Mobile email success: what it really boils down to


We provided several tips and best practices regarding mobile email design before. However, there is always room for more and in a recent post on Econsultancy, Erik Boman really shared a bunch of them, from the designer's perspective.

We already treated most of the tips but let me share some thoughts with you. Should I repeat the web is going mobile and so is email? I guess not. In the UK, for instance, 30% of all email checks are done from phones and tablets as Erik writes. However, let's skip the data and evolutions we all see and go straight to the thoughts and tips.

  • Design for scanning behavior. You know the old saying that people don't read but scan content online. Well, on mobile this is even truer. While optimising for mobile devices seems obvious, we need to design for mobile behavior and that includes taking into account this scanning reality.
  • Balance simplicity and... simplicity.There is a branding dimension to email, no doubt about it. On mobile devices there is less room for graphical sophistication. When designing for mobile, simplicity is essential. Look at the basics and make sure things work. Does that mean there is no room for branding and graphical elements? No. But isn't all good email in the end essentially about making it easy for recipients to scan the content (there you have it again) and interact with it.
  • Same old. This brings me to a third element. While mobile email is 'different' in many ways, we shouldn't forget the good old basics. Erik reminds us of that as well. An example? Make sure the call-to-action shows where people don't have to look for it, even if they don't read the whole email. Or in other words: reserve the top for CTAs and important content. Furthermore, make sure you summarise the content in the subject line. As a matter of fact, subject lines become more important than ever. Not just because of mobile but also because of social, for instance.

Of course there is much more to good mobile email design than these simple tips. You can read many more in several posts on our blog and in Erik's post.

But as long as you focus on the individual user experience and design and integrate around the customer, many best practices and tips in the end are a matter of common sense. That's what it really boils down to.

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