Make It a Mobile Mentality

Mobile email…it’s more than just your emails delivered via a smartphone. To succeed as email marketers on the little screen (as opposed to the big screen), we have to change our mindset.

We have to have a Mobile Mentality.

That means everything we do in email we do while considering mobile at the same time. Everything, including:

– Subscription process
– From name
– Subject line
– Copywriting
– Offer
– Headline
– Banner
– Design
– Graphics
– Call to action
– Buttons
– Frequency
– Testing
– Design
– Rendering
– Links
– Landing page
– Metrics and benchmarks
– Reporting

In particular, pay attention to your From address, subject line and headlines. These are the items subscribers are going to initially react to when viewing emails on their mobile devices (and in that order), so it’s important the appropriate message is relayed in the space provided to achieve the most optimal results. An underlying message here, pardon the pun, is that the message must take priority over the design on a mobile device. You won’t have the screen space to wow with pretty pictures or glitzy graphics. When it’s mobile, you must wow with words.

Your From address must make sense. If you haven’t yet tackled the From conundrum, do it now. The From address is the first item people look at when deciding whether or not to open an email. Yours needs to be clear and compelling. Would someone rather open an email from Or It matters on the PC, but it might matter more on the mobile.

Keep subject lines short-er. You’re used to writing short subject lines for your emails, right? Now you get to write even shorter ones so they’ll be attention grabbing on the small screen. If the first few words of your subject line are just the buildup to the last few words of your subject line, then the buildup might be all the subscriber sees on their iPhone or Droid. Make those few words count by making them words that hook, interest and compel the subscriber.

The headline is now the headliner. Graphics aren’t going to cut it on the mobile device if you’re relying on them to earn you a click through and conversion. Plus you’re dealing with an even shorter attention span. Your headline is doing even heavier lifting than before. In fact, it might be all they see if they decide to open your email! It absolutely must compel the reader to scroll down the email for more.

You’re not limited by mobile, only required to think differently. Your email rendered on a smartphone or PDA is not an end in and of itself, only one step in the process you ultimately hope will lead to a conversion. Where does one go from an email? To a landing page…
Mobile-friendly emails need mobile-friendly landing pages. Otherwise, you might lose that hard-won click through. Some might wait until in front of a computer before clicking through, but if someone wants to take action while on the go, we want to make it easy for them by designing a landing page that works on a mobile device. With that in mind, here are a few tips for making landing pages as mobile friendly as your emails.

Design your landing page for mobile
with the same mindset as your email design, with narrower widths and a single column.

Be brief when it comes to copy…and make that copy count. Consider using two landing pages, the first which is optimized for mobile and says the bare minimum and a second they can click through to if they need more information.

Make everything shorter: headlines, line lengths, chunks of text. As with the email, think bare minimum to get your point made and your prospect clicking.

Avoid using Flash. Replace it with HTML5 or JavaScript. For best results across devices, our design team recommends building landing pages optimized for mobile as straight HTML, CSS, and minor amounts of Java.

Design for fingers, not mice. Make links and buttons a size that is easy to read and easy to navigate with a finger. You don’t want someone getting frustrated when they are trying to click through and the button or link is too small! Also remember there’s you don’t get a hover state for a touch screen on a smart phone.

If you have a form, ask for as little as possible. Ask only for an email address if you can.

You must test the rendering of both your emails and your landing pages.  You can put countless hours into the From line, subject line, headline and design of that email so it will have maximum impact on a mobile device, but if you don’t test and check how it renders in real life on all kinds of devices, all your work could be for naught. Ditto for your landing page. Test, tweak, test again.

Also remember the growing use of iPads and other tablet PCs. Smaller than a laptop, bigger than a smartphone, it’s hard to know yet where these computing devices fit into the scheme of things, how people will use them, and the best way to market to people who use them.  Don’t overlook them, however.  Being prepared for these smaller devices is only one part of having a Mobile Mentality.

– Marco Marini
ClickMail Marketing