The Essential Guide to Optimizing Your Emails for Mobile

emails for mobile

On average, mobile users check their emails about three times more than desktop users, making them responsible for at least half of all the opened emails. Since mobile users are also responsible for producing higher conversion rates, not optimizing your emails means you’re risking to lose money every day.

Therefore, testing your email campaigns on a mobile device and checking your email list’s ratio of desktop users to smartphone users is something that must be done every time when preparing an email campaign.

Here are our 100% proven tips that we constantly implement in the email campaigns that we prepare for our clients.

Pay Attention to Your Preheader Text

Every email needs an eye-catching headline. In the mobile apps, the preheader refers to the first line of your email copy that is visible as a preview in a user’s email client. People can read it before they decide whether to open your email.

The preheader contains the first line of your email, but most of the email service providers (ESPs) allow you to customize this. For the best results, make your subject line and preheader text into one connected message. This means there will be more space to put your messaging into context or you can include more details, such as prices and discounts.

optimize emails for mobile

Always Choose a Responsive Design

Just like your website, your email should also have responsive design. By using responsive design, your emails will automatically fill the screen of any size of device and look good on any mobile or tablet your subscribers use to read. This means they can read the email without having to scroll left and right, or zoom in and zoom out to see the whole text.

Most of the ESPs offer responsive email templates, but you can always create one with your own unique design that will perfectly match your company’s style.

At Essence of Email we test how your emails look across all email clients and devices. We use services like Litmus and Email on Acid to identify and fix any display issues or misalignment before the emails are sent.

*Extra tip: Always use a single-column layout. This way you will know that your email are readable on any mobile device.

Be Concise

Keep your emails short on text. It is very likely that your mobile users are reading your email on the go. They probably don’t have the time to fully read all the emails they receive, and they might be easily distracted if you don’t get to the point right away.

Focus on a single topic with a concise message to get to the point quickly. Avoid long paragraphs and avoid adding too many links at once. And always put the most relevant and important information first.

Be Selective with Your Images

“Clean and simple” images are very important when it comes to mobile-optimized emails. Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, don’t overdesign with too many images or by inserting large image files. They might take forever to load on phones that rely on Wi-Fi connections.

*Extra Tip: When adding images, make sure you also add a description to each image file. Since descriptions appear when images don’t, the description tells the readers what the image is about even if it doesn’t preview in your email for some reason.

Add a Clear Call-To-Action

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are crucial elements of any type of content you create, including your marketing emails. You want your subscribers to act by clicking through, reading more, signing up for an opt-in, or buying your offers, instead of just reading the email.

Therefore, when you create an email with an offer, don’t leave it for the end of the message. Instead, get your reader’s attention by placing your CTA at the beginning of the email. Then again, place the CTA at the end of the email, too.

Optimizing Your Emails for Mobile

Use Buttons

While you can definitely add a CTA in a text-based link, you’ll find that other options may work better for mobile users. Using buttons for your CTAs is an even better idea. Add your CTA to an eye-catching and easy-to-click button that mobile users won’t be able to miss. Buttons are easier for people to click on when using a mobile device with a touch screen.

*Extra Tip: Leave space around the buttons to make sure people always click where you want them to click.

Optimize Your Landing Page

Email mobile optimization doesn’t end in the email box. Most marketing emails take subscribers back to the company website or a specific landing page. Make sure the links you have in your email take your readers to a mobile friendly webpage. Consider incorporating responsive design, a font that is easy to read, and a clear text. Keep in mind that there’s nothing more frustrating for an on-the-go reader than to be redirected from an email to a page that doesn’t render correctly on a smartphone. Strategically add CTAs inside your landing page, so the users know what to do when they arrive on your page.

Always Test Before Sending

Even if you are following all the tips and best practices for optimizing your emails, always test your message first. Use your ESP’s preview button to see how your email really looks on mobile and desktop. If you want to go one step further with your tests, send the email you create to your own email address to make sure that the text is readable, the design is on point, and the CTAs are clear.

To make sure your emails are perfect in any device’s inbox, use email testing service provider like Litmus to preview the email in various email clients. Having this in mind, you can modify and adjust your email design/layout to achieve the desired look on all devices.

Once you are happy that you have optimized your emails for mobile devices, the next thing to do is to measure the performance of each campaign. There is always space to improve your approach and enhance your email marketing results.

At Essence of Email, we create powerful and mobile-optimized emails.
Schedule a call with us to learn how to turn your email marketing into
the most powerful marketing tool for your brand.


Monika Gaberova – Marketing Associate @ Essence of Email