Make 2016 the year your emails go mobile

With almost 90% of worldwide consumers reading emails on mobile devices, it’s not hard to see why optimizing your marketing for mobile is something you should’ve been doing long ago.

But with so many types of devices and multiple screen sizes, where do you begin? Here are five steps to help you deliver effective email for mobile in 2016.

  1. Planning

Firstly, map out all the things you might need to do during the production stage. This’ll give you an idea of a timeline for delivery and the resource you’ll need to get there.

  • Design for many devices: how will your email look on a small mobile screen, a larger tablet and on a desktop?
  • Design for your customers’ experience: are your CTA buttons big enough to be tapped easily on smaller screens?
  • A recognizable ‘from’ name: if people are reading your emails on the go, an email from an unrecognized sender is likely to be deleted or marked as spam without a second thought
  • A killer subject line: if your subject lines don’t grab your subscribers in an instant, your email will go unread and everything else you do will be a wasted effort
  • Use preheaders to encourage opens: with subject lines offering limited space, preheaders – which often show as a line or two beneath the subject line on mobile devices – give you the opportunity to deliver an even more impactful message
  • Clear CTAs: have you made it obvious as to what you want people to do once they’ve read your email?
  • Responsive landing pages: there’s nothing more annoying than clicking through from an optimized email to a page that isn’t
  • Quick loading times: internet connections are generally slower on mobile devices, so you’ll want to allow time for testing across multiple email clients on different connections
  1. Analytics

Do you know how many people are coming to your site from emails on mobile devices, and which ones? Where and at what time are your emails being opened? Why did the email get lots of opens but few click-throughs? What did they look at if they clicked through from your email, and how long did they spend there?

All of this insight can help you refine your email marketing strategy – from the devices you need to focus on and the content of your emails to the all-important onward journey.

  1. Designing layouts

Now you know where your emails are being opened, it’s time to wireframe your design layouts. How much content do you commonly include in the emails you send? Do you like to add images alongside content blocks?

Fixed layouts for smartphones, tablets and desktops are the most common. Though you might want to consider fluid layouts, which stretch and shrink depending on the email client or when a window is dragged and condensed.

  1. Becoming responsive

If you follow step 3, you’ll have layouts to suit the common types of devices your subscribers view your emails on. This is a good start and requires less-advanced design skills. Responsive templates are more complex to produce and use media queries to determine how to display on different screens. For example, images or content blocks that sit next to each other on a big screen will ‘stack’ on a smaller mobile screen, meaning users won’t have to scroll horizontally.

But the good news is that with the dotmailer platform, the hard work’s already done for you – thanks to a range of free responsive templates at your disposal.

  1. Testing

There are two parts to this point. Firstly, you’ll want to test whether your templates work before you start using them for live broadcasts. Do they display well across multiple devices? Do all of the links work? How quickly does the email download on 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi? The dotmailer platform allows you to test any email campaign in multiple inboxes and see the results at a glance, in a matter of minutes.

You might think you’ve nailed it after checking all of those things, but what do your subscribers think? Are your subject lines having the right effect across the board? Are those CTA buttons big enough and clear enough? Measuring the performance of your emails and analyzing where things are going wrong will help you optimize and fine-tune your campaigns.

Make sure you’re making the best emails for mobile that you can with our best practice guide ‘Designing email for mobile‘.

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