communications that aren’t ready to be viewed on mobile, and what happens when they do? You either don’t open the email in the first place or immediately hit the back button upon realisation that you have to pinch and squeeze your way around to try and decipher what the email is actually about. To avoid putting your customers and clients in that situation, here are 6 things that you can do to make your emails optimised for mobile.

Subject Line and From Name

When it comes to email marketing, the email subject line can mean success or failure. On mobile you have a much smaller number of characters for your subject line than desktop; it could literally be as small as 5 characters! This infographic from Mass Transmit gives a really good breakdown of the characters you have to play with on a range of different devices.

In general, for mobile email subject lines, you should aim for around 60 characters and remember to put the main focus of the email at the beginning.

It is also important to consider who the email is sent from. Mobile devices tend to put greater emphasis on the ‘from’ rather than subject line. It is worth testing the open rate you get sending ‘from ‘Your Company Name’ vs ‘Named Person at Your Company’. We tend to find that a named person works better however it is definitely worth testing, even testing if one person’s name gets a better open rate than another.


Keep the content of your email concise and to the point. Make it easy for the reader to scan by breaking it up with paragraphs, headings, bullet points etc. This is a standard recommendation for email marketing and becomes even more important when considering mobile and the nature of a mobile user.

The email is being viewed on a much smaller screen by someone who may not necessarily be giving their full attention to reading every word of your email due to them multitasking (commuting, watching TV, even socialising!). So, you have to do what you can to make the email scan-able so the user can get the gist of your email quickly, you don’t want them hitting the back button right?

Font Size

Make sure the font size on your email is big enough! You have taken the time to write some amazing content but what’s the point if the font is so small that the user can’t read it?

The recommended font size for body text in mobile emails is 14pt or higher.

Image Optimisation

There are a few different points that you need to consider when it comes to optimising your images for mobile email.

1. Make sure that your images will display correctly on different screen sizes. If you skip this point then you may well end up with emails that look like this:

email image optimisation

2. Not every one has a superfast connection! Even if you are lucky enough to be on a 3g/4g connection, images that are too big can be slow to load. When you are designing and creating your email take this into consideration by reducing your image file sizes, especially if you tend to send quite image heavy emails.

3. Remember to include alt text, again this a standard email marketing recommendation but when it comes to mobile it become even more of a must because many mobile email clients automatically block images.

Links and Call to Action’s

In terms of usability for the user you have to remember that you are placing links and buttons that are to be clicked by the users thumb or finger, a much bigger area than a precise mouse click! To prevent the frustration of your user clicking the wrong thing on your email make sure to suitably space out links. Similarly if you use buttons make sure they are sized appropriately.

Responsive Layout

If you don’t already have a responsive email template, it is definitely time to get one. What do I mean by responsive? In simple terms, layout of the email will alter depending on the size of screen it is being viewed on. So for example, if your email design on desktop has three columns, on mobile it would filter into one. One-column layouts are the best choice for mobiles. Good email marketing platforms will have built in responsive templates for you to customise to suit your business needs. If you can’t find one you like here are 32 more for you to choose from.

Special Bonus Tip

I have added this as a bonus tip as it isn’t technically the email that we are talking about. Remember that if a user is viewing your email on mobile, they are going to be clicking your links on mobile too. Are those pages mobile friendly? If not you might find that users on mobile will bounce off the page and not actually end up taking the action you wanted them to take.

Laura McGill

Laura is our digital guru – she loves the opportunity to be both creative and analytical, digging into clients’ analytics and developing insights to help creatively solve problems and fuel successful marketing campaigns.

She is Google Certified and eats, sleeps and breathes the latest developments in digital marketing. She’s passionate about it – and that is great news for all our clients.

She says she loves working with supportive and friendly colleagues at Media Matters. She describes herself as being tenacious, forthright and loves puppies and kittens! She also possesses an incredible attention to detail.

Away from work, she is busy renovating her home with partner Stef – and perhaps not surprisingly loves gaming and socialising.