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How important is mobile email?

The short answer is that mobile email is very important. If you are not already optimising your marketing messages so that they appear well formatted on a smartphone, then you need to start immediately.

Of the roughly 347 billion email messages sent and received each day, just under 50% will be opened on a mobile device.  Within that, Apple devices and Gmail together account for around 65%. Remember that iMail or a Gmail app on a device can be configured to show non iMail or Gmail messages too.

Digging deeper, figures reveal that of professionals, around 35%, access emails on their mobile device. This is almost certainly going to grow, as smartphones become ever more powerful.

What do you need to optimise for mobile email marketing?

This is not a technical website, rather we will describe what is important to optimise for the mobile email experience. Firstly the message itself. According to a survey completed by The Relevance Group, almost one third of respondents complained that text was too small and the message hard to interact with. If you need to pinch the screen to zoom in order to see the text, you need to optimise.

For those that did click through, almost one quarter felt that the web landing page was poorly optimised for mobile.  Making your message and any landing pages mobile friendly is a basic requirement. Failing to do even this, will mean your email marketing campaign is immediately at a disadvantage.

How long do people look at an email for?

There are two parts to this. Firstly the time it takes to decide if a user wants to even open an email. This is typically 1 to 2 seconds. Therefore, the subject line and the preview text (that’s the part of an email body you see before you open it) are critical. These might be all your potential customer reads. Secondly, if the user does decide to open the email…

…research has revealed that for mobile users, on average, a person will look at an email for 15 seconds.

That is roughly three average length sentences.  The first sentence needs to give an immediate summary of the purpose of the email and benefits it will bring. Your second and third sentences should carefully build on this.

In summary, your first paragraph MUST be compelling, give clear information and be enticing. Assume your reader will only read this before making a decision to click on a link, or click on the delete button.

Mobile email marketing checklist

Remembering that between 20% and 50% of emails are opened on a smartphone, here is the summary of the key points:

  1. The first sentence is the most important, make it count.
  2. Your message MUST be mobile friendly.
  3. Test your message on iPhone and Gmail as a minimum.
  4. Check landing pages are also mobile friendly.
  5. Subject line and preview text are critical and must work together.

Our full email campaing checklist can be found here. For more email marketing hints and tips, please visit this page.

FAQ for Email Marketing


Is email marketing worth it?

Many studies have shown a great ROI for email marketing, averaging at a 30x to 40x return. The key is to use high quality data and send relevant, engaging messages. We can advise.

How do I target email marketing?

Build your ideal audience. Based on what market segment they work in, what they do and what they specialise in. Add in geographic location and you have a well targeted email list. Now you need to send relevant and interesting messages to build trust.

How do I improve email open rates?

Two main factors. The subject line and email deliverability. The subject line should be short, create some intrigue or curiosity and avoid spammy words. You build trust with an audience over time.
Email deliverability depends on good email data and a good email reputation.

How do I improve my CTR?

Some quick tips are:
Keep your message short, to the point and easily skim-able.
Be relevant and create curiosity in your audience
Have a single Call to Action button with a clear message on it "Download the report".

What is A/B testing?

This simply means testing two versions of something. Most common is Subject Line testing. Send out two different versions and see which gets the best response. Testing message content is possible as well. Ensure you only change one thing, so you know what made a difference.

How can I avoid the Spam filters?

Two main causes:
1. Technical reasons, poor email reputation and lack of email authentication.
2. Message content is spammy. Cut out flowery language and keep it professional.

What is contact nurturing?

This simply means sending multiple messages over time, to build up trust and a stronger relationship with your audience. Its rare to be able to send a single message and expect a brilliant response. Build trust with a series of engaging messages.