WHAT? You haven’t optimised your email for mobile yet? C’mon you’re missing out!

Posted on: in Mobile Marketing The Formula Digital Marketing

Mobile marketing remains fairly unchartered territory in South Africa. While some larger organisations have dabbled in a variety of mobile marketing campaigns, most medium size companies and SME’s are still hesitant to fully incorporate mobile marketing as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy. This scenario needs to change however. And for good reason.

Smartphone use on the rise in South Africa

According to stats based on ongoing research, there are roughly 12 million active Smartphone’s in use in South Africa and apart from calls, the top two ways in which South Africans are using their Smartphone, is for accessing email and browsing the internet.

Internationally, the number of emails opened on mobile devices is set to surpass desktop by the end of 2013 and currently 52% of Smartphone users in the global community, use their device to send or receive email. South Africa will follow suit.

Should marketers and business leaders then not be seriously considering the optimisation of their email marketing messages for mobile users? Of course they should, however the shocking reality is that according to research conducted by eConsultancy, over 45% of marketers say that they have no strategy for the optimisation of email for mobile in place at all.

Outshine your competitors!

So here is a golden opportunity for your organisation to be ahead of the curve! You needn’t worry that optimising email messages for mobile will significantly limit your creativity – because it won’t. By incorporating a few minor changes in how you structure your email messages, you could be actively engaging a far wider audience.

While most email messages are visible on a mobile phone – and more specifically a Smartphone, the primary concern centres around screen retail and how easy the email is to read in a confined space, as well as the interactivity of the email itself.

Trying to scroll, or swipe to the left and right in order to read an email can be extremely frustrating. This activity detracts from the impact of the message that you are trying to communicate. In  addition, hyperlinks that don’t work or are difficult to navigate will put recipients off immediately.

How to Optimise your Email for Mobile – 10 Important Considerations 

1. Mobile Optimised Website / Landing Page -creating a great looking mobile optimised email is one thing, but be sure that your website and the landing page to where you are sending the reader is optimised for mobile viewing and interaction too. One way to deliver a bad customer experience would be to drive an interested client away as the result of an unresponsive, difficult to navigate website.

2. Keep it Simple - the golden rule with mobile email marketing is to keep your message as short, simple and to the point as humanly possible.
An impactful message that contains everything you want to say in the least number of words and graphics is surprisingly challenging and will take time, but you cannot afford to lose the limited attention of your mobile client.

3. Important Items First - the most important, attention grabbing element of your message should appear close to, or at the top of the email. Mobile users will assess within 5 seconds whether reading your email is really worth their while or not, so make your first message enticing enough to make them want to scroll down if required.

4. To the Left - Keep your headlines, introductory copy and ‘Call to Action’ buttons and links to the left. Depending on the size of the screen that your recipient is viewing the email on, this will help grab attention and avoid the need for them to scroll or swipe to see what is on the right.

5. Single Column Layouts - envision a narrow, single column when compiling your mobile friendly email message. At the recommended width of just  500 pixels, you don’t have much space to grab the recipients attention.

6. A Limited Subject Line - 60 characters is the recommended limit for your subject line. <= that sentence is exactly 60 characters! So consider how you will tell your story using the least number of words. Good subject lines ask a question of the reader, make a bold statement and can be slightly controversial – be sure to make yours stand out.  See this infographic for inspiration.

7. Keep Font Sizes Small - we recommend a 22 pixel font for headlines and 13 pixel font for body copy. Also remember to keep the fonts themselves simple and fairly common so that everyone gets to see the same message.

8. Don’t Oversize or Overuse Images - receiving an email that is full of little blue question marks is an invitation for the reader to hit the delete button. Ensure that the most important message is delivered as embedded copy – not an image. Images should be used only to support the central email message. Images should be small so that they download quickly and should be no more than 320 pixels wide.

9. Provide Links and Buttons that Work - make sure your links work and are easy to for the reader click or tap on. Text based links should be highly visible and presented in a different colour which stands out from the rest of the copy, while image based buttons and links should be at least 44 x 44 pixels in size in order for the reader to easily use them.

10. Don’t Skimp on Testing -do not succumb to the temptation to rush ahead and send your email in the anticipation of seeing your sales or enquiries hitting the roof. Test, test and test again to ensure that your mobile optimised email views correctly across all devices and platforms, as well to ensure that all your links and buttons are working as they should. One faulty step and your email could result in a bad experience for the recipient, which is an experience you should avoid at all costs. Try a service such as Litmus to make sure your email looks good across all devices and platforms.

Do you need help to write, design and distribute your email marketing message? Tell us what you want to say and we will make sure that you say it well! Give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: info@theformula.co.za – our consultations are free and we look forward to assisting you.


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