Mobile email design and conversion considerations


Earlier this week, comScore released some data, indicating that the number of Americans using their mobile phones to access email grew 28% year-on-year. In total, almost 2 out of 5 mobile phone users now access their emails. Among smartphone owners, this percentage is much higher with 78% using email.

The research confirms findings from ReturnPath and Litmus, regarding the growing adoption of email (and the mobile email viewing habits), we recently tackled in a post. It’s obvious that sooner or later your customers and prospects will start using mobile email as well. It’s one of the most popular activities on mobile devices. 

Many people don’t really read or send email with their mobile device. They often use it to sort their mails and delete those that they don’t want. For others, often mobile workers or business users, mobile email has become a habit.

Nevertheless, as smartphone (and tablet) manufacturers clearly focus on making mobile the hub of the connected consumer by marketing new models that make using social networks and sending emails on these devices easier, it can be expected that mobile will become a full-fledged email environment for an increasing number of consumers. 

Designing email campaigns for mobile

One of the challenges for businesses is the design of mobile emails. It is not rocket science but the number of formats, screen sizes, mobile operating systems and email clients is huge. It is much easier to send and read email on one device than on another. And manufacturers will keep coming up with new models. It’s in their interest and that of telecom companies that the user experience for all possible tasks becomes easier on mobile devices.

Another element to take into account regarding mobile email design and that affects email marketing even more is the behavioral and technical context of mobile devices. Reading emails is one thing, actually responding to them another.

Think about the difference between mobile devices with versus phones without touch screens, for instance. Or about the conditions in which the devices are used. Or the different kinds of mobile phone keyboards. 

We often don’t think about it but designing emails for mobile does require some thinking. There is a difference between the way people look at a computer screen and the way they look at a phone screen. Call-to-actions that make sense on desktops or specific kinds of mobile devices (e.g. touchscreen) don’t make sense on another.

Conversion: what about the mobile landing page?

Obviously, the challenges don’t end there. When it boils down to conversion, we know it’s importance that the user immediately sees and ‘feels’ the link between the email call-to-action and the landing page. Yet, many businesses haven’t optimized their landing pages for mobile yet. And even if you have: how consistent is the user experience between the mobile email and destination?

There is still a lot of work to do. However, the most important thing now is to analyze how your customers are using their mobile phones and making sure you offer a mobile experience to them, after the potential click as well. The rapid uptake of mobile for email, such as mentioned in the comScore data, and for other purposes among consumers is a fact.

There are several tools, such as Litmus, that is integrated within Selligent Interactive Marketing to preview your mobile emails but a customer journey is more than just email. On mobile devices as well.

More about the comScore data here.

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