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4 Tips for Better Mobile Email Marketing Design

Aug 5, 2013   |   2 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

IphoneAs discussed in the blog “Optimize for Mobile for Better Email Marketing Results,” smartphone usage among U.S. adults has grown exponentially, increasing 21 percent in just two years. The rapid adoption of iPhones, Androids and other devices has left many email marketers realizing they can no longer afford to think of their messages in terms of mobile and non-mobile. Forward thinkers have begun investigating responsive and mobile aware design.

“If your brand’s mobile audience is at or above 10 percent,” ExactTarget advises, “it’s time to start optimizing for mobile.” Is your email marketing experiencing a growing mobile audience? Check out the below tips to help craft the perfect mobile email marketing design!

Feature Your Most Important Content First

When presenting a news story, journalists write in what’s called the inverted pyramid style. “The inverted pyramid puts the most newsworthy information at the top, and then the remaining information follows in order of importance, with the least important at the bottom,” according to Poynter.

For maximum mobile engagement, email marketers should copy this top-down hierarchy, featuring what they consider to be the most important element of the email first. This means you’ll need to bump “Add to address book,” “Click to unsubscribe” and other common language to the footer of the email.

Stick to a Single-Column Layout

Picture your current email template. Is it multi-column? While two or three-column designs are ideal for desktops, laptops and even tablets, they can be a visual nightmare on smart phones. Whether your marketing team is interested in pursuing mobile aware or responsive design, single-column layouts work best. Work with your designers and web developers to carefully plan how to best shift or stack your current email marketing elements to optimize for mobile.

Want to see a great example of mobile optimized email marketing? Check out MarketingProfs.

Maximize Text Size for Readability

When creating print materials for marketing, as a general rule, designers keep body font around 11 pixels. But design your emails with 11px body copy, and your mobile readers will feel they need powerful prescription lenses just to get through them!

ExactTarget recommends using text of at least 13px for body copy to keep your mobile audience from squinting or zooming. “Try starting at 15-16px (depending on the actual font) and preview it on your mobile device,” ExactTarget says. And remember, when it comes to copy, less is more. Be vigilant with copy editing, tightening sentences and scrapping unnecessary filler.

Include Bold Images and Whitespace

For better mobile design, email marketers can take a cue from a few of the most popular social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+, all of which prominently display bold, beautiful images. Images grab your audience’s attention and communicate your brand’s story much faster than text can, so consider incorporating artful shots that complement your message.

Vital for the legibility of your mobile emails is imagery’s exact opposite: whitespace. Large margins and ample whitespace ensure you’re not bombarding your mobile audience with too many visuals and text. Whitespace also helps you perfect your color contrasts, helping text and images stand out properly against the background.

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photo credit: William Hook

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