Are They Reading Your Email on a Phone?

What do your emails look like on a phone? On a tablet? Can they be read easily? Can the links be clicked? Learn how to optimize your emails for mobile devices.

Today, mobile devices, phones, and tablets are more popular than desktop PCs. This trend will grow as technology evolves. Our phones are computers on the go and tablets entertainment and information centers. In 2020, 46% of all emails were read on phones, and the younger your target market the more likely your email will be read on a mobile device.

So, statistics show us how important mobile-friendly emails are, but what does this mean for you?

Mobile-first email design

Responsive email design uses fluid images and tables to be flexible across all different screen sizes. Responsive design gives email readers the best user experience no matter what size device they’re using.

How do you make your emails mobile responsive?

Most email platforms have premade or drag and drop templates that use responsive email design out of the box. And here are some things you can do to guarantee your emails stay responsive and easy to read.

1. Keep it simple and clean

It’s important to use a clean and simple email design. Simple designs usually translate well to a smaller screen. A single column is best. Use 2 side by side columns sparingly. On mobile, if your design is mobile responsive you’ll only have 1 column of text as the responsive element will “break” apart your email and stack it in a single column.

2 column non-responsive email on an iPhone 12
This 2 column template makes this email hard to read. I have to pinch to enlarge to read the text and see the images.
Easy to read mobile responsive, 1 column email template.
Easy to read mobile responsive, 1 column email template.

Add your images to image boxes so they automatically resize for the reader’s screen. There’s nothing worse than needing to pinch and move the screen to read the text because a large image hanging over the screen breaks the email on a phone.

2. Make it load fast on mobile devices

Don’t use too many images. We know images are a great way to engage and grab attention, but images can influence the email loading time. Too many images can take a long time to load, and people with smaller data plans may turn off images altogether.

Use the alt text area with each image so people will know what they’re missing. Using the alt text area also makes your email accessible to screen readers. And nowadays more and more people are having Siri and Alexa read their emails to them.

3. Optimize your text

Images aren’t the only thing to pay attention to. You also need to be conscious of your text. You want it to be easy to read and scroll through on a smaller device screen.

Make sure the message gets to the point and avoid using long paragraphs that look like a wall of text. And it’s easy to look like a wall of text on mobile so keep sentences short.

Make sure your text is easy to read and keep center justification down to 3 lines on mobile.

Make sure your font is large enough to read easily on mobile.

This text is too small and the paragraphs are too long to read comfortably.
This text is too small and the paragraphs are too long to read comfortably
Centered justified text along with text that’s too small to read can have readers delete your email without reading it.

4. Use CTA buttons

Call-to-actions are important and will drive readers to your website. To make your call-to-actions easier to click on a mobile device use a button instead of a link. Make the button large enough for those with larger fingers. This will make it easy to click and navigate to the next step in the buyer’s journey.

If you do need to use text links, don’t put links side by side or on top of one another. Again think about the size of your text and the size of the fingers clicking the link. Text links need lots of “air” around them to make them easy to click.

Text links are hard to see and click on mobile emails
The links to the podcast players are hard to see and even harder to click with big fingers.
Buttons make seeing and clicking on links a whole lot easier, so you’ll get more clicks

More and more consumers are reading their email on a phone every day. If you want to catch the attention of this growing audience, make use of email marketing that’s optimized for mobile devices.

Do you need a new template but Mailchimp intimidates you? I’m happy to help! Check out my Mailchimp templates.

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